Time for Valerie’s Welsh Rarebit

We were up at Cribbs Causeway doing some shopping and we stopped at Patisserie Valerie for a coffee and a snack. There are quite a few places you can have a coffee at Cribbs, but what I like about Patisserie Valerie is that it is table service. So we sat at our table and looked over the menu. The place was busy, but the service was excellent, and we didn’t have to wait long to order.

Whilst my son went with the traditional breakfast, my first choice was an apricot danish, however they had run out. So I went with my second choice, which wasn’t a pastry, but Valerie’s Welsh Rarebit. Our food arrived promptly, which was nice, especially as the place was quite full of diners. Valerie’s Welsh Rarebit was toasted bloomer bread topped with a poached egg, tomato chutney, cheddar, mustard & served with a side salad.

I don’t think I have ever had Rarebit before, so I was interested to see what it was going to be like. This was a nice cheesy toast dish, the mustard was subtle and added warmth. The poached egg was perfectly cooked. I liked the tomato chutney, which was on the side, I did think it was a little too sweet for me. Overall it was a really nice light meal.

I think one of the reasons I hadn’t ordered or had this dish before, was that usually I am looking for cake, or a full meal. Valerie’s Welsh Rarebit for me is more of a snack, or a light meal.

Alongside I had a flat white, not the best flat white in the world, but it was a good coffee.

Brunch at Bills

My son chose this dish at a recent visit to Bills in Bath.

It was avocado on gluten free sourdough, topped with two poached eggs, spicy cherry tomatoes, coriander & lime.

He said it was delicious and it looked great, the eggs were perfectly cooked as well.

I could get use to this…

I was making a return visit to the Drayton Court Hotel and was looking forward to my breakfast after the excellent breakfast I had had the previous times I was there.

I ordered the full English which was pork sausage, Mrs Owton’s bacon, Hampshire black pudding, grilled tomato & field mushroom, hash brown, Heinz baked beans, and two poached eggs. The breakfast plate was beautifully presented.

The three rashers of bacon were cooked to my liking, not overdone, full of flavour. I enjoyed the sausage and the black pudding. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked, and had runny yolks. The field mushroom was delicious, and the tomato was perfectly cooked. The beans and hash brown were okay.

I really enjoyed the breakfast again and is one of the best breakfasts I have had at a hotel. 

Another great breakfast

I was making a return visit to the Drayton Court Hotel and was looking forward to my breakfast after the excellent breakfast I had had the last time I was there.

I ordered the full English which was pork sausage, Mrs Owton’s bacon, Hampshire black pudding, grilled tomato & field mushroom, hash brown, Heinz baked beans, and two poached eggs. 

As before this was a delicious plate of food.

Well that was a nice breakfast, pity about the coffee

Having had a delicious dinner the night before at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing,  I did have quite high expectations about the breakfast at the hotel.

I did wonder if this was going to be a buffet style breakfast, or one that you ordered at the table. In the end it was a bit of both. You helped yourself to drinks, toast, croissant, fruit, and so on. For hot food though you ordered off the menu. I ordered the full English which was pork sausage, Mrs Owton’s bacon, Hampshire black pudding, grilled tomato & field mushroom, hash brown, Heinz baked beans, and two poached eggs.  Well you could order the eggs anyway you wanted, but I went with poached.

full English breakfast

The breakfast plate was beautifully presented. The three rashers of bacon were cooked to my liking, not overdone, full of flavour. I enjoyed the sausage and the black pudding. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked, and had runny yolks. The field mushroom was delicious, though I would have liked my tomato a little more cooked. The beans and hash brown were nothing to write home about, but did help complete the breakfast plate. I really enjoyed the breakfast and is one of the best breakfasts I have had at a hotel. 

However one criticism, was the quality of the coffee, which was standard filter coffee, and not very good. I would have appreciated better coffee to go with such an excellent breakfast.

Excellent Eggs

Up in Manchester I joined a colleague for breakfast at the Federal Cafe Bar.

I really liked the atmosphere. We found a table and I went to the counter to order a coffee. Having had some toast at my hotel I only wanted the coffee.

My colleague with the Turkish Eggs. Two free range poached eggs on whipped garlic yoghurt with hot chilli butter and za’atar and served with sourdough toast.

Excellent Eggs

It looked amazing and my colleague said the eggs were excellent.

I had a great flat white.

Later I decided to go back there for a coffee, only to find the place full and no free seats. Well maybe next time I am in Manchester I will return for a coffee or even breakfast.

Brunch time

I had taken my car in for some work and had an hour or so to kill. The original plan was for me and my son to go and have breakfast at the Brunello Lounge, something we had enjoyed recently for his birthday.

Having dropped the car off and walked to the Lounge, we were a little too early having arrived before it opened. So we went for a walk along the seafront. I was reminded of Revo, a restaurant that had opened in what was the old aquarium. I made the suggestion that maybe we could try there for breakfast for a change? Decision was made and we walked over to Revo and went inside. It was rather empty, but it was an early morning in September, but we were given a warm welcome and we had a wide choice about where we could sit, so we chose a table by the window. 

