REVIEW: Good old fashioned English breakfast at a traditional cafe

Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves

Mon 5th February 2024

There’s a lot to be said for a good cafe which serves a good traditional English breakfast.
I do often enjoy checking out new tastes in the culinary world but, for me, you just can’t beat a good old proper ‘fry up.’
And you most certainly get that at the Chatterbox Cafe in Alfreton.
The service there is fab, quick and the food is just what it says on the ‘tin’ – although I think only the baked beans came out of one of those!
I visited the eatery, which is situated right next to the town’s bus station, on Friday (February 3) and chose the ‘Breakfast 1’ thinking it would not be too large for my rather small appetite.
How wrong was I? There was one large sausage, two rashers of bacon, two slices of buttered toast, two hash browns, a fried egg and a rather large helping of baked beans. Plus it all came with a choice of tea or coffee with myself choosing the latter. All that for an amazing £6.95.
Lord knows how much is dished up for one of the higher end breakfasts!?

Anyway, thinking I may have to ask for a ‘doggy bag’ before I left the cafe, I got tucking into my ‘Breakfast 1’ and managed to polish it all off, bar one slice of toast, with the help of a lovely milky coffee to help wash it down.
All the while enjoying my small – but large – breakfast, I quite enjoyed the ambience of the cafe.
I visited at around 2.30pm on Friday, obviously after the lunchtime rush as it was quite quiet. There was one lone chap on his own enjoying a brew whilst reading a newspaper, and a family with a baby (safely in a cafe provided baby highchair) all tucking into their meals, and then an elderly gent came in for his snappin’ who was obviously a regular as he and the staff were on first name basis which is always a nice touch of good customer service I think.
The cafe itself was clean, airy and welcoming with lots of seats available with tables of four and six on offer.
The relaxed ambience is boosted with some nice décor with a number of canvases, some with beach scenes, and others of the floral and plant theme.

Taking a closer look at the Chatterbox Cafe’s eat in or takeaway menu, it’s mainly a very good selection of varying sized and different options of breakfasts; but there is also an array of soups, salads, sandwiches, pie meals, roast dinners, jacket potatoes, burgers, omelettes, a variety of grill meal, pastries and desserts, soft drinks, and more.
There is also a children’s menu on offer, as well as lots of discounted options for OAPs.
Condiments are a plenty with salt, pepper and vinegar on the tables as well as bottles of red and also brown sauce.

Back to the good customer service, after ordering and paying – by cash or card – your brew is quickly made for you first and then, for me, my food was placed in front of me within, at least, five minutes, all piping hot and looking and tasting very freshly cooked.
I spotted that vacated tables are cleared away quickly by the efficient staff, and also given a good wipe down before the next customer’s use. This is something which is a bit of a gripe of mine when it’s not done at some venues I have been to – I can often be seen asking for cloth and spray to wipe down a table before sitting down at it. However, I had no such gripe here.
The only downside of my particular visit to Chatterbox Cafe, which had meant to be a ‘working lunch,’ was that there were no power points available for me to charge up my then flat laptop. This is of course just a small problem and one which I should have prepared for.
And to be fair – rather than checking and replying to emails and/or typing up articles between mouthfuls of bacon and beans, I had a relaxed lunch and took in my surroundings probably better than I would have done if I had been glued to the computer.
After having a bit of a Google (after getting back to my home ‘office’) about this eatery – it appears it has been there for quite some years and with same name. I bet the walls in that place have seen some characters coming and going in there!
I also spotted that Chatterbox Cafe has a Five Star rating for it’s latest Food Hygiene Rating which was carried out in July 2022, which is always a good sign of a good place to eat.
Well, I’ll definitely be heading back to the Chatterbox Cafe for a ‘proper’ good old fry-up again soon anyway!

Review and photos by the Spirit of Alfreton Editor Belinda Hargreaves

Do you perhaps have a favourite place to eat in Alfreton or surrounding areas?
Email our Editor Belinda at with your thoughts on the venue, service, food, etc, with accompanying pic(s) for possible use on the Spirit of Alfreton website. Alternatively upload them direct to our website at here