Saturday, 22 October 2016


Do you eat breakfast or do you abstain? Do you grab something on the go or sit and take your time? Or maybe you just take breakfast at weekends. I'm definitely in the breakfast camp and become quite grouchy if I miss it. I also like to savour my breakfast and think it is probably my favourite meal.... Okay maybe not, mabe just my favourite meal before 10 am! One of the things I love about staying away in hotels is the prospect of breakfast but I'm often disappointed by the sliced loaves, ubiquitous Kellogs variety packs and congealed eggs.

But not in the wonderful Ibsens hotel where we stayed in Copenhagen. Every morning was a feast with a wonderful array of fabulous seasonal food on offer. There were beautifully arranged flavoursome grainy loaves and handmixed museli.

A lovely selection of jams in large glass jars. The apple and rosehip jam was exceptionally good on a nutty rye bread.

Four or five different juices but in keeping with all things seasonal and local there were no citrus juices just various berries and apple.

A selection of Danish cheeses and cured meats as well as large bowls of apples and plums.

Skyr (strained yoghurt) with honey and nuts

And dinky little bowls of porridge topped with chopped apple and nuts.

And of course, there were pastries. These poppy seed squares were filled with a delicious almond paste... I know because I had one every morning! Everything was so beautifully presented, fresh and delicious and once again we were reminded of the Danish concept of hygge which not only means cosy blankets, slippers and candles but a sense of well being and taking care of oneself. Eating a breakfast like this certainly feels like taking care of oneself!

I was delighted when browsing my latest cookbook purchase to find a recipe for the poppy seed squares... or Tebirkes as they are called in Denmark

I haven't tried making them yet but I will!

Meanwhile, since our return from Copenhagen I've been taking my time to make myself porridge every morning but trying to keep it seasonal and have found a new favourite breakfast. Not so much a recipe as such but a guide so if you want to try it yourself...

Make up your porridge in your preferred way - in the microwave or in a pan on the stove, with milk or with water (I like mine with water) or both, but before cooking add three quarters of an apple, grated with the skin on, plus a sprinkling of cinnamon. Once cooked pour into your favourite bowl, add a small spoonful of honey and a splash of milk or cream. Top with the remaining apple, chopped, some sliced plum and a sprinkling of mixed seeds. It's what I'll be eating this morning!


  1. I can appreciate the sight of a good breakfast spread but have to admit it's a meal I easily skip (growing up, we weren't a family for eating brekkie). I do occasionally have porridge (yes to making it with water) as brunch and can recommend adding a teaspoon of coconut oil whilst it's bubbling away.

  2. Your new breakfast sounds delicious and so simple. I usually have the same thing each day - a little oat based granola with sliced banana, topped off with some oat flakes and milk. It sees me through till lunchtime and if it is very cold I have porridge.
    Those hotel breakfast offerings were amazing and far better than the usual array of
    packets and dead scrambled egg. I think I could get on well with the Scandinavian diet.

  3. Definitely a breakfast person, in fact hopeless without it. Porridge everyday, generally with milk, sometimes water, and dried fruit. Thanks for showing us the book. Will follow up.

  4. I have the same book, it is so gorgeous! I always need breakfast, usually some toast with jam, or hummus, but now that the colder weather is here, I will start having porridge again. Like you, I make mine with water x

  5. Every morning should start this way, yum!

  6. Gina, another breakfast fan right here!
    It's the perfect start to any day, whether it's ham and eggs and toast, or some sort of omelet, or French toast, or just toast and butter and jam/Marmite (yes!) Always with orange juice, and coffee or tea.
    However, since the weather has turned cooler, I am now regularly using my pretty little Reiss porridge pot to make oatmeal, cooked with water and a bit of milk, with raisins and just a pinch of brown sugar.
    Now, I may have to try your new hygge inspired version. All those breakfast offerings at your Denmark hotel would have tempted me. xo

  7. Not a great breakfast fan, but porridge is my favourite if I do eat breakfast. I usually make it with almond or hazlenut milk - mainly because I buy it for other family members and there's always some in the fridge. Lots of fruit (dried and fresh) nuts and seeds as well.

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  9. I always eat breakfast, usually fruit, yogurt, museli etc but I love the idea of fruit and porridge. That spread looks lovely, I think I might have been tempted to have 2nds!

  10. I could eat breakfast all day long! x

  11. Gina, I am with you on breakfast and seldom skip it. I make my own toasted muesli adapted from a Simon Holst recipe (less sugar, more cinnamon, a bit less salt, added cranberries). It lasts me about 2 weeks. I add a bit of fresh fruit to it. Occasionally, it's toast with home made grapefruit marmalade. And VERY occasionally, it's scrambled egg. Always with tea. I am going to try your porridge suggestion next autumn.

    1. Your muesli recipe sounds good. I sometimes makes something like that for the summer... Guessing we're in different hemispheres!

  12. I'm the same, a good breakfast or I get very niggly. And it's usually porridge oats plus fruit of various kinds. In summer I just soak the oats in milk, in winter I make porridge - it hasn't been cold enough yet this autumn.
    Danish breakfasts are a feast! We had a one of the best at a budget hotel in Aarhus - a breakfast buffet very similar the one you had. btw, Aarhus is a lovely place if you want another Danish holiday.

  13. What an amazing breakfast spread. It would sadly ( very sadly) be lost on me as the fruits, nuts, oats and grainy bread are all banned from my diet but I'll happily drool from the sidelines.

  14. I love my breakfast and I like time to eat it in peace.
    I always enjoy hotel breakfasts too, I have to say yours looked amazing...the yogurt, nuts and honey, yum!

  15. One of the best things about staying in a hotel is the huge selection at breakfast