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.

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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Stirling Court Hotel, Stirling, 16 August 2016

Unsurprisingly, another instance of having to order breakfast with no buffet. This is what we will have to get used to for some time. Again, a reasonable choice including the full cooked Scottish breakfast. On the slightly negative side, they brought you a cup of coffee or hot water for…

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The New Club, Edinburgh, 15 August 2020

It is a new world in the post-pandemic era. One sadly missed feature is the breakfast buffet. That being said, the breakfast at The New Club was very pleasant. Substantial choice, including a ‘full Scottish’ cooked breakfast (which one of my companions chose), yoghurts, fruit, pastries et cetera. The service…

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Van der Valk Hotel, Tilburg, Netherlands, 23 February 2020

The Van Der Valk hotel in Tilburg is relatively new, opened around a year and a half ago. So what could we expect from this breakfast? As you enter the food area there is a  most comprehensive selection of breads, rolls and pastries of all kinds. As it is Carnival time…

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Chateau d’Urspelt, Urspelt, Luxembourg, 21 February 2020

A very pleasant surprise. This charming hotel offers an excellent breakfast. Good choice of bread, nice spread of cold cuts (meat and fish) as well as cheese and vegetables. The tea is looseleaf and there is a small but adequate choice of hot dishes as well. In addition, the quality…

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Hotel Gevora, Dubai, 5 February 2020

A decent, if unspectacular, breakfast. Nice choice of warm dishes, a good spread of vegetables and fruit, as well as cold cuts and cheeses (including some local). However, the bread selection was disappointing and the tea (one kind only) was of course only bags. 5/10.

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Seraphine Best Western, Hammersmith, London, 16 December 2019

A good variety of cereals with yoghurt and milk as well as fruits in their juice. Sliced ham and salami of ordinary quality. Sweet spreads individually packed as well as the cheese. Definitely hard boiled eggs. Coffee is excellent, orange juice good. Toast comes in wheat and whole grain. Overall…

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Lilla Rådmannen, Stockholm, 17 November 2017

Another example of why the Swedish hotel breakfast is so good. The hotel was perfectly adequate, but nothing special yet the breakfast was excellent. Good choice of bread, nice spread of cold cuts, plenty of vegetables. Waffles of course and warm dishes. Only one type of cheese, admittedly, but a…

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