Tag Archives: Breakfast

Zou Bisou

Zou Bisou is a lovely little place on Regent Court, Leamington Spa.  Its sits happily alongside some big chains like Nandos, Yo Sushi, and Turtle Bay, but is so relaxed and welcoming, it has a feel about it that you only get with an independent place.  The interior is nice, big chairs, little chairs, quirky, funky, but doesn’t try too hard.  It just feels happy.  Does that make sense??  Anyway, myself and Mini Gourmand decided to pop in for a light breakfast on Sunday morning and I thought I would share the experience.

zou bisou scrambled egg

I wasn’t really hungry so decided to order scrambled eggs on toast, a fairly safe bet, and it really hit the spot, in fact, probably a slightly larger portion that I was expecting so I had to leave some, which I hate doing!! Baby Gourmand tucked in and helped me out whihc was nice, as he usually doesn’t like scrambled eggs – a break through!!  I had wished I hadn’t bothered ordering him his own side of toast as he really didn’t need it with my mammoth breakfast to help me with.  The scrambled eggs were creamy and cooked to perfection and the toast was hot, what more could you want?

zou bisou full english

Mini Gourmand didn’t hesitate to order the full english; a guy sitting not far away had one, and as the waiter took his order book out Mini Gourmand’s greedy eyes followed his sausages from plate to mouth!  Just like my scrambled eggs, Mini Gourmand described the breakfast as exactly what she wanted. Quality ingredients, nicely cooked, and a good amount.  What more can you ask for!

Interesting that Mini Gourmand recently walked past Zou Bisou late at night and they are open until 10, and offer 2-1 coffees, defintley a nice place for a late night drink if you don’t fancy going to the pub.  Zou Bisou has also started offering Sunday lunches, lets see if we can sneak one of them in, in the not too distant future!



Havana Casa De Cafe – Leamington Spa

Situated on Warwick Street in Leamington Spa is Havana Casa De Cafe, it’s one of those places that you could walk past numerous times and not actually see which makes it quite interesting I think.

We first visited for coffee and cake but that was before Baby Gourmand was born and places can change dramatically in a year so when Grandma and Aunty Gourmand were visiting us for the weekend we decided to have breakfast and I can confirm it was delicious.

Regualr readers will know that the Gourmand family like their food so we were praying that the portion sizes would still be decent on our third visit just after Christmas.

Baby_Gourmand

Baby Gourmand behaved himself and we decided rather than buy him anything, we would order food that he liked and put it on a side plate for him.  He looks like he should be facing the other way and playing the piano in this shot!!

Havana_Full_English

Mini Gourmand hummed and harred over what to get, as usual.  Havana has a quite unusual breakfast menu catering for the sweet and savoury toothed among us, so definitely a good choice if you want something, but you’re not entirely sure what!  The Full English eventually won the day, with a little persuasion from the waiter and boy was Mini Gourmand pleased.  “Chips with a breakfast.” she exclaimed.  Was this a good thing or bad thing I thought.  Context is important.  A bag full of crinkle cut chips with greasy fried, eggs not so good.  Half a dozen beautifully cooked and seasoned chips on a plate of equally beautiful ingredients is!  Thankfully this breakfast was the latter, and I hope the photographs do it justice.  In fact, i’m going to Havana again on Sunday, and i’m sure Mini Gourmand will order the same breakfast again.

Havana_muffins

I decided to go for simple muffins with fried egg, mushroom, and tomatoes.  Pretty simple I know, but as I said earlier, this is the beauty of Havana, this is exactly what I fancied, it tasted nice, was cheap, and left room for a cake at lunchtime! Perfect!

Anyone looking for a nice breakfast should try Havana, it really is a great little place.  I actually might visit for evening drinks one day, cocktails at breakfast?!

 



#MorningWin, Energy For The Morning

belvita

 

Breakfast time is probably the most hectic time of the day in our household especially for me, I’m usually rushing around trying to get Baby Gourmand dressed and fed, making Mini Gourmand’s lunch which leaves very little time for me.

