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.

Lilla Rådmannen, Stockholm, 17 November 2017

Another example of why the Swedish hotel breakfast is so good. The hotel was perfectly adequate, but nothing special yet the breakfast was excellent. Good choice of bread, nice spread of cold cuts, plenty of vegetables. Waffles of course and warm dishes. Only one type of cheese, admittedly, but a…

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Metropolo Classiq, Shanghai, 28 October 2019

Yet another very nice and varied buffet. As befits a more cosmopolitan city, the Western/Eastern balance was more even. The bread is still somewhat disappointing, and the fact that the tea is only bags, and only two kinds at that, is also unimpressive. On the other hand, a good spread…

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EBO Hotel Hangzhou West Lake, Hangzhou, 24 October 2016

Another quite extensive breakfast buffet. However (and as was only to be expected), the Western component, while somewhat larger than in, e.g., Kaifeng, was still relatively limited. The bread selection was disappointing and the eggs were pre-fried, although otherwise it was a reasonable spread, including a decent choice of fruit…

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Jinling Hotel, Nanjing, 22 October 2019

I had to stop myself from taking more pictures. But I probably have not covered everything there is. So, in summary, a fantastic breakfast. Needless to say, Western food as well as East Asian (at least Chinese, Korean and Japanese). Lots of fruit, vegetables, bread of many different varieties, cold…

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Vienna International Hotel, Kaifeng, 20 October 2019

As I have written in the past, the one meal where I consider Western food essential (and I freely admit this is a very subjective view) is breakfast. Here, there was a very nice breakfast buffet, quite extensive, but almost exclusively Chinese. The one concession to the west walls white…

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Beijing Tianyou Hotel, 19 October 2019

I am not sure what I had expected here, but the result was considerably better. A very large spread of both Western and Chinese food. On the plus side, lots of different bread, the tea was all loose-leaf, and a very nice egg bar. The fruit was sparse (two types…

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Shangri-La Ulaanbaatar, 16 October 2019

This is a Shangri-La. Breakfast should be excellent. And it certainly is. A very nice spread of warm and cold dishes (of course), Western food as well as East Asian. Perhaps a little weak on the bread, but two types of honey compensate and the egg bar, the cold cuts…

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Juulchin Tours, 15 October 2019

After the rather sparse breakfast we had at the Bolor Hotel two days ago, our chef, Sugar, decided that she could do much better. She certainly did! A lovely cheese omelette, nice sausages, a pleasant range of condiments, juices, yoghurt etc. Everything cooked on a tiny little stove seen in…

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Bolor Hotel, Choibalsan, 13 October 2019

A fairly sparse breakfast – all pictured – but the salami was decent and the tea was warm. And that’s about it. It gets 3/10 because I’ve give 2.5 to worse.

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The Corporate Hotel, Ulaanbaatar, 12 October 2019

A small, but surprisingly varied breakfast buffet. Different kinds of bread, condiments, some nice cold cuts and plenty of vegetables and cereals. Extra points for the fish roe (I dare not say from a sturgeon). A mixture of local, East Asian and western food. Nice choice of fruit as well.…

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