A COOKED breakfast is a strong contender in the running for my favourite meal of all time and I think I've found the cafe serving the best one near Salisbury.

The trick to a great cooked breakfast is keeping things simple using flavoursome ingredients without breaking the bank and I can honestly say that Bird and Carter, at Chilhampton Farm, has nailed it.

This little gem recently reopened following a four-year hiatus so there was understandably a huge buzz when owners Annie and Joff Bird decided to bring it back.

It is attached to the couple's farm shop and all the ingredients plated up in the cafe are for sale next door.

Pulling off the main Warminster Road onto a dirt track and into the small car park, my initial thoughts were that the building seemed inconspicuous. 

A small side door takes you straight into the middle of the two ventures and I was greeted with a smile from general manager Ashley Major.

Salisbury Journal: The shop sells all sorts.The shop sells all sorts. (Image: Salisbury Journal)

This place has a bit of everything with pottery, gifts, artwork, coffee beans, and fresh produce lining the shelves of the shop.

I ordered a flat white (£3.10) which tasted rich, complex and was presented in a gorgeous glass mug.

Annie explained how her breakfasts were a selling point of the cafe so I had to give the 'Bird and Carter Full' (£12.95) with sourdough toast a go.

While I wouldn't describe it as a traditional full English, since it was missing mushrooms, hashbrowns and beans, it certainly hit the spot.

Two perfectly-cooked large sausages, sourced from Downland Produce in Melksham, stared me down, begging to be devoured. These took the top spot as my favourite item on the plate.

Salisbury Journal: I loved it.I loved it. (Image: Salisbury Journal)

I'm not a huge fan of one huge, mundane tomato with a cooked breakfast so you can imagine my delight when two rows of roasted tomatoes, served on the vine, arrived on my plate. They were bursting with flavour and exploded when punctured.

Ordering bacon at a cafe can be risky. I've lost count of how many times I have been served anaemic, soggy, chewy scraps of the stuff but Bird and Carter doesn't mess around. This spectacular smoky strip had the perfect crunch.

I appreciated the option of three types of bread: multigrain, white or sourdough. Two eggs with yolks patiently waiting to be burst open topped the two slices.

Salisbury Journal: There's a few large tables in the cafe.There's a few large tables in the cafe. (Image: Salisbury Journal)

Atmosphere isn't as important in a cafe selling breakfast and lunch as it would be for an evening restaurant, however this place made me feel incredibly comfortable perched on a sheep skin blanket topped-bench pondering the artwork decorating the wall while gentle music played in the background.

The general theme with the food at Bird and Carter is simple meals done right and I can't fault it, I will be returning.