It’s usually way after 9am before I even think about grabbing something to eat and usually by that time I’m either getting ready to leave the house or have housework to do.

A third of people in Britain skip breakfast, we’re always told it’s the most important meal of the day but in reality very few of us actually have time to eat breakfast.

My idea breakfast which very rarely happens now would have to be a great selection of pastries, cheeses and a full English with beef sausage and turkey bacon, copious amounts of sweet coffee and a chocolate muffin to finish.

Belvita breakfast comes in a range of ten flavours and I was recently sent three of the newest ones to try, Choc Chip, Apricot and Hazelnut.  Baby Gourmand helped me polish off the Choc Chip ones before any of the family had a chance to give them a try, I thought they were my favourite until I tried the Hazelnut which are just delicious and my new go to breakfast of choice.

Belvita biscuits are clinically proven to regularly and continuously release carbohydrates over four hours which help to keep you going. Each box of Belvita contains individually wrapped portions containing 3 biscuits meaning you can enjoy your breakfast on the go with your drink of choice.

So how can you eat Belvita breakfast biscuits and still get a balanced diet? To be honest eating the biscuits alone have to be better than eating nothing but to make it more nutritious you can add a portion of dairy, a portion of fruit and a drink to wash it all down.

* This post is an entry for #MorningWin Linky Challenge sponsored by belVita Breakfast. Learn more at http://bit.ly/belVitaUK *



Fat Pug Breakfast – Leamington Spa

We have visited The Fat Pug in Leamington Spa on a few occasions now and it never fails to disappoint.  The surroundings make you feel at home, the staff are friendly and the portion sizes are great – what more could you want?

I just love the little touches like mini milk bottle to hold the milk for your drinks, Jammy dodger biscuits with your coffee and fresh brewed coffee in a mug rather than a teeny tiny cup.

 

fat pug coffee

 

Grandpa Gourmand thought it would be rude not to try the Fat Pug Breakfast (£7.50) and it didn’t disappoint.  We have waxed lyrical about our love of local butcher Aubrey Allen so you can imagine Grandpa Gourmand’s delight that the two sausages in his frying pan were from our favourite butcher.  I have a hatred of plum tomatoes unless they are being used to make a pasta sauce, unlike me Grandpa Gourmand just loves plum tomatoes with his breakfast so the Fat Pug ticked yet another of Grandpa Gourmand’s boxes.  Not everyone likes black pudding but Grandpa Gourmand loves it especially a big fat slice of it which was another box ticked – in fact nothing on the breakfast disappointed including the huge slice of freshly cut bread.

 

fat pug breakfast

 

I ordered the Veggie Pug breakfast (£7.00) which like Grandpa Gourmand’s meat filled pan was filled to the brim with delicious food.  I love scrambled egg especially when it is laced with salted butter, this was a mammoth portion of scrambled egg so much so that it filled half of the pan.  I’m a bit of a picky person when it comes to liking things a certain way and I do often have a bit of a problem with baked beans when they touch other food, had the beans been in the pan and touching the egg I would have been a bit put off (I’m strange like that) so you can imagine my delight to find that my beans were in a separate ramekin.  I was so full after eating this that I skipped lunch which NEVER happens.

 

fat pug veg breakfast

 

Bread costs very little, everyone knows this and it really annoys me when places charge extra for toast.  When you buy a hot drink at the Fat Pug you can have FREE toast, it’s not supermarket value bread either it’s delicious fresh bread – breakfast providers please take note, it’s the little things like this that make a huge difference.

 

fat pug toast

 

Would we go back to the Fat Pug? Damn right we would in fact we have been back since sampling this breakfast and have also visited the sister pub The Royal Pug which is equally great.

