A bizarre breakfast

Not going out to eat over the last three months has meant that I’ve had no meals or dishes to blog about. I have caught up with some recent meals, but have now been going back further into my photo library to see if there were dishes and meals that I may have not blogged about. One of these was a breakfast, which was not amazing!

In August of 2019 (only last year) we went to Brittany in France for our summer holiday. We took the ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg before driving down to a Eurocamp close to Dol-de-Bretagne.

Though the weather wasn’t that great, we did have a nice holiday.

We drove down to Portsmouth to catch the morning ferry. I hoped we could have breakfast at the port, but the process was very much queue up for passport control and then board the ship.

We were catching the fast ferry, the Normandie Express. It is a high-speed catamaran cruise ferry, owned and operated by Brittany Ferries.

The car deck was packed with cars and we scrambled through to the passenger deck.

Knowing that everyone was hungry we went straight to the café to get some breakfast and avoid any queuing or no seating.

I was anticipating something rather special, as I had seem this video on the Brittany Ferries website.

The menu looked a little bit strange, but I ordered some croissants, a few cooked breakfasts as well as some gluten free rolls. Oh and of course some coffee!

The breakfast looked like this!

There was some bacon, sausages, scrambled egg and bizarrely mashed potato!

It was an interesting experience, not one I would want to repeat. The sausages were fine, the egg was passable, however the mashed potato was just bizarre and the bacon did not taste like bacon.

The croissants were okay, fluffy and the French butter was very tasty. As for the gluten free rolls, well they were not very nice.

I think this could have been so much better and it was a bit of a flat start to our holiday. One of the reasons I wanted to go to France was for the food.

The breakfast was completely forgotten about though once we reached the open sea, as the water was very choppy and there were strong winds.

The day before the service had actually been cancelled due to the weather, and though the wind was not as strong as the day before, the waves were still there and it was a very rough crossing.

We had a lovely holiday and some great food. On the way back, we took a homemade packed lunch!

Coffee and Pistachio Croissant

On one of my last visits to London I stopped for a coffee on the way to the office, to check e-mail and catch up on other stuff.

I had been meaning for a while to try out the Sourced Market on Wigmore Street in Westminster. Before I didn’t have the time, or there was too much of a queue and I hate queuing…

This time, I had the time, and there was no queue, even though it was crowded. I was going to just have a flat white, but liked the look of the Pistachio Croissant, so I got one of those as well.

Sourced Market has a basement, it was quieter so I was down there (and could still get a 4G signal).

The coffee was excellent, and maybe a little too sweet for me, I did still enjoy the croissant.

Certainly if I ever get back to London and it’s open, I will go again.

Nice coffee

Wanting a coffee and somewhere to sit to do some work, I wanted to try something other than the usual high street chains such as Costa and Caffe Nero. The 58 High Street branch of Taylors in Oxford, looked nice and inviting, and the sign said they had seating inside. Great I thought, time for coffee.

I asked for a flat white and a croissant, which was part of a morning offer. Alas it was only after I ordered that I realised that the so called seating was in fact some stools at the back of the shop. The coffee was going to come in a paper cup, rather than china, and the croissant in a paper bag! Not quite what I wanted or was expecting. I had to ask if they had butter for the croissant, they gave me margarine… that isn’t butter.

The service was excellent, very friendly, warm and welcoming. Not over the top, nor in your face. You were made to feel welcome and important to them as a customer and then they ensured you knew what was happening and when. This is important if you are unsure of the process of ordering, receiving and other stuff with coffee.

So I got out the laptop and got working, the coffee was actually rather good, and the croissant was fresh.

I think this is an ideal place for takeaway, but isn’t a place to sit and do stuff whilst drinking coffee.

I would like a croissant please

Croissants

Without looking where do you think it costs more to buy a single croissant, Tesco or Marks and Spencers?

You know that by asking that very question that the answer has to be Marks and Spencers don’t you.

The other morning I was on my way into work when I stopped off to buy some skimmed milk for my coffee at work. I popped into the local Tesco Express (or are they called Tesco Metro) and picked up a two pint bottle. I looked at the date, it looked familiar and realised that the date was that day’s date. A quick check across the shelf, and all the other bottles had the same short date on them. So leaving the milk I decided to go somewhere else, I had been considering buying a croissant at 80 pence but thought not as I was in a bit of a hurry.

I walked down to Marks and Spencers to get my milk and was pleasantly surprised to see that their loose croissants were only 69 pence. They also looked a lot nicer and fresher than the ones from Tesco.

I was surprised as I wasn’t expecting Marks and Spencers to be cheaper, but was pleased that they were. Oh and before you ask the milk was the same price.

Caffè Paradiso

On a recent visit to London, I was on Store Street in Camden when I decided I wanted to get a coffee and do some work. The Caffè Paradiso was one of many coffee shops close by, but I chose it, partly as it had free wifi, but mainly as it looked like it served decent coffee.

Well the wifi was free and reasonably fast. The coffee was also really good. I also had a plain croissant and it took a while to get some butter. Though the croissant was fresh, it tasted a little too much of almond as though it had been stored too close to the almond croissants.

What I like about these independent coffee shops is they have character and soul. They have a personality which is missing from the high street chains. Of course the reason why high street chains are successful is that they appear to offer consistency and reliability. Though generally I have had excellent coffee from most independent places I have been to, I have on the odd occasion been disappointed. I think this is the reason why people sometimes are a little bit wary of independence and go with a chain. Of course in some places you have no choice and you can only go to a chain. Regular readers of this blog will know from my posts on coffee that chains, which should be consistent can sometimes disappoint. So the next time I am in the area I will hopefully have a repeat visit to Caffè Paradiso for some excellent coffee.

Coffee and Croissant

Wanting a break whilst shopping recently we went to Patisserie Valerie for coffee and cakes.

The coffee was very nice, and for a change from many coffee places not in a huge vat of a mug, but more of a cup. I had an americano and it was very nice.

Time for coffee

If you are use to the Venti sized coffee servings that you get at Starbucks or Costa you would be disappointed. But for me the quality of the coffee was good and that to be honest is what really counts, not the quantity of coffee. My wife had a filter coffee and she enjoyed that.

There was a wide choice of cakes and I was tempted by many different varities. In the end I went with the almond croissant.

Croissant

It did taste of almonds, the almond paste was not overdone, though I would have liked more almonds on top and slightly less icing sugar. As for the other cakes, the toasted teacake was according to my son “not very nice” and having had a bite I had to agree. Something not quite right about it. However my daughter was overwhelmed by her huge plain croissant, so much so we had to get some more butter for it, which came quickly and with a smile. The waitress even offered to bring a bag if we couldn’t finish it; it was that large. My wife enjoyed her cinnamon danish pastry and I didn’t get a look in for a bite, even though I offered her a bit of my almond croissant.

With free wifi it’s a nice place to sit and work over a coffee, though as we found a nice place to take a break. The service was efficient and quick, and certainly so much better than the Café Rouge next door.