berdoulat & breakfast
A Georgian townhouse stylishly revamped by architect Patrick Williams and his Istanbul-born wife, Neri, is full of individual charm, from the Linley Suite’s cast-iron circular bath and four-poster, poached from a castle, to the Elder Suite’s exposed stone fireplace and book-binding press. A grandfather clock keeps watch over breakfast, which is served family-style around Patrick’s childhood dining table in the guesthouse’s open plan kitchen/dining room. Sip on Turkish coffee straight from Istanbul and pick up culinary tips from Neri as she prepares her speciality, a Full Turkish breakfast made with locally-sourced produce – think marinated olives, honey-drizzled ewe’s milk cheeses from Homewood Farm (crisp fried halloumi and fresh feta), fresh tomato salad with juicy pomegranate seeds, parsley and local fruit and veg plus delicate homemade bogrek (cigar-shaped deep-fried filo pastry filled with herbs and feta). Dip soldiers made with freshly delivered sourdough from The Thoughtful Bread Company into a ramekin of baked eggs with sage and a sprinkling of zata’ar. Let breakfast digest while you perch on a Hepplewhite sofa in the guesthouse’s library and browse its collection of 5,000 Penguin books.
This contemporary seven-bedroom b&b in Edinburgh is all high ceilings and Victorian tiles, as well as some very contemporary indulgences – an honesty bar, espresso machine and a warm, enthusiastic welcome from owners Paul Lightfoot and John MacEwan.
Freshly prepared breakfasts using local produce are enjoyed in the building’s light and airy conservatory overlooking a walled garden. Paul’s healthy daily specials are the real pull here, and with his twenty-or-so dish repertoire you will certainly wish you were staying an extra night. Think spicy sweetcorn and cheese pancakes with caramelised banana (more healthy than they sound!), hot Loch Fyne smoked salmon potato cakes rolled in oatmeal and breadcrumbs with poached eggs and hollandaise, or Paul’s tricolore breakfast salad of organic Scottish vine tomatoes, avocado and mozzarella with basil oil and crispy bacon. Paul has also made a mark among regulars with his changing menu of homemade compotes, served with home-baked granola and natural yoghurt – star anise and cinnamon-scented plum, Scottish raspberries and rhubarb, and William pear with blackberries are a few of the seasonally-changing flavours. And if you need to rush off early there’s no missing out as Paul with pack you up a breakfast bento box crammed with homemade granola bars and compotes, smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels and more. Paul also caters well for those with dietary requests, happy to whip up a range of vegan dishes, for example.
A homely b&b in the Northumberland countryside, Loaf BB is a haven for vegans – expect vegan treats on arrival, organic cruelty-free toiletries, and a breakfast to write home about on the complimentary holiday postcards. Go the ‘full veggie’ with homemade veggie sausages, chickpea patties and tofu-veggie scramble along with mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and beans. Or plump for a vegan sausage sarnie made with local relish and homemade bread. For those with a sweet tooth, try homemade pancakes heaped with berries and a drizzle of date syrup or homemade bread with Papa Len marmalade. Or, if you want something a bit lighter, there’s everything from fruit, nut and cereal sharing platters to fruity overnight oats, breakfast oaty smoothies and porridge with vegan cream. As you’d expect there’s a range of non-dairy milks to pour into your morning cuppa. Or just drink in the view as you relax in the airy conservatory, looking out onto the garden and spotting hares, rabbits, pheasants and garden birds.
A zero carbon b&b may not sound the most promising place for a slap-up breakfast but this hilltop eco retreat outside Lewes is surprisingly chic, with a focus on well-being. Healthy smoothie bowls are the breakfast speciality here, and they’re full of superfoods to provide a nutritious start to the day. Go for a vitamin C-packed yellow sunshine bowl (fresh mango, pineapple, orange and banana), a blend of fresh berries sweetened with vanilla bean essence (the red berry blast bowl) or an antioxidant-rich green super vitality bowl (green apple, green grape, kiwi, banana, cucumber and spinach). All smoothie bowls are topped with colourful ingredients such as coconut, raspberries, goji berries, bee pollen, chia seeds and figs, and served with creamy Greek-style natural yoghurt. You can also enjoy fresh bread from local Flint Owl bakery and homemade preserves, while gluten-free bread and cereals along with dairy-free butter and milks are available on request.
Pullman St Pancras
You might breakfast like a king when it comes to your stomach but have you ever started your day by feeding your brain? In January you can, at Pullman London St Pancras, which is launching an ‘intelligent breakfast’ menu in partnership with Honestly Healthy founder Natasha Corrett. Choose between two energising smoothies – a blend of spinach, papaya, pear with chia, flax seeds and spirulina or an acai smoothie made with bananas, cucumber, mango and acai powder, and garnished with bee pollen for extra crunch. Brain-enhancing mains dishes include omega-3-packed chia and turmeric omelette, green teff pancakes with kefi yoghurt and mushrooms. New healthy additions to the breakfast buffet are available to pick and choose from – think iron- and fibre-boosting teff and millet soda bread, sugar-free banana and coconut oil muffins or plum and kuzu compote with Bircher muesli.
Written by Alex Crossley
First published December 2015
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