Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Recipease, Notting Hill, London

London has breakfast deserts... and not always where one would expect... like Notting Hill. There's overpriced vintage, cupcakes, and Underground t-shirts galore, but a decent breakfast spot has alluded this place for some time... so where do the tourists looking for Hugh Grant's bookshop go for their pancakes and coffee?

Well, it may not be cute and independent and quirky like the Travel Bookshop, but Recipease does a decent breakfast and is a friendly, light and airy spot.

Massive windows look down over Notting Hill's road junction, with tables arranged around a central open kitchen. Downstairs is the shop and cooking school, while upstairs the bright, chunky interior continues.

It's not the easiest place with a buggy, but Mini Muesli Lover was happy to park her ride downstairs for breakfast upstairs (high chair and baby change boxes ticked). She found the service smiley and suitably gooey over her ga ga's.

The menu is appealing - muesli and yoghurt, coulis with fruit (£5.95), freshly made bread (which we were offered to try courtesy of a baking class downstairs). Then there's options like a bacon and egg sarnie (£4.50) and croque madame (£6.95), as well as the breakfast zeitgeist, 'smashed' avocado on toast (£6.95), with the addition or Worcestershire sauce... must try that one at home.

We ordered the scrambled egg with smoked salmon, vegetarian breakfast (both £8.95), mango lassi and strawberry tart (non alcoholic cocktail) (both £4). We also got the full works (pictured above) by mistake.

All were superb - fresh, attractively presented and well prepared, and with Jamie Oliver quirks, like tortilla and home-made beans with tomato on the full 'fry-ups'. The prices are at the upper end, but justified by the quality of food and the location. And finally, there's somewhere decent to go for breakfast in W11, it may not be as quirky as Mr Grant, but it's got the mass appeal of his schmaltzy movies...

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Apple cake for breakfast? Only in Amsterdam...

Muesli Lover guest poster and super chef, Becca, introduced us to her favourite café for apple cake, Café Winkel, in Noordermarkt, a pretty square that hosts a superb Saturday market of food and bric-a-brac.

We assured ourselves that the high fruit content made the cake an acceptable brunch dish (that and the fact that everyone else was ordering it). Squirty cream is non-negotiable...

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Recipe: avocado and berry smoothie

This was a bit of a store cupboard/freezer job as Mr Muesli Lover and Mini Muesli Lover had eaten the last banana... so invention reigned.

Ingredients per person
Tbspn Oats
Tbspn Ground Flax
Half an avocado
Half handful of frozen blueberries
Half handful of mixed exotic fruits (melon, papaya and mango)
Tspn Manuka Honey
Half pint of milk or soy milk (with more to thin out if preferred)

Whizz up for a satisfying and healthy smoothie. Not a bad hangover cure too if you can resist a bacon sarnie.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Gratuitous breakfast shot

Muesli Lover regular haunt Kitchen Table - still serving the best scrambled egg in town (and stunningly sweet and tangy roasted tomatoes, with somehow perfectly ripe avocado every time and crispy bacon with doughy toast). Yom.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Best cafes: Giraffe, Belsize Park

Since Mini Muesli Lover came along, the ML family has changed the criteria for the weekend breakfast spot. Door width, size of toilet, density of diners, understanding of diners... all come before availability of sweetcorn fritters and/or ability of the barista. Oh times have changed.

And so it was that we found ourselves in Giraffe, a place that I once loved but lost its lustre over the years - something to do with lots of outlets and a rubbish fry-up at Heathrow.

Mr ML had the omelette and ML had the avocado and humous (mini was still on a strict liquid diet at the time). Both were superb - fresh, colourful, appetisingly presented and tasty. All importantly, the place was packed with babies, toddlers and kids, once anathema to the MLs and now a relaxing backdrop to our own off-spring's dulcet tones. 

So, Giraffe, you're back... all is forgiven.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Best cafes: De Koffie Salon, Amsterdam

There are all kinds of coffee shops in Amsterdam. De Koffie Salon isn't one of those coffee shops, it brings relief in the form of caffeine (and saccharine treats).

There are pastries, exceptionally good coffees, and a gorgeous huge coffee machine. The furniture is very Scandi, and all of it is for sale. There's just one more thing to add... coffee.... caramel.... wafer...

Details: There are five outlets in Amsterdam, open from 7am

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Green, eggs and ham

A sleight of punctuation to distinguish me from Dr Seuss, but a cracking brunch dish all the same. Apple smoked ham, buttery seeded toast fingers, soft boiled eggs and baby spinach leaf salad with chopped steamed butternut squash (kindly donated by Mini Muesli Lover).