The GABBAS 2012
THE HAPPY PIGS
The GABBAS* represent a new standard in the British Bacon Butty industry and are awarded annually by a select group of gadgies. This is the first year the GABBAS have been awarded but it is hoped to make it a regular event. The gadgies had hoped to invite Miss Piggy to present the prestigious awards but she is busy at this time of year and has had to decline, without so much as a prerecorded message . That’s superstardom for you.
The gadgies have devoted much of their time visiting cafes throughout the north and testing the bacon sandwiches on offer, taking in to consideration the amount and quality of the filling, noting the welcome and friendliness of the staff of the establishment, the choice of bread available, the price of the butty and the ambience of each establishment. Establishments are awarded “flitches” to a maximum of five.
And so, in time honoured way, the envelopes will be opened in reverse order as the GABBAS are presented;
At number five:
TOMLINSONS RESTAURANT AND BUNKHOUSE ROTHBURY. (GYLE DU VENT)
As the name says, more of a restaurant than a tea room. On Bridge Street in the Northumbrian town of Rothbury. Has a table licence too, but not for breakfast! Interesting tables with drawers stacked with colouring books for children, or gadgies. The waitress apologised as she could only offer wholemeal brown bread, the baps were not ready.Bacon butties should come in a bap, and for this reason we felt we could only award four flitches. However we have had a promise, delivered by the magic of email that baps will be ready next time. And there is a bunkhouse for overeaters.
At number four:
THE ALLENDALE TEAROOMS. (SEVEN GO OFF TO ALLENDALE) The Allendale Tea Room, not surprisingly, is in the small Northumberland town of Allendale, not too far from County Durham. A lovely small café with a very friendly staff and a tasty bacon butty. It fell down on the choice of bread, either a white bap or sliced brown bread and so the committee felt the establishment could only be awarded four and a half flitches.
At number three:
The WELL HOUSE COFFEE SHOP (BELFORD ST. CUTHBERT’S)
It is getting more difficult! The Coffee Shop is in Belford, a north Northumbrian village. Charming place and friendly staff. We ordered our breakfast with brown baps and unfortunately they came in white, but with an immediate apology. And we were offered refills for the tea pot. For this reason we awarded the coffee shop five flitches and a recommendation.
And at number two:
THE SHORELINE CAFÉ CRASTER. (BACON, BAYS AND BIRDS)
This first class café is in Craster, a Northumbrian fishing village, famous for kippers. The room was spacious, the breakfast menu very tempting and the bacon butty, served without question on a bap was generously filled and came with a small pot of sauce, brown or red. The staff were friendly and offered extra hot water for the tea pots. Well worth the five flitches they were awarded.
And finally the winner, fumbling over opening the envelope,
THE KESWICK COFFEE LOUNGE. (CUMBRIAN GAPS)
The Keswick Coffee Lounge is on the edge of the first car park you come to driving into Keswick from Penrith. Simply furnished but with a welcome from Big Eric, this establishment consistently serves the best bacon butty. A choice of bread, a generous filling and a small salad. And tea of course. So good is it that it is impossible to have a north lakes walk without starting at this establishment. Although the last two cafes have also been awarde five flitches this one simply has the edge. So thanks to all the pigs that have made this happen, the bakers for their sterling efforts and the waitresses (and Eric) for their service.
More bacon butties and walks appearing at a blog near you soon.