Sunday, 18 January 2015

The hotel with the mostest (granolas)

Four granolas and one muesli! Titchwell Manor in Norfolk not only has gorgeous views over the marshes and is in a fantastic spot for beach walks, bird spotting and general North Norfolky-ness, but also has the most impressive selection of homemade granolas. Hat's off...

Monday, 1 December 2014

Savoury bread and butter pudding with maple cured bacon

Savoury bread and butter pudding recipe here, and for the maple cure bacon, just drizzle maple syrup over bacon then grill...

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Breakfast included: Briery Wood, Windermere, Lake District

Every now again a hotel comes along that is just lovely, lovely, lovely.

We stayed at Briery Wood to do the Great North Swim. One of these brutish, outdoor, charity challenges that is very much in vogue at the moment (but very much less difficult than running an ultra marathon in the desert or doing an 'iron man', but still very fun and rewarding as we completed it for a fantastic cause, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust).

So, given that a chilly one-mile crawl was coming up, we needed a breakfast that didn't disappoint, and with fry-up most definitely off the menu, we wanted something wholesome and filling but not trouser-splittingly gluttonous.

Surroundings: The hotel overlooks Lake Windermere and is a 15-minute walk to it's shoreline or up to the town. It is set in its own pretty gardens with huge mature trees including a gorgeous monkey puzzle. The dining room tables are set out for each room or party in a rather quaint English holiday hotel kind of way - ours had a high chair for Mini ML. There are glass doors out to the garden and forgettable but homely decor. The lovely part was the staff - friendly, young and helpful, as well as the superb quality food.

Buffet: The usual cereals including a tasty muesli, pots of yoghurts, stewed prunes and fresh fruits including grapefruit and kiwi, were on offer as well as juices, teas and coffee plus freshly baked pastries. A cut-above the average hotel with a distinct absence of lots of sugary cereals and pallid fruit.

Hot stuff: Porridge was a welcome offering - we said yes to the cream and brown sugar, but there was also a substantial fry-up, poached or scrambled eggs cooked fresh to order and freshly ground coffee. Nothing earth shattering in terms of originality, but good quality ingredients and sound cooking.

Details:, Ambleside Rd, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1ES; tel. 015394 33316

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Breakfast included: Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

I'm going to nominate the 'Manoir' for an award. They may have a windowsill in the reception (a very large window sill) that's already groaning with the weight of silverware, but I'm sure they wouldn't sniff at another one... best hotel breakfast... There... said it.

It's just the most delectable and broad and fresh and inch-perfect breakfast I've encountered.

The Muesli's were there for a treat (mais oui) and were probably the only guests who were more excited about the breakfast than the supper... and lordy it didn't disappoint.

Surroundings: The Manoir is an elegant Cotswold stone manor, draped in tumbling greenery and surrounded by magical gardens, trees and the neatest veggie patch you'll ever come across. It has 32 bedrooms in the main house and courtyard and has two Michelin stars, which makes it a place for special occasions for couples, families and the odd business person(s).

Buffet: Extensive! Exquisitely chopped and labelled fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, freshly squeezed orange, grapefruit and pomegranate juices, homemade granola bars, bircher muesli, yoghurt, cereals, freshly baked bread, pastries billowing out of baskets, and little lines of thin-cut ham and cheese. With eyes bulging bigger than stomachs, it's hard to know where to start.

Hot stuff: The menu was unusual in its simplicity - fry-up, kippers, eggs Benedict... very little Michelin innovation aside from a smoked halibut with spinach, poached egg and a mustard sauce. At first ML was a little disappointed, wanting foams and fuss and breakfast couture... but then, the Manoir isn't about that, even at supper. The food is fresh, wholesome and colourful, with perfect cooking and exquisite assembly, and all of those things were true of the breakfast dishes. I just hope the Muesli's can think of another occasion special enough to pop back...


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Mini Muesli Lover's breakfast spread

Non-parents may wish to look away in disgust and continue sipping their flat white over the newspaper... Operation nappy fill is underway at the ML household after days of straining.

Consequently, Mini ML is being offered all manner of digestion-enhancing goodies - fig, oranges, orange juice, raspberry and pear whizzed up with yoghurt and some milky baby cereal... Fingers crossed it does the job.