You can find the Fat Pug on Guys Cliffe Road, Leamington Spa



Breakfast with belVita

Mornings in the Gourmand household is the busiest time of the day, Mini Gourmand has to get herself ready for school and of course Baby Gourmand just likes to get under everyone’s feet.  Usually by 8am everyone has been washed, dressed, fed and is on their way out of the door which has to be done with an almost military precision!

breakfast

I have become a master of juggling tasks in the morning, I usually start by throwing on some clothes and making my way downstairs to start preparing packed lunches, making sure everyone has packed their bags with what they need for school/work, ironing anything that has creased and of course making breakfast for everyone including Baby Gourmand.

belvita

I’m always the last to have my breakfast and don’t usually have much time as Baby Gourmand is raring to get out and about so when I was asked to try belVita breakfast biscuits I couldn’t resist.  Belvita are the only breakfast biscuits proven to slowly release carbohydrates over four hours as part of a balanced breakfast and slow release carbohydrates are exactly what I need to keep my energy levels up when running around after a toddler.

For the past couple of weeks my breakfast has been a packet of belVita biscuits, a pot of melon and grapes, a yoghurt and a coffee, Mr Gourmand got a little jealous about my continental style breakfast and decided that he wanted to try belVita out too which in turn prompted Mini Gourmand to get in on the belVita action.

I loved all three boxes of belVita but the Fruit and Fibre were the clear winners for me and the flavour that I will be continuing to purchase.  Mini Gourmand thought the cocoa biscuits would be her favourite but wasn’t very keen on the yoghurt filling which is a little tart.  I liked all three boxes but thought the milk and cereal flavour suited my breakfast the best.

Before I discovered belVita biscuits I would either just have a piece of fruit or a slice of toast which would end up going cold as I didn’t get the chance to eat it in time but now I’m managing to eat an actual breakfast

*This post is an entry for #MorningStories Linky Challenge sponsored by belVita Breakfast. Learn more at www.facebook.com/belVitaUK

 



Bread & Co – Leamington Spa

Bread & Co is a lovely little cafe situated on Regent Street in Leamington Spa, we first visited back in 2012 before we had even moved to the area so you could say we hold a little place in our hearts for the place.

We quite often overlook Bread & Co as a place to go for breakfast, it’s not that there is anything wrong with the breakfast menu more that there are so many places to visit that do breakfast and we usually try to go somewhere that has a good variety.

Bread & Co seem to have changed the menu since our last visit, I noticed that on this occasion they had introduced a vegetarian breakfast so although I was all geared up to have scrambled eggs and smoked salmon I decided to try out the breakfast instead.

Veg breakfast_breadandco

 

The breakfast was plentiful, the mushrooms were huge and the black pepper really complimented them, the scrambled egg was creamy and served on two good chunks of freshly toasted bread making me a very happy diner.  We now come to the beans, don’t get me wrong I thought the beans were delicious but they just didn’t suit the breakfast.  I know I’m being very critical as beans are often a staple on an English breakfast but these were not baked beans, they were more of a mixed bean chilli which would have been a delicious meal with some tortilla chips or some steamed rice not on a breakfast.  I’m not adverse to having things a little bit different on a breakfast, I’ve eaten at Bills who serve guacamole and sweet chilli sauce on their breakfast but it’s advertised on the menu so you know what to expect so if you’re in the mood for mexican you can go right ahead and order it.  Perhaps I was feeling a bit grumpy on the day so didn’t fully appreciate my chilli beans.  Would I have ordered the breakfast if I knew the beans were not of the usual baked variety? who knows, probably not.

fruit toast_breadandco

 

Mini Gourmand had been talking about fruit toast all morning so when she spotted it on the menu she was sold!  The slices were cut thick and the butter melted right in which is exactly what you want from toast.

arthur_breadandco

 

Baby Gourmand was waiting for his share of Mini Gourmand’s fruit toast which he washed down with a nice warm bottle of milk, he was completely taken with the waiters glasses and couldn’t stop staring at him!



