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.

Schaulinenhoeve, Baarle-hertog/Baarle-Nassau, 7 January 2018

Very pleasant breakfast on the whole and very friendly service, eager to please. Nice selection of bread and cold cuts, and opportunities for extras. However, surprisingly for a hotel in The Netherlands, no cheese at all. That, and the lack of loose-leaf tea – somewhat off-set by glasses for tea…

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White Villa Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel

22-28 December, 2017 Breakfast on Shabbat (the first three pictures) a very basic buffet, one type of bread only and fairly sparse, but understandably so. No challah, which is surprising. During weekdays it’s different. You get a nice little tray with bread and condiments (varying from olives and jams and…

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Bezalel Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel

21-22 December, 2017 Nice enough, but, by Israeli standards perhaps less good than could have been expected, notably on the bread front. However, the choice of breads improved on the second day, on which they also added shakshuka, a major plus. 6.5/10.

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BA First Class

20 December, 2017. We were upgraded to First Class on the flight to Israel. The breakfast shows that you can get excellent food on a plane as well. If you fly First Class. But, given the cost of a First Class ticket, is it worth it? 6/10 .

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Hampton by Hilton, Pulkovo Airport

We had an extra night in St Petersburg, courtesy of British Airways and bad weather in London, so this is from 11th December 2017. This was a very nice spread, although the bread choice continues to disappoint. Even so, 5/10.

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Pushka Inn, St Petersburg

7-10 December 2017. Nice breakfast, the bread and the tea selection (given that this is Russia) perhaps a little bit disappointing. But a reasonable spread, with enough choice and nice fish. 5/10.

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BA Club Europe

Served on BA878 to St Petersburg, 7th December 2017. The egg & cheese omelette was not bad, the toast decent (difficult on a plane). Airplane food is generally not so great, but, as such, I’d still give this a 3 out of 10.

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