Cackleberrys, Fareham – Food review
So the Dish Detective has a confession to make. Usually when we visit a place to review, it’s a one-time affair. Cackleberrys, however, was different.
The first time we visited it was Christmas Eve – and very busy.
Undeterred, we squeezed in – Cackleberrys has lots of tables and not a lot of space – and managed to perch on a couple of stools. Not the most comfortable way to eat lunch, but at least we had been accommodated.
It was 11.45am and I was hungry for lunch, my guest was just there for the cake and coffee.
As we scanned the array of lunch offerings, of which there were plenty, a waitress brought out breakfasts to one of the tables (served until midday).
And boy did they look delicious.
There was even a plate of kippers – a bit of an unusual dish for a cafe to be serving but a Dish Detective favourite, especially as the cooking of them at home is banned due to family members complaining about the smell.
Dish Detective vowed to return another day for breakfast. More on that later.
Anyway, back to the first time, perched on our high table, I ordered a Mediterranean tart (£6), from the vast array of home-made items displayed in a glass cabinet (also in this cabinet were wonderful looking pies of every filling, quiches, tarts, pastries – it’s a real kid in a sweet shop moment).
It arrived served with a fresh salad, with just the right amount of dressing. Tasty, with a great mix of cheese and veg.
My guest ordered a coffee (£2.90), which arrived with a professional look and a couple of free sweets (it is Christmas), and a slice of pistachio cake (£6.50), which comes with a dollop of top quality vanilla ice-cream. The menu says the coffee has won two gold taste awards and is Fairtrade.
The cakes in Cackleberrys are like the savouries – there’s a wonderful selection to choose from. All seemingly homemade. It’s a real treat. Cake lovers will not be disappointed.
Dish Detective picks a treacle tart (£6.50), which also comes with ice-cream. It’s gorgeous.
Like I said before, the cafe is busy, but the staff are friendly, a family affair with mum, dad and daughter all hard at work, and we are even given a loyalty card.
A couple of weeks later, Dish Detective is back, this time to test the breakfast.
The first visit was so great, we wonder whether it was just Christmas cheer giving everything a rosy glow.
It’s a pre-work mid-week visit, so I’m alone, but this time I manage to snare a table. It’s the second to last one – the last one goes just two minutes later.
There’s a nice selection to chose from – croissants, muffins, scrambled eggs and salmon, eggs Benedict and the previously spied kippers (£7) but I’m hungry so I order the breakfast stack (£8.50) – toast, bacon, egg, sausage, mushrooms and tomatoes. Accompanied by a pot of tea (£2.95).
It’s just as good as the lunch. Fresh and cooked with quality ingredients. It’s also presented beautifully, with a row of cooked vine tomatoes on top. Whoever is in the kitchen today clearly cares.
The cafe also feels relaxed and friendly. It’s not as packed as the first visit but there’s still a steady stream of customers.
This may not be the cheapest place in Fareham for a spot of lunch or breakfast, but you get what you pay for. It’s definitely worth a visit for a treat, or if you’re a lover of quality.
There’s also the option of booking for high tea – it’d make a wonderful trip out with friends. I leave wondering why I haven’t discovered this place sooner – and vowing to make a third visit.
Cackleberrys, West Street, Fareham, 01329 511864
Ratings (out of five)