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.

Allegro Hoi An, 5 September 2019

Today, I had one of the best breakfasts I have ever had. The buffet was fantastic: obviously local (Vietnamese), but also a choice of Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Western food. The bread justified the saying “Vietnam has the best baguettes east of Paris“. Plenty of hot dishes of all kinds,…

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Muong Thanh Holiday, Dien Bien Phu, 2 September 2019

(Today happens to be the 75th anniversary of Vietnam’s of independence in 1945. Amazing time to be here.) A nice buffet breakfast, somewhat balanced towards Asian food, but enough European to satisfy those, like me prefer that cuisine for breakfast – although I sampled some of the local dishes as…

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Viet Hotel, NoiBai Airport, HaNoi, 1 September 2019

I normally prefer western breakfasts, the one area where western cuisine – in my opinion – is superior to others. But the egg fried noodles looked delicious and I opted for them instead. This is a small airport hotel with a handful of rooms. Obviously, there would be no breakfast…

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Wingrove House, Alfriston, 25 August, 2019

A lovely hotel in the vicinity of Glyndebourne. However, my overall prejudice against the English hotel breakfast was, broadly speaking, confirmed. No buffet (fair enough), although there was a small side-table with pastries, jams, juice and yogurts. Tea in bags only. A choice of three or four set breakfasts. The…

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Hyatt Place Georgetown, Washington DC, 1 August 2019

I find that American hotels are less and less likely to offer breakfast. However, this one does have a small buffet (albeit only for hotel guests). Nothing wrong with the offerings, but also nothing special. Standard selection of breads and bagels, a couple of warm dishes, juices, fruit. No cheeses…

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The Historic Inns of Annapolis, Annapolis, 30 July 2019

Again, not a buffet; and bag tea. But, on the other hand, the breakfast was served in the restaurant where John Jay, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin celebrated the ratification of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. The scrambled eggs were good and the choice of tea bags was ample.…

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6 Columbus, New York, 26 July 2019

During the day and in the evening, this hotel’s restaurant is Oriental (presumably Japanese). Even so, it was a surprise to receive breakfast served in a Bento box. Readers of this blog know that I am partial to buffet breakfast. None of that here. That being said, the breakfasts were…

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Bergen Børs Hotel, 7 July 2019

After everything nice I’ve said about Scandinavian breakfasts, this was something of a disappointment. Not bad by objective standards (see below), but I had expected better. A reasonably nice spread in the usual buffet style, with very tasty breads in particular. Weak on the fruit (only a fruit salad), only…

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MS Kong Harald, 6 July 2019

This is my first cruise ship breakfast review. Let me first of all say that even if the breakfast was worthless, this cruise — Hurtigruten, the Norwegian coast from Kirkenes to Bergen — would still be worth it. Fortunately, the breakfast is far from worthless. After all, this is Scandinavia…

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Scandic Hotel, Kirkenes, 1 July 2019

A small, yet surprisingly multi-varied breakfast buffet. Once again, Scandinavia shows its strength. Many different kinds of freshly baked and tasty bread and croissants. A full spread of both hot and cold dishes, including plenty of salmon and herring. Yes, the fried eggs were fried in advance, but the creamy…

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