Travel breakfast blog

This page has nothing whatsoever to do with economics or forecasting. Instead, it is dedicated to discussing breakfasts when you travel.

Why on Earth is that?

Well, for one thing, I like breakfast.

But there are other reasons too. As no doubt your mother told you, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This was brought home to me when I was doing my army service (Royal Gotland Anti-Aircraft Battalion, 1978-79) and breakfast was the only meal you could be sure was decent every day. I still can’t believe the amounts I would eat then.

The importance of breakfast is also obvious to anyone who has to travel and do a series of daily meetings. It is the only meal you are likely to have without rushing to catch up with the next meeting.

I should have started this blog years ago when I did more business travel. But I didn’t. However, for the record, the three best hotel breakfasts I have ever had are:

The Epic restaurant in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto. Easily the best hotel breakfast in the world in terms of choice and quality.

The Auberge Ostapé outside St Jean Pied-de-Port in France. Beautiful view of the Pyrenées combined with the best of French breakfast.

The Island Shangri-La in Hong Kong. A sumptuous mix of European/American and Asian.

On a more general point, I find that the three countries that do the best hotel breakfasts are Sweden (waffles, herring, lots of different bread and cheese); Israel (olives, pita, various cheeses and vegetables); and the USA (waffles, eggs, bacon, bagels). British hotel breakfasts are usually disappointing, though this is a subjective point because I don’t really like the cooked stuff they provide and the bread tends to be restricted to toast. French hotel breakfasts are also frequently uninspiring in spite of the food culture, mainly consisting of some very nice croissants and baguettes, but little other variety in terms of, say cheese or cold cuts.

By the way, contributions from others always welcome, whether anonymous (although I need to know who you are) or signed.

And finally: Ratings on the travel breakfast blog are from 0 to 10. 0 means all but inedible (and I certainly hope I never encounter that!); 10 is stupendous; and 5 means a decent average breakfast, nothing special but a perfectly nice meal. Ratings are based on variety and choice, presentation, taste, service, whether it is a buffet or table service (buffet preferable) and whether there is loose-leaf tea (preferable) or only teabags. Ultimately, the ratings are wholly subjective.

Hilton City Centre Cambridge, 19 May 2019

Readers know that I am not partial to the English breakfast. It relies too much on warm inedible components. Occasionally, however, you run into an exception that overcomes this initial handicap. This is one of them. Yes, the black pudding and baked beans etc are of course there. But a…

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Fabric Hotel, Tel Aviv, 5 May 2019

A good example of why the Israeli hotel breakfast is one of the best. Excellent choice of bread, cheese and condiments. Also nice spread of juices, vegetables, fruit and cereal. Nor so much on cold cuts, but a few fish dishes. Everything fresh and tasty. In addition, you can order…

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Carlo IV, Prague, 16 April 2019

This was an excellent, nay, superlative breakfast. Very good choice of bread, including dark bread, many different kinds of cold cuts, both fish and meat, hot dishes, cheeses, vegetables and fruit. The tea was only bags, but a good selection of high quality bags, at least. Also pastries, yoghurts, and…

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Deluxe Golden Horn, Istanbul, 29 March 2019

Another nice Middle Eastern breakfast. In other words, plenty of cheese, bread, honey and salads. Less strong on the warm dishes, which were a bit unimaginative, and only one type of fruit (apples). As against that, the amazing view of Istanbul from the terrace, with Hagia Sofia and the Blue…

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Radisson Hotel and Suites, Sydney, 9 March 2019

Having arrived at dawn after a 24-hour flight from London, breakfast was certainly welcome. This was a nice buffet with a good selection of everything – cold cuts, cheeses, condiments, breads, warm dishes etc. Everything was good, but, and if sounds silly perhaps, nothing was ‘extra good’. So I’d rate…

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Best Western Time Plus, Stockholm, 7 February 2019

Another example of the excellent Swedish hotel breakfast. The hotel is nothing special, nice enough but not fancy. Yet the breakfast has a large buffet of various breads, fruits, cereals, cold cuts, warm dishes, tea (leaf and bags) and so on. Very nicely presented, and easily worth 7/10.

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Intercontinental Wien, 16 January 2019

I don’t quite know to begin with this one. It certainly was an ample, even sumptuous buffet. Excellent choice of bread, tea in both bags and loose-leaf varieties and plenty of both. Western food, a Middle Eastern breakfast section (although, to be fair, the hummus was pretty sub-par!), and a…

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Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel, 9 December, 2018

A very pleasant American hotel breakfast. The buffet was small, but with a decent selection on the whole. bread somewhat unimaginative, but very nice on the fruit and on the spreads for the bread. An extra bonus on the weekend is the omelette bar. Easily 6/10.

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Xiamen City Hotel, Xiamen, 12 October 2018

A quantum leap from earlier breakfasts on this journey. Here we truly have quantity combined with quality. I barely know where to begin. A huge selection of Chinese dishes, of course. But, equally, a very ample spread of Western food: cold cuts, fruit – fresh and canned – many different…

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Tianwei Art Hotel, Ningbo, 10 October 2018

Another substantial buffet breakfast. This one was much more heavily slanted towards Chinese breakfast than others I have seen, but there was ample choice for those, like me, who prefer western-style morning food. The choice is primarily in fruit, cereal and vegetables. One type of (bland) cheese, no cold cuts,…

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