the most delicious breakfasts imaginable must be scrambled eggs with smoked salmon — either served with thin crisp brown toast, or home made oatcakes, also thin and crisp.
The nostalgia the British feel for the traditional breakfast - and its reputation abroad — is borne out by the lavishness
with which it is served in hotels. Even scones, cold meats. cheeses. nine
different fruit compotes — pear. rhubarb, apricot or whatever is in season, freshly squeezed juices including prune and carrot for the health conscious, bowls of dried ﬂakes and grains and fruits and nuts for D.l.Y. muesli. ponidge with whisky cream. hot rolls, Danish pastries. Aberdeen butteries, cheese scones and innumerable preserves. If this is not enough. there is the a la carte menu
’ offering everything from kippers to steaks. and six chefs loitering in the kitchen ready to pander to every whim. Guests have been known to ask for a glass of raw eggs and milk. an omelette made from egg whites only and. perish the thought, peanut butter. The Hilton also prides itself on being able to present an authentic Japanese breakfast. Apparently this is ordered just as often by curious natives as it is by the Japanese businessmen for whom it was devised. It consists of miso soup with tofu. grilled salmon. steamed vegetables and rice. nori seaweed. layered omelette rolls. pickled ginger and radishes and green tea.
There doesn’t seem anything particularly breakfasty about that. and it is interesting that in many countries. India and China for example. the ﬁrst meal of the day is just a lighter version of the standard diet - dhal and chappatis perhaps or rice and thin soup or stock. However. Britain is by no means the only country to make a fuss about breakfast. The traditional desayuno in Costa Rica is gallo pinto. literally speckled cockerel. but in fact previously cooked black beans and rice fried together with chopped onions and sprinkled with fresh coriander. It is often served con huevos revueltos or scrambled eggs. which makes a wonderful brunch. Another nation which really knows about good breakfasts is Turkey. The bread there is delicious — like French. only with a softer crust and finer middle. and with it come feta cheese. sliced fresh plum tomatoes. black olives. yoghurt. fragrant. liquid honey, wickedly strong coffee and. in season. huge. juicy peaches.
As for the USA. well. it might have a bone to pick with Dr Johnson about the superiority of the Scottish breakfast — if it wasn't too busy tucking in to wafﬂes and maple syrup and mufﬁns. Brunch. as such. was after all born there and the States are host to all-you-can-eat extravagazas that make the Hilton‘s look modest. Having said that, the most delicious breakfast I had in the States was a bowl of home made muesli with enormous fresh blackberries and half and half (cream and milk) plus a mug of black coffee ﬂavoured with vanilla and chocolate. And. just to bring this meander around breakfast full circle (as they do), it was of course. the US
which gave us cereal: comﬂakes. grape nuts - no doubt spaceship shaped shreddies will be landing in our bowls soon . . .
Equipped with a Sunday newspaper and a hearty appetite, Clare Lawler explores the expanding Glasgow and Edinburgh brunch scene.
fﬁe ST. STEPHEN STREET STOCKBRIDGE EDINBURGH
I Bay Tree Gate 403 Great Western Road, 334 5898. A cafe that can always be relied upon for excellent and interesting home-cooked vegetarian dishes. the Bay Tree’s Sunday brunch is no exception. Full (but meat-free) fried breakfast is served 10am—9pm and combined with alternatives and extras, including Sunday lunch plus all the trimmings, non-dairy ice cream puddings. soya milk-shake smoothies, cappuccinos, speciality teas and cakes. This is a menu that encourages a good start to the day — whenever your day may start. For those who crave more of the above, toasty and breakfast combination specials are available throughout the week.
I Change At Jamaica 11—17 Clyde Place. What‘s in the name? This central Glasgow restaurant has a refreshingly upbeat attitude towards the food and service it offers its customers. Their extensive weekend breakfast stands out for its very sociable (or is it unsociable?) serving hours of midnight—5am. providing Glasgow party-goers with traditional full breakfast, porridge and ﬁlled croissants. lasagne and chilli. among others. to help keep you going till dawn. Always lively and busy, Change At Jamaica have a popular formula; extending the weekend revelry with a breakfast menu that is certainly worth pursuing.
I Tron Theatre Cate Bars 63 Trongate, 552 8587. The Tron‘s central location means it is ideally located within a short stroll for Sunday shoppers. and those revellers yet to make it home. Take your pick from an eclectic menu on which Greek. Mexican. Scottish. French and American dishes are represented. Bloody Marys and cocktails are available after l2.30pm. a perfect accompaniment to eggs Benedict and delicious croissants and French baguette with chocolate. nuts and honey. all served with fresh coffee and tea.
I The Antiquary 72 St Stephen Street. 225 2858. Drinkers at The Antiquary's basement bar can treat themselves every Sunday to a full traditional breakfast with the assurance that their £3.75 brunch is sure to satisfy. Tea. toast, juice and generous fried breakfast
are all inclusive. as are a selection of Sunday papers and relaxing but lively ambience. Roast Sunday lunch and trimmings are on the menu. also from 11.30am through to 4pm, but you may be tempted to linger. Cask conditioned ales and five premium lagers are an added attraction.
I The Balllo 2 St Stephen Street, 225 4673. Cosy and friendly inside; a traditional pub with no pretensions towards entertaining customers (gone are the juke-box. fruit machine and TV distractions).except by providing good alcohol and food. and an inviting atmosphere. The beers and ales may be the Bailie’s pride. but from 12.30—4pm every Sunday you can add a full cooked breakfast to your round at the bar. The works for £3.90. If you're yearning for something more.
submarine-sized club sandwiches and a three-course roast Sunday lunch can satisfy, along with cappuccinos and espresso coffees and a number of select and not so select Sunday supplements. Ideal location to combine with a post- brunch Sunday stroll.
I Negociants 45—47 Lothian Street. 225 6313. Negociants cafe-bar- restaurant formula ensures that their Sunday brunch is the most versatile in the South Side. Brunch is now served 9.30am—5pm. on both ﬂoors, and the different but equally convivial atmospheres make this a beguiling breakfast spot. The ﬁlled croissants and combos (American-style triple decker sandwiches) and separate Sunday brunch menu. including enticing eggs ranchero and smoked haddock on rye. come recommended. There is a wide
76 The List 2l May—3 June 1993