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.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Special? K granola...

Although Muesli Lover wasn't exactly beating the Kelloggs' door down to try the Special K granola that launched this summer, ML was intrigued. With so many commercial granolas on the market that are sugary and fatty, one that claimed to be healthier was an inviting prospect.

And I have to say, this one impressed. It was crunchy and wholesome tasting with no clusters, but satisfying oats, spelt, rye, pumpkin seeds and almonds. There was a generous sprinkling of cranberries and seeds. It's still 7.7g sugars/45g portion, which is middling to low for a granola, but still means this should not be an every day cereal...

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Best cafes: Mill Lane Bistro, London NW6

When Bar 77 changed hands to become the Mill Lane Bistro, stakes were high. A relaxed wine bar with the world's best humous was a ML favourite (although evidently, we, along with the rest of NW6, didn't visit often enough...).  But in the hands of a friendly couple, one of whom, Cyril, a Frenchman who has been a manager at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris and Scott’s in Mayfair, and with rave reviews swiftly ensuing, we needn't have worried.

And finally, we made it to breakfast there (but only in time for it to announce it's closure shortly afterwards, but more of that later...

The menu is succinct and more than a little French, rather like the evening menu (snails, duck and garlic galore...). We had the croque Madame and eggs Benedict. Both were superb - swiftly served, hot, fresh, colourful and the yolks were perfectly gooey. The coffee was decent too and the bread crisply toasted... It's only a shame we hadn't made it sooner.

So, three years in and Cyril is moving 'to bigger and better things in NW London'... (at the time of writing...), we wait with baited breath...

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Waffle On the menu for brunch

Muesli Lover gets terribly excited on discovering a new food market, and Maltby Street was no let down. It's on Ropewalk in Bermondsey, south east London, and has so many brunch goodies, it's hard to know where to start... Bloody Mary's from Little Bird Gin would be my recommendation, smartly followed up with a waffle from Waffle On.

The stall is run by waffle enthusiasts Eddie and Bettina. Dry cure bacon and biodynamic egg or maple syrup is the obvious brunch choice, but I couldn't resist the slow-cooked duck, above, with homemade plum sauce.

The portion size is generous, but the waffles are light with a crispy edge, leaving plenty of room for one of the sweet waffles...

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.