Special K Granola

 Special K recently launched its first ever granola, we’re a family of granola lovers and like all variations of it, I quite like to snack on it straight from the bowl, Mr Gourmand likes yoghurt on his and Mini Gourmand likes to add fresh berries. New Special K Granola comes in two varieties Raisins and Red Apples and Cranberry, Pumpkin Seeds and Almonds.  I have to be honest and say I don’t prefer one over the other, they are both very different and both very delicious.  I’ve been having the Raisin and Red apple granola for breakfast and using the cranberry one as a snack during the day.  I find if you wish to snack on granola its best to weigh it out into a little tub so you don’t over eat (it’s very easily done).

 special k granola

You may have noticed the limited edition tea towel that my granola is sitting on,  this is exclusive to Special K, and hand designed by illustrator, Charlotte Farmer, I also have a beautiful tote bag which has been accompanying me on my recent shopping trips.

granola apples

The Raisin and Red Apple Granola contains Red Apples, Barley, Wheat, Rye, Grapes and Spelt so that’s 5 whole grains along with vitamins and fibre.

granola nuts

The Cranberries, Pumpkin Seeds and Almonds contain Cranberries, Barley, Oats, Wheat, Rye, Almonds, Spelt and Pumpkin Seeds giving you 5 whole grains, fibre and vitamins.

Both varieties of Special K Granola contain 30 per cent less fat than most other granolas so you can eat this as part of a calorie controlled diet without feeling guilty.  If I’m completely honest I forgot this granola was made by Special K when I was eating it because it doesn’t taste like a lower fat product at all.

If you can’t get fussy children to eat cereal a top tip from me is to add it to flapjacks or muffins, I’m lucky that Mini Gourmand likes to eat all sorts of cereal now she is older but I did used to struggle to get her to eat anything that wasn’t coated with sugar when she was younger and found that I could disguise whole grains in fruity muffins and flapjacks as a breakfast or lunch box treat.

Special K Granola is available to purchase in all major supermarkets with a RRP of £2.99 for a 370g bag.

*Competition*

Would you like to win a case of each of the Special K Granola?  All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me what flavour combination would be your favourite if you could design your own granola.  Leave a way of contacting you either email address or twitter name. this competition ends on the 17th of March where I will film Mini Gourmand pulling a name out of an empty Special k  granola bag.

Prizes will be sent direct from the brand

 

*Due to my site unavailability due to hosting issues I have extended the competition until 23rd March 2014*



Rose and Crown Warwick

Now that we have the little boy keeping us busy in the morning and taking up all of our time we don’t get to spend that much relaxing time together, so myself and Mr Gourmand try our hardest to make the most of the weekend we usually start with an early Saturday morning breakfast. We have been really lucky recently with the quality of the breakfast places we have visited so we thought lets have a wander over to Warwick and see if they have anywhere to compete with our current favourite in Leamington.

We had a look at a few reviews and decided on The Rose and Crown. This place was lovely inside, very professional staff, nicely decorated, and more importantly very busy – so busy that we weren’t sure if you had to wait to be seated or seat yourself because the staff were running around keeping the hungry public happy!

drinks-rose-and-crown-Warwick

We ordered a couple of coffees and an orange juice for Mr Gourmand while we poured over the menu. What a fab way of presenting the condiments, and who can resist a small bowl of smarties! The menu was quite expensive, a little more than some of the places visited recently, but you have to try somewhere and see if its worth it don’t you!

condiments-rose-and-crown-warwick

breakfast-rose-and-crown-warwick

Breakfast time, and unsurprising we went for the full English and the Vegetarian – to be honest I feel this is a really good test of a breakfast eatery. The full English must use good quality sausages and bacon, the eggs must be done well, and to be honest if that part is done well, then rest is just a bonus! The Vegetarian is a bit more tricky. This is usually a test of how inventive the cafe and chef want to be. After all, its easy to throw on some fake bacon and Linda Mcartney sausages, but in my opinion, that is not good enough. As you know I’m not a vegetarian I just don’t eat pork so I actually want the Vegetarian breakfast to explore a few options and become its own distinctive meal, not just a fake full English with no imagination and ‘non meat alternatives’!

