A recently-opened café at a South Derbyshire furniture shop became the latest eatery to go under the Secret Service microscope. The Honeypot Coffee Shop opened at Toons Furnishers, in Castle Gresley, near Swadlincote, in August, last year.
Owner Sonja Grant, who runs the business alongside her husband George Grant, serves breakfast, lunch and a “great range” of cakes for afternoon tea. Despite only being open for just over six months, the Burton Road venue has quickly become a firm favourite among locals, and that was obvious from how full it was on a weekday morning.
So here is what one of our colleagues at Staffordshire Live thought of the café when she visited on a Tuesday morning earlier this month.
Read more: Get the latest Secret Service reviews from Derbyshire Live
Many have praised the food and the very impressive-looking cakes, which are huge as well – always a bonus. So with that in mind, we decided to check it out for ourselves and sent our secret diner reviewer to try it out. The undercover diner started their day off doing some jobs around the house, before popping into the café with a guest.
Here’s what our secret diner had to say
Arriving at Toons for a late breakfast, there is plenty of parking and no problems getting into the car park – always a good start. You can even have a look round Toons before heading in for a bite to eat. On arriving, The Honeypot is busy, but not too busy, and we managed to find a table without any problems.
The staff offered a friendly smile as we walked in and there was a calm and relaxed atmosphere. After finding a menu and deciding what we wanted, there was only one person being served at the counter, so we didn’t have to wait.
We were greeted by a friendly and helpful woman and given a wooden spoon with a number on to take back to the table. In general, everyone working there seemed to be happy to be at work, which you don’t see very often. They had a bit of a laugh with us at the table and then carried on with their business.
The Honeypot also has another tea rooms in Rosliston for those who are nearer that way and want a slice of the very tempting cake.
How was the food?
I ordered the eggs benedict, which came with two poached eggs, two slices of thick-cut bacon on a toasted muffin and hollandaise sauce. My guest went for the full English, with two rashes of bacon, two sausages, two free-range eggs, beans, tomatoes, two hash browns, mushrooms and a slice of toast.
Both came with a pot of tea or coffee included in the price. It arrived around 10 minutes after we had ordered, which is about the right amount of time, and both dishes really hit the spot.
The eggs benedict was cooked to perfection, with the bacon not too crispy or fatty. A nice, runny egg was present and the chef did not go over the top on the hollandaise sauce. The same can be said for the full English, with the tomatoes and beans served in separate pots for those who do not necessarily want it all mixed together on the plate – it has to suit everyone.
It would be rude to visit the tea rooms and not try the cakes. However, we fancied something a little different, so I went for the cheesecake-filled Easter egg and my guest had a brownie scotch egg that had a caramel chocolate egg inside.
And yes – they were as good as they sounded. It was a complete chocolate overload that more than satisfied a sweet tooth. It is fair to say that we were not hungry again for the rest of the day.
On the menu, the tea room also offers sandwiches, smaller and larger varieties of breakfasts, soups and jacket potatoes, as well as a whole host of cakes and sweet treats and a daily special.
How was the interior and feel of the café?
The Honeypot Tea Rooms has a simple interior but with comfy chairs which is always a bonus. You have to walk through Toons to get to it but the walls have nice paintings and there is a small vase of flowers on the table.
The little extra touches really make the difference. It has a calm and relaxing atmosphere and plenty of tables throughout.
As for the tables, they were well spread out and not crowded and were mostly seated for four people.
Would I go again?
One hundred per cent. A visit for the cakes is worth it alone.
Eggs Benedict – £9.25
Full English – £10.95
Scotch egg brownie – £3.50
Cheesecake filled egg – £4.95