Friday, 21 November 2008

Most definately the most important meal of the day

ONE of my favourite little luxuries is going out for breakfast. Whether it's at a hotel after an overnight stay, a pavement cafe or a greasy spoon, I take no greater pleasure than browsing a breakfast menu. White, brown or bloomer bread toast? Preserves, granola, dry cured back bacon. Those are words that float my boat.
It was over breakfast at the Clumber Park Hotel last weekend (wholemeal toast, chunky strawberry jam, fruit compote and yogurt) that my better half and I mused over where our favourite breakfasts had been.
We'd been to The Wolseley in London once. The elegant restaurant, a former car showroom on Picadilly, is almost as famous for its celebrity clientele as its breakfast. I remember, as I tucked in to my golden goblet of yogurt and nectarine and peach compote, that I was bitterly disappointed to see that the only other diners were fellow celeb hunters, looking equally downcast. Where on Earth was Elton John? Aside from that, the food and service was excellent. The homemade bread was moreish and I loved the silver jam server. On the other half of the table, the man reported that his omelette with jamon and gruyere was one of the best he'd tasted.
A similarly exquisite bread basket was devoured at Le Pain Quotidien in Santa Monica, California, while we hungrily waited for the nearby Border Grill to open for brunch. We'd kidded ourselves that we could bypass breakfast in favour of an 11.30am brunch, which incidentally we didn't make, having stuffed ourselves with bread, jam and cappuccino.
And while bread's on the agenda, or more to the point pastries, there were none better than those at the Yountville Inn, California, which has a daily delivery of goodies from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery.
Having sampled Keller's pastries there was little need to go to Bouchon in Las Vegas, so instead we opted for the oppulent Champagne breakfast at the Wynn where everything from enchilladas to sashimi and icecream was on offer and I discovered there's only so much Champagne you can drink so early (about half a glass).
The other half cherishes memories of bacon in Bangkok, which sounds more lewd (and/or more interesting) than it is. Crispy to perfection, he said. So good he'd craft a sandwich and then slip it into his rucksack for later consumption.
We both agreed that by far the most exotic location we'd enjoyed breakfast was in an open air restaurant overlooking the ocean in Phuket, while the least was in a grubby roadside shack called Donut Express in Orange County, California. Despite having to avert our eyes from the down-and-out diners, we gorged to our heart's content on sugared donuts, bagels and mango smoothies.
And the strangest breakfast was served on a train between Delhi and Agra. Presented with a little foil tray, it contained a battered shape and two chips.
Anyway, I've rambled for long enough so where do you think serves the best breakfast? Are you a fry-up person or do you prefer a more modest meal?


Claire said...

Ohhhh yes, a good brekkie at the weekend. You can't beat it.
I quite like cafe rouge's offerings, but can be a bit pricey for what it is....
But on really special occasions, I like to try a proper biker cafe (I'm not joking!).
Can be a little daunting at first but they are usually some of the best for a proper fry-up, or my fave - an egg sarnie in thick white bread. There is a great one in Bewdley by the river, and another on the Bridgnorth road.... Go give them a try.

Emily said...

Thanks for the tip Claire. Thick white bread really is the staple of a great breakfast sarnie, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Munch on the Bristol Road is hard to beat on a Sunday when the effects of Saturday night excesses are lingering. Full English for less than a fiver, can't be bad! And a full English always tastes better when someone else has made it.

andrej said...

Eggs Benedict in 23st on 3rd Avenue - Lyric Dinner.
Best Eggs Benedict in New York City...

Emily said...

Thanks for the tips both. I certainly could have done with someone to cook my breakfast this morning after an excessive Friday night! I'll most definately be trying Munch in future and if I ever get across the pond again I'll be going to Lyric Dinner as Eggs Benedict done well can't be beaten!