It’s not quite apparent what to expect when you open the front door of the Factory House, but there’s a clue in the quirky array of quasi-industrial decor scattered around the upstairs lobby, from the clocking in machine to the obligatory ‘olde worlde’ furniture and books squeezed into the small space atop the open spiral staircase descending into the underbelly of the establishment.
Once there, it’s a fairly familiar set-up that will not leave anyone feeling out of place who has visited any of the various trendy basement-style eating joints that have sprung up over recent years (yes, Hawksmoor, Caravan and the like .. I am thinking of you!). A selection of tables, booths and bar seating presents itself, all in a deep polished dark veneer wood. Although I have been deserted by breakfasting comrades on this dim and dark morning, a cursory glance around the room lets me know that the Factory House is not generally unpatronised at 8am, and tables fill steadily as I sample the wares.
A full English is the only possibility given that there’s no-one else to explore the menu with, and Factory House delivers this with aplomb. I’m always moderately disappointed with the “single sausage” school of thought, however I can usually overcome this provided the sausage is of sufficient quality and I am pleased to say that this bar is passed here. I must give full credit for the two eggs fried and served up in perfect condition with just the right dash of seasoning. In some moment of madness, I forget to request that the beans be omitted from my platter. Given my prejudices on this front, it would be unfair of me to comment on these beyond to say that they were there and that I daresay that those who go in for such things would not find them unpalatable.
All other requisites were present and correct – an elegantly fried tomato, some succulent bacon, a slither of mushroom, a dob of bubble & squeak and a proud black pudding. In all, there was certainly no skimping on the ingredient head-count and it was certainly a satisfactory breakfast. Its only flaw really is the lack of any real standout feature or element, which is not something I usually look for in a breakfast unless it’s one that costs as much as the Factory House want. Then, I’m afraid, I do rather expect it – because, charming though the ‘neo-industrial’ ambience may be, if I’m going to fork out £20 for the first meal of my day then I do want it to be a bit special.
That said, the coffee really was excellent, and I’d be back for some of that without hesitation – but on this offering, there are enough places where your plate will be graced with better fare for the same price that I wouldn’t rush back for the food.