Before we went on holiday, Gemma recommended we go to Carriages for breakfast and cocktails. As the name suggests, the hotel and restaurant/bar is situated next to the train station in Wellington – and as we were getting the train from there to Birmingham International, it was an excellent idea.
We sat in the bar area, which accommodates around 50 people. There were only two other couples sitting near us – and I assume they were having breakfast, after staying the night – so the atmosphere was really relaxed. We had a leisurely breakfast, which is exactly what we wanted and the staff were never in any hurry to get rid us. Instead, they were so welcome and accommodating, especially when it came to our food and drink requests. Carriages also has a restaurant area out the back, but this would have been far too formal for us. We were also able to leave our small suitcases at the table and they didn’t get in the way at all.
Breakfast was a Full English and included in the price were all hot drinks and juices. I began with an orange juice, while Gemma had apple and we waited for our breakfasts to be served. We were asked how we would like our eggs, whether we wanted brown or white toast, preserves or just butters and also if there’s anything we disliked. For ease, we both went for ‘the works’. Once the food arrived, we both opted for a hot drink: tea for Gemma and I had a cappuccino, which was lovely – the coffee is freshly ground and much better than all the chain places.
As you can see, the portion sizes are large and everything was cooked to perfection. I don’t like mushrooms, but tried them – because they were cooked in butter, they had a much nicer taste. I also tried the black pudding, having tried morcilla in Spain, but really wasn’t converted! My eggs, which were poached, were runny in the middle and weren’t cold when the plate was served – so bonus points to Carriages for getting them spot on. We both struggled to clear our plates, but it totally set us up for the day and we didn’t actually eat again until we were at the hotel that night.
Gemma had mentioned previously how good the cocktails were and while we were hoping to have one with breakfast, we had to wait until midday for the bartender to arrive. It was well worth the wait as James prepared the best Espresso Martini I’d ever had. One that rivalled Rum & Sugar and surpassed many from cocktail bars in Essex and London. After the cappuccino, it was much needed bearing in mind we had a long and tiring day ahead of us. Gemma went for a Pina Colada, getting into the holiday spirit right away! I will definitely have to return one evening for Happy Hour and work my way through the extensive menu. At £7 a cocktail, the prices were so reasonable, compared to the south.
The service throughout was good, our waitress was never intrusive and allowed us to enjoy our food and drinks, and chat away excitedly. The breakfast and cocktails came in at around £30 which I found so cheap. While getting to Carriages is a struggle, down an alleyway and it doesn’t look like much from the exterior; once inside, it’s beautiful and modern and quite frankly, a little gem.
Love, Lucy xx