We enter the final day of the 2014 Coffee Spot Awards shortlists with the “Best Breakfast” Award, which in 2013 went to The Bristolian. Along with cake, breakfast has a special place in my heart. The only slight snag is that I rarely get up and out of the house early enough to get to places before they stop serving breakfast, so they don’t feature on the Coffee Spot as often as I would like!
That said, I still managed to get up early enough to generate a healthy shortlist this year, helped by those wonderful places that serve all-day breakfasts!
You can see the shortlist after the gallery.
There are nine Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
This is really a 3-in-1 nomination for all thee branches of the Boston Tea Party, where I always have the Eggs Florentine for breakfast or brunch. Yes, I know there are other things on the menu! The Whiteladies Road branch was shortlisted for Best Basement and the Birmingham branch for Best Physical Space.
This lovely, family-run café down in Lymington in the New Forest serves up an excellent all-day vegetarian breakfast (I had mine at three o’clock) as well as some great cake. Lemana Café was also shortlised for the Best Outdoor Seating Award.
Best described as a neighbourhood greasy spoon with excellent coffee, Exeter’s friendly, neighbourhood Café at 36 is definitely worth a visit for the food, the cake or for the coffee (or any combination of the three). This was another place where I had an all-day vegetarian breakfast at three o’clock! Quite where I’d be with the all-day breakfast, I really don’t know.
London chain, The Breakfast Club, is a legend, but since it always has queues around the block at all its branches, I never manage to get in. So, when I saw it had a stand at the London Coffee Festival, I wasn’t going to miss out. I am relieved to say that I wasn’t disappointed either!
Dublin’s Brother Hubbard is as much about the food as it is about the coffee, if not more so (although Brother Hubbard may disagree).The food is inventive, with a Middle-eastern twist, and the menu changes on a seasonal basis.I had the amusingly-named “Breakfast of Champignons”, two poached eggs and baked mushrooms in a creamy, blue cheese sauce on sourdough toast, with spinach, tomatoes and caramelised onions.
Jany’s, in Philadelphia, is an old-fashioned American diner of the type that I adore. Serving typical diner fare (ie good quality comfort food), the food is both excellent and extremely good value for money. I had two eggs (poached), home fries and toast, plus a side of two hot cakes and a mug of coffee.
Birmingham‘s Saint Kitchen has excellent coffee and even better food. I had the field mushroom soufflé muffin, plus some farmhouse buttery toast, which was beautifully presented on a pair of wooden platters that looked like slices of a log. The good news is that it tasted even better than it looked!
Another where the coffee is excellent and the food even better, I had the interestingly-named “surprisingly fine vegetarian sausage sandwich” from the all-day breakfast menu from Mrs Atha’s in Leeds. It was indeed very fine. Mrs Atha’s was also shortlisted for the Best Basement Award.
Philadelphia‘s One Shot is a lovely spot, best known for its food and, as a result, a very popular brunch spot. I went there with Greg of Coffee Guru App fame for Sunday brunch. I settled on grilled goat’s cheese, tomatoes and greens on bread, which I paired with a flat white and a (American) biscuit on the side (for the uninitiated, this is similar to a British scone, a point proved somewhat by the healthy serving of jam that came with it).
A special mention has to go to the following fine purveyors of breakfast. Vauxhall’s Tea House Theatre, where I had a very fine breakfast on my first visit, Laynes Espresso, New Station Street in Leeds, which kick-started my day with excellent toast and a flat white two days running, Manchester‘s Pot Kettle Black, serving up some awesome porridge, and Leith‘s Printworks Coffee, home of some amazing breakfast baps.
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2014.
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