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.

Nynäs Havsbad, Sweden, 3 September 2021

There’s something for every taste. Five kinds of sliced meat , several choices of cheese, three different homemade jams and marmalades. Plantbased and milkbased milk and yoghurt. You can make your own American waffles. Everything is lactose free. There are several kinds of tasty bread, but the croissant was not…

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Samad al-Iraqi, London, 3 September 2021

I have to make a confession. This is not strictly a travel breakfast entry, since it was only about 15 minutes by bicycle from my home. But I still want to review it. The Samad al-Iraqi is an Iraqi restaurant in London that also offers breakfast. An amazing spread of…

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Deans Place, Alfriston, 29 August 2021

The good news is that this breakfast was partly a buffet, which is much preferable to having to order from a menu. That being said, the buffet part was limited: a few pastries, fruit salad and some jams and honey. No fresh fruit, no cheese (admittedly one in our party…

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Hotel Crystal Plaza, Stockholm, 17 August 2021

Given its relatively small size, this breakfast buffet nevertheless manages to offer a fairly wide choice. The warm dishes are more limited, comprising scrambled eggs, sausages, meatballs and waffles. But the cold offerings are certainly ample, various cold cuts, vegetables fruit, eggs, cereal, yoghurt etc. On the weaker side, only…

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The Storehouse, Kirkwall, 20 July 2021

No buffet here either, of course. Still, a nice choice of hot and cold dishes and the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs were excellent. Tea only in bags, but that’s Britain for you. Honey appeared when asked for and a generous helping which is less usual. So a very nice…

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The Foveran, St Ola, Orkney, 19 July 2021

Breakfast buffets have sadly not returned, at least not to Britain. Still, today is ‘Freedom Day’ (at least in England and who knows for how long?), so I’m hoping for the best. Meanwhile, in this really lovely hotel (a ‘restaurant with rooms’, actually), breakfast offers a fair choice of warm…

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The Sunborn, Gibraltar, 11 June 2021

After more than a year, finally another breakfast buffet. I won’t say that the wait was worth it, but this is very nice. A good choice of bread and pastries, jams, honey and cold cuts, supplemented by smoked salmon. Nice salad bar, fruit selection and a choice of warm dishes.…

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Hotel Skansen, Båstad, Sweden, 9 October 2020

The hotel management is very covid-aware. You’ll find hand sanitizers everywhere and especially in the restaurant. The breakfast buffet is divided into two desks and the lines are well organised. The number of tables is reduced to create distance between guests. You can ask to be served at the table if…

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Lythe Hill, Haslemere, 2 October 2020

Ok, it is a bit unfair to show some of the breakfast already eaten, but I forgot to take pictures beforehand. It certainly is difficult to judge a breakfast in these days of the COVID-19 pandemic. No buffet, just a set menu to choose from. That tends to skew both…

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Glen Mhor Hotel, Inverness, 17 August 2016

With the post-pandemic arrangements, there isn’t very much you can write about breakfasts, at least in Scotland. They are all pretty similar, you order at the table, either basic (toast, preserves et cetera) or the “full Scottish”. So the difference boils down to service. Today’s breakfast was a reasonable average,…

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