We looked over the menu, there was quite a choice. My son went with the Revo Breakfast, myself I decided to have steak and eggs. Two fried eggs on a 28 day aged bavette steak, wilted spinach and finished with a homemade chimichurri sauce. Not something I would probably usually have for breakfast, but it did sound quite nice. I was asked if I wanted my steak rare or well done (no opportunity for medium) so, and I like it that way, went with rare.

It took a little time for our breakfasts to arrive, which for me was a good sign, in that they were cooking them fresh to order.

Both dishes looked great.

I really enjoyed my steak and eggs. I think I might have liked some bread to go with it (not toast). However the steak was nicely cooked and had a good flavour. The bavette cut can have quite a strong flavour and it worked well with the eggs and spinach. The chimichurri cut through the dish in a pleasant way, though I have to say I did not eat all the sliced chilli in the dish (this was breakfast).

The breakfast looked really tasty, however the sausages were a little pink and the poached eggs were somewhat overcooked and rubbery. However my son didn’t want to complain, which was his prerogative.

The food was mainly excellent, the service friendly and warm. Not amazing value for money, but still a nice brunch and amazing views over the beach and the sea.

Birthday Breakfast at the Brunello

I have been to the Brunello Lounge before on the seafront at Weston-super-Mare, though mainly for coffee. We did go there for a Christmas Eve breakfast back in December 2019 (though I didn’t write about it).

The Brunello Lounge is one of a range of lounges across the South West. They all have their own names, the one in Gloucester is the Portivo for example. They have a pretty eccentric decor, where we sat in the Brunello there was a huge soviet era painting of Lenin on the wall. I actually quite like the eccentricity of the decor.

We were celebrating a birthday, so we headed out to the Brunello Lounge. We were given a nice warm welcome and we looked over the menu. One of the things I like about the Brunello Lounge is that their gluten free menu is extensive and wide ranging. No limited choices here, the menu is nearly as wide at the “normal” menu.

We looked over, and we made our choices. I went with the muffin with bacon, sausage and a fried egg.

We placed our orders at the bar, gave our table number and waited.

We didn’t have to wait long and the breakfasts arrived.

They were eaten with gusto and I enjoyed my muffin. The sausages were excellent, but I found the bacon a little too salty, probably because it was slightly overcooked compared to how I like my bacon.

Everyone enjoyed their breakfasts.

Time for a Breakfast Bagel

Breakfast Bagel

Over the last week or so (and not every day) I have been treating myself to a home-made breakfast bagel. What even surprised me was how quickly I could cook this before starting work. It certainly helps I don’t need to commute to the office, but even if I did, I am pretty sure I could still cook this, clean the pans and dishes and put them away before heading out.

I take a small frying pan for the bacon and an even smaller frying pan for the fried egg.

Heat on both and then add a little sunflower oil to the bacon pan and more to the little frying pan to ensure that the entire cooking surface of the pan is covered.

Into the larger pan, place two rashes of folded back bacon. I used some oak smoked dry cured air dried back bacon rashers from Sainsburys.

bacon

What I liked about the bacon, was that as it was dry cured, it cooked easily in the frying pan without losing lots of liquid that standard supermarket bacon does. If I only had the standard stuff then I would probably grill it, however that takes longer, as I have to wait until the grill warms up.

So having folded the rashers and placed them in the hot frying pan. I crack the free range egg and fry them in the small frying pan.

I then slice the bagel and put it in the toaster.

When I started doing this I used some New York Bakery Co. Bagels, however I also tried and liked the New York Bakery Co. Sourdough Deli Bagels.

I also quite liked the M&S Sourdough Bagels as well.

While the bagel is toasting turn the bacon to ensure it is thoroughly cooked. I also baste the fried egg to speed up the cooking time.

Once the bagel has finished toasting, place the bottom half on a plate, add the rashers of bacon, add the egg. I also like to add a slice of (processed) cheese and then top with the top half of the bagel. You could add sauce if you like that kind of thing.

Better late than never…

Back in December 2019 I was staying at the Taplow House Hotel in Maidenhead. I had chose the hotel in the main as it was cheaper than some London hotels, also parking was available. 

I had not eaten at the hotel the evening, as It was late when I arrived at the hotel. I had left leaving for the hotel much later than I had planned. So I had eaten at home and when I arrived, it was basically make myself a cup of tea, read and then get some sleep. I had a really nice classic room.

I had to be in central London in the morning, so I wanted an early start. I got myself washed and dressed and went down to breakfast. However they weren’t quite ready, so I had to wait outside, as it took the staff ages to open the dining room for breakfast. 

Once in I was ready to place my breakfast order, but this didn’t happen very fast and then a little longer for it to arrive at my table. So I was a little rushed, but having said all that it was a really nice breakfast.

The bacon was nice and thick, the sausage was meaty and tasty. The fried bread was done right, but my poached egg was overcooked. I also enjoyed the mushrooms, tomatoes and black pudding.

However I didn’t really enjoy the breakfast as much as I would like, as I was rushing. I much prefer a more relaxing breakfast.

I left the hotel about 30 minutes later than I wanted to, so I hit traffic on my way into London. It took me slightly longer as a result to get to the Westfield Centre, park and then catch the tube to central London for the event where I was presenting at an event. In the end I was just on time! I missed the start of the event, but was on time to present my piece and listen to some others as well.