We wax lyrical about brunch, take any excuse to go all out for a fancy dinner, but what about the lost art of a good breakfast? Here are five great breakfast places to try this weekend …
Don’t get me wrong, I adore brunch. Long before the restaurants or cafés of Dublin were flipping pancakes or topping their toast with avocado, I had fallen truly, madly and deeply in love with brunch. For a time, dinner parties were discarded and lunches left to languish while brunch get-togethers took hold of my cooking routine and my social life. My table heaved with jugs of Mimosas and perfectly spiced Bloody Marys while a selection of Sunday papers were artfully strewn amidst platters of whatever brunch recipe I had recently discovered. I loved it then and I still love it now. But, sometimes, I miss the lost art of breakfast. No waiting all morning to eat, no dish so heavy it leaves your groaning and no discernible impact on my appetite for lunch. Because, sometimes, you may just want both. Here are five special places to consider should a breakfast rendezvous beckon.
When you want to keep it simple: The Cake Café, Dublin 8
It may sound simple, but that is usually a good thing when it comes to food, and breakfast at The Cake Café is no different. Egg and soldiers is the dish to choose with eggs baked in cream, with slow roasted tomatoes and shallots, served with the now famous Cake Café buttered toast. Bring a friend or bring a book and obviously, keep room for a slice of cake. Or at the very least, buy some to take home.
For a special treat: Firehouse Bakery, Co Wicklow
Wicklow’s Firehouse Bakery might well be renowned for their stunning array of breads and pastries, but breakfast in the Wicklow café is a special treat indeed. Served daily from 8.30 – 11.30, we are smitten with the idea of buttermilk pancakes with brûléed oranges, warm orange and cinnamon syrup, vanilla mascarpone, candied pecans and fresh berries. And remember, the gift of freshly baked pastries is always well received. Even if it’s a gift to yourself.
when you are on the go: benedict’s egg shop, Drury street
From the minds behind Loose Cannon, Benedict’s Egg Shop can be found in the George’s Street Arcade from Wednesdays to Sundays. Think creamy, cheesy softly scrambled eggs encased in a buttery brioche bun with optional smoked salmon or bacon piled on top. You might be in a hurry, but you know the old adage, breakfast is the most important … Sadly, Benedict’s Egg Shop has just announced that it will be closing up shop from October 31 so it’s now or never – or at least until their next incarnation presents itself.
when it’s the morning after: Dunbrody House, Arthurstown, Co Wexford
Hotel breakfasts can often be hit or miss but happily, it’s more often a hit in recent years. Forget the wrinkled sausages bathing in vast amounts of grease behind the buffet counter, or the mushrooms floating in a suspicious liquid that you pray is their own extract, those days are behind us. Breakfast (after a luxurious night) in Kevin Dundon’s Dunbrody House is a lesson in a meal where less is more. The spread is a testament to quality Irish ingredients and with breakfast served until 12pm daily, there is no excuse for arriving with a harried expression, fearful that you have missed the breakfast cut off. If you manage to secure a table by the window overlooking the garden, you will indeed begin to appreciate starting your day in such tranquil surroundings with such glorious Irish food.
when you realise you’re worth it: arán, co kilkenny
There is a lot to love about Arán. And I mean, a lot. One of those things is the Highbanks Orchard cinnamon roll French toast with pecans and caramel that appears on their breakfast menu. Then there are the five types of sourdough baked daily to consider and of course the scrambled eggs with fresh herbs, buttered sourdough and crispy fried onions. Buttered toast makes everything better. Or is it crispy fried onion? Perhaps it’s both. Like I said, a lot to love.
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