Mr Gourmand looked a little bit huffed when his arrived. The quality was there, the taste was there, but to be honest the portion size was not. It was also missing something like beans to play with and mix in with the glorious bread. He remarked how tasty it was, but sadly in the back of his mind I could tell he was comparing to somewhere else, and I couldn’t blame him. It was quite a bit more expensive than his current favourite Leaf.

vegi-breakfast-rose-and-crown-warwick

I was rather impressed with the vegetarian breakfast, I have no idea what the item that resembles stuffing actually was but it was so delicious that I actually want to go tomorrow morning just so I can sample it again!  As you can see there is no fake bacon or sausage here, to be honest it wasn’t needed as the unidentified item and fried bread more than makes up for the meat.  The scrambled egg was creamy and cooked in a pan rather than blitzed in a microwave and the beans tasted like Heinz which always gets a thumbs up from me.

The breakfast here is a little more expensive than our usual place of choice so I couldn’t justify coming here every weekend for breakfast, I would place this in my top 5 places for breakfast in Warwickshire though and I’m looking forward to our next visit.

If someone can tell from looking what I had on my breakfast I would be most grateful.



Christmas Day Breakfast

vlogmas

We’ve already shown you some quick and easy canapés, given you lots of ideas for your festive buffet table but what do you eat on the big day? Our usual Christmas day breakfast consists of selection box chocolate followed by luxury scrambled egg and smoked salmon which you can see assembled below, you can click on the video or read the instructions if you prefer.

vlogmas

*Video editing is taking place and the video will appear in due course*

Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and capers

You will need:

2 eggs per person
1 Bagel per person
1 tablespoon of cream per person
black pepper
smoked salmon
 capers 
extra cream for drizzling
 

This is really as simple as it gets, if you don’t know how to make scrambled egg Delia Smith does a great version. Once your eggs are cooked stir is some cream, smoked salmon and give a good grind of black pepper.  Serve on a toasted bagel, sprinkle with capers and drizzle with cream. Voilà.



Stone Monkey

Stone monkey

The Stone Monkey is what you can only describe as a quirky little place. You know the type, not quite in a town centre, usually alongside a laundrette or under a flat. Well this one is all of the above. Myself and Mr Gourmand were walking by one day and thought we should probably try this place as it had all the hallmarks of being something special. The Stone Monkey itself is actually a yoga studio from what I can tell, with a kind of side business of coffee shop.

The first thing to note is that it only sells vegetarian food, and doesn’t have the biggest menu in the world, but oh boy from what we tasted, I can’t wait to go back!

Stone monkey

I went for the scrambled egg on sourdough toast and Mr Gourmand tried the vegetarian sausage sandwich.  The first thing you will notice from the photographs is the drizzle of cream and little green capers sitting proudly on top of the egg, well believe me, this breakfast was something I would expect to eat the morning after a stay at a luxury spa hotel! The flavours went together perfectly, with the sharp caper cutting through the smooth and creamy scrambled egg – I can hardly write about this without drooling on my screen. Yes it was that good, please go and try it for yourself.

Mr Gourmands vegetarian sausage sandwich was pretty good as well. It was served in a nice roll with delicious spiced chutney and salad on the side. He really enjoyed it but I could see the envy in his eyes after tasting my luxury scrambled eggs. His eyes were as green as the capers sitting proudly on my eggs!

Stone monkey

The Stone Monkey is definitely somewhere I would travel to if I wanted a nice breakfast. It was very smart inside, with the kind of relaxed feel you would expect from a yoga studio/coffee shop. The coffee cold have been a bit hotter if I was being picky, oh well, better try it again to see if they can improve next time!