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.

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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Konggang Baiyun Hotel, Tianjin, 9 October 2018

At first, my impression was of an absolutely amazing buffet. However, once I started to look more closely, I again realised that quantity does not necessarily mean the same as quality. So, a large buffet, particularly strong on the Asian (Chinese and Japanese) side. Plenty of different bread, very good fruit…

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Beijing Pudi Hotel, 8 October 2018

This one was a bit of a conundrum.  The first impression is of a very nice, very varied buffet. There is a Chinese section, as well as a large Western selection. Different kinds of bread, pastries, lots of vegetables, a few cold cuts and some fruit. Also a hot dishes…

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Hotel Nine, Ulaanbaatar, 3 October 2018

A lovely breakfast and easily the best on this trip so far. Again, small, but packed with goodies. Fruit, vegetables, cold cuts, hot dishes. Four kinds of bread, yoghurt, jams and honey, cereal. The nicer for being unexpected. On the extra plus side, glasses and slices of lemon for the…

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Guru Ger Lodge, Terelj National Park, Mongolia, 2nd October 2018

As with the train, so with this. This is after all a ger camp. It was never going to be “amazing buffet breakfast”. There is no real choice, you are given what there is. The bread is white only, but this is not a bread culture. The Mongolian biscuits (boortsog)…

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Edelweiss Hotel, Ulaanbaatar, 30 September 2018

We were taken here directly from the train to have breakfast and move on. A very small and sparse breakfast, but very welcome and what there was, was nice enough. Still, not more than 3/10.

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Hotel Complex Angara, Irkutsk, 29 September 2018

A very pleasant surprise. Breakfast is served from 3 a.m., so I expected something very perfunctory. Instead, there is a very adequate buffet, again nicely balanced between meat, salads, vegetables, cheese and fruit. The warm offerings were perhaps not that appetising but nothing wrong per se. The bread is disappointing,…

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U Ozera Hotel, Listvyanka, 28 September 2018

A different, but not uninteresting concept. There are three breakfast menus to choose from. Each includes bread, jam and honey, pancakes with sour cream, tea or coffee, juice or yoghurt. The only difference is scrambled eggs, fried eggs or sausages. Within the limitations that this imposes on the guest, if…

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