Daylesford Farm near Kingham is not only one of our favourite places for organic food shopping it is also a splendid place to eat. Today, after a night in Stratford-upon-Avon, we are heading there for breakfast.
Good quality coffee is important and it is superb here. Rock has a standard flat white and I have a large cappuccino. Now we are very much in the mood for food. I order the farmhouse breakfast – sausage, streaky bacon, fried eggs, tomato, mushrooms, toast & black pudding. Everything is really high quality, almost everything is organic – the bacon and black pudding are both excellent.
Rock is trying something different – one of the supercharged breakfast dishes created by the Daylesford nutritionist! Fennel, orange & ginger radiance tea poached pears, coconut yoghurt, mint and toasted walnuts. Rock is really enjoying the mix of delicate flavours that all combine beautifully together.
That has well and truly set us up for the morning ahead. Now for some serious food shopping!
A great cheese counter filled with carefully selected cheeses and staffed by people who really know a lot about the goods they are selling. You can taste before you buy and you are unlikely to be disappointed. Introduced us to Black Cheddar! Beadlam Review
Mannion & Co, Helmsley – best coffee and cake
Beautiful coffee and fabulous, freshly baked artisan made cakes. The cakes are often decorated with fresh fruit and interesting herbs that put them on a level above the competition. Mannion & Co also gave us the best pasta dish of 2017! Mannion Review
Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House – best attached tea room
Usually when we visit an historic house and/or gardens the cafe or tea room seems to be only there to provide basic sustenance. However at Blackwell they have an Arts & Crafts approach to food with a focus on quality, freshly prepared dishes. We loved it! Blackwell Review
Here’s hoping that 2018 gives us as much food joy as 2017!
One of our favourite breakfast haunts is Soulshine in Bridport. They produce great coffee and juices and cater for carnivores, vegetarians and vegans with produce from local, organic suppliers. We are here again with Neko & Ziggy.
This morning we all have coffee – some cappuccino, some flat white, some Americano. Ziggy has oat milk with hers. The excellent house blend comes from Extract Coffee Roasters. I have the full English cooked breakfast – sausage, bacon, mushrooms, a poached egg, tomatoes, homemade beans, toast & butter. Everything is really good – though the poached egg yolk is firmer than I like!
Neko and Ziggy both have the vegetarian breakfast – two poached eggs (also too firm), plus a sweet potato fritter instead of the bacon & sausage. Rock has the vegan breakfast with spinach and sesame & sunflower seeds instead of the poached eggs.
We all love the friendly, laid back atmosphere in Soulshine so, after we finish our coffee and our breakfast, we order two pots of English breakfast tea. I also have a very good pain au chocolat.
This cafe in Lechlade has a relaxed friendly atmosphere. It is owned by Australian, Rob Broadbent, who makes an extraordinary flat white for Rock and an equally beautiful cappucino for me. Great coffee makes a great start to any breakfast. Can the food match the coffee?
We don’t have to wait long to find out – even though every item is freshly cooked. I have scrambled eggs on sourdough toast with smoked salmon. It is sensational but, at first, I can’t exactly work out why. Then, I taste the bacon sandwich that Rock has ordered and is raving about between mouthfuls. Now I understand – it is the bread!
The bread is made by Max Abbott of Sourdough Revolution. His bread is the lightest sourdough I have ever tasted and it is full of flavour. Max is in the cafe while we are there and takes the time to chat to us about his baking process. Indeed, it’s all about time with Max – his starter goes through stages of fermentation and then his dough is fermented before being put in the fridge for several hours. In effect, each loaf takes days from starter to baking!
While chatting I try a pot of the tea. Only because I’m aiming to linger here for as long as possible. The tea is very good but it does not reach the standard set by the coffee.
Just in case I have not made myself clear – the bacon on Rock’s sandwich is fantastic and the smoked salmon on my plate is equally fabulous. In any normal breakfast – these would be the stars of the show. But this is not normal, here the coffee and the bread outshine all the other stars – Lynwood & Co is simply on another level!
I’m with Rock & Neko and it is the morning after the final night of the World Athletics Championships. We had an exhilarating time at the Olympic Stadium and now we are going to try and find a breakfast worthy of the podium. We are heading to The Black Penny on the edge of Covent Garden.
The fastest way for any breakfast to get off the starting blocks is with a great coffee. We order three flat whites and study the menu. The coffee soon arrives together with a jug of mint-infused water. The menu has something for most people – traditional & vegetarian cooked breakfasts, hashes, breakfast buns, porridge, mueslis and juices. All dishes are freshly cooked to order.
Neko sprints toward The Gatherer – The Black Penny’s breakfast plate for vegetarians: eggs how you like them (Neko asks for poached); sourdough toast; grilled halloumi; sautéed baby spinach; roasted tomatoes; mushrooms; and Black Penny baked beans. Neko has a huge appetite – he really loves the quality of the breakfast but he is slightly disappointed that the quantity makes the eating experience more middle distance than a marathon.
Rock’s appetite will only take her round one lap of the track but she is going for gold. She loves her poached eggs on sourdough toast, served with a side of smoked salmon… which is good because any place that serves her poor poached eggs or poor smoked salmon is definitely for the high jump.
The relay baton has been passed to me and I find myself unable to resist The Hunter. Poached eggs, sourdough toast, grilled sausage, smoked bacon, roast tomatoes, mushrooms and Black Penny baked beans. The beans are quite fiery and, while I love the taste, they do overpower everything else on the plate.
The Black Penny has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere enhanced by modern soul music. Service is very good and the quality of the coffee and food is excellent. Neko may have a slight issue on quantity and I may forego the baked beans next time but, overall, this was definitely a medal winning performance.
It’s the morning of our flight and our normal breakfast stop at Heathrow, Plane Food, is closed for refurbishment. So, we decide to try breakfast with a touch of Japanese influence at Wagamama.
The menu reads like a pleasing confusion of British, Japanese and other international influences and we are fascinated as we watch a variety of plates and bowls being served to other tables. It is also good to see an open kitchen with dishes being freshly cooked to order.
We ask Katarzyna, who is looking after us, a few questions about the menu and then start with juice but… its not going to be a simple OJ. Rock selects Fruit a mix of apple, orange and passionfruit juice. But, after last night’s curry I need a Super Green – a combination of apple, mint, celery and lime. I am quite excited – it is very different to anything I’ve had at breakfast before and it’s very good.
I fall back to tradition next and Wagamama’s version of the English Breakfast – back bacon, sausages, grilled tomato, wilted spinach, sautéed sweet potato, shiitake mushrooms and poached eggs. My sausages are not cooked enough for my taste but they whisk them back to the kitchen and then back to me without any fuss. The dish has many great notes of familiarity but also some magical notes of international flavour.
Meanwhile, Rock is being a little more adventurous and having the bacon roti wrap. A thai flatbread filled with spinach, bacon, a nori omelette and sriracha (hot chilli) ketchup. It is wildy different from a bacon roll and she loves it.
Overall, the service from Katarzyna and others has been excellent and so has the food. This won’t be the last time we land at Wagamama!
Quay Ingredient is a small, independently run coffee house tucked underneath the Tyne Bridge near the picturesque Quayside area of Newcastle. We’ve heard it is one of the best places in Newcastle for breakfast – so we are here to find out if it is.
One of the regional specialities is the Craster kipper and this seems like a good time to have one. My enormous kipper comes with two beautifully poached eggs, each lightly dusted with black pepper and with plenty of toast. Rock goes for another speciality of the North-East, the stottie. Her breakfast stottie is buttered and filled with bacon, to which she adds ketchup. She loves it. We both have an excellent coffee – they use Gama Espresso from Matthew Algie.
The place is packed but the service is friendly and efficient. The food is all high quality and freshly cooked. What a great start to the day!