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.

Hôtel St Maurice, Lille,3 September 2018

You get what you pay for. In this case, a small 2-star hotel near the Lille Eurostar station. Breakfast was a tray with everything pre-loaded. The croissant was a bit soggy, the baguette was fresh (I should think so too!) Still, 3/5.

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Citotel, Hotel du Tigre, Verdun, 2 September 2018

The bread  was nice, the croissants were reasonable and I’m told that the coffee was very nice. But the milk was UHT, which is frankly ridiculous. And there wasn’t much else. 3/10, and that is generous of me.

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Hôtel Le Chateau Fort de Sedan, Sedan, 1 September 2018

A charming hotel, inside the old Castle of Sedan, the biggest castle in medieval Europe. Breakfast was nice.  Good choice of bread, oranges ready to squeeze, nice spread of cereals, cold cuts and choice of fresh cheese (good) and cheeses in plastic (less so). No loose leaf tea but a…

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Boutique Hotel Kredo, Herceg-Novi, Montenegro, 9-16 July 2018

  A charming hotel looking out over Kotor Bay. The breakfast is excellent. A fantastic spread of cold cuts, cheeses (white and yellow) and vegetables, rivalling the best I have so far seen. Nice fruit table too, and good choice of juices and reasonable of cereals. There is also a…

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Medevi Brunn, 15-17 June,2018

We came here to bike Vätternrundan, 300km in 24 hours. So an excellent breakfast is certainly important. Let me first say that the spa is charming. As for breakfast, again, a nice spread of Swedish specialties, including prinskorv (cocktail sausages for want of a better translation), excellent choice of cold…

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The Shelleys Hotel, Lewes, 27 May 2018

A bit of a mixed bag. As is common in hotels of this type, the ’main’ breakfast is the cooked breakfast on offer – hence the photo of the menu. The buffet was limited. Strong points: Nice croissants, constant care to make sure that the buffet was replenished, nice fresh…

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Mabre Residence, Vilnius, 19-21 May 2018

Another pleasant Baltic breakfast buffet, if possibly a bit uneven. Nice waffles, but the bacon is ‘English’ rather than ‘American’ (i.e., quite fat and not crispy). Boiled and fried eggs, but no scrambled ones. Salmon and herring, but only one choice of cold cuts. Very nice bread, but the croissants…

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Gutenbergs Hotel, Riga, 17-18 May 2018

A lovely quaint hotel in central Riga,with a pleasant buffet breakfast. Very nice choice of cold cuts, fish, vegetables, pickled cucumbers and mushrooms(!), condiments, jams etc. Pancakes and sausages in addition to the usual warm options. Different kinds of dark bread, which is good. Good choice of fresh fruit as…

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Boutique Hotel King, Narva, 16 May 2018

One of the more frugal breakfasts I’ve encountered for some time. This was not unexpected, though, and at €5 per person (or free in the right season), I shouldn’t complain. The teabags were surprisingly classy, and while the choice of food was limited, what there was, want bad. While you…

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My City Hotel, Tallinn, 14-15 May 2018

This breakfast was a bit disappointing. At first glance, the buffet looks nice. And, to be fair, the salmon, the herring and the meatballs were all excellent. The pancakes were unusual in shape and nice. However, the fruit salad looked as if it came out of a tin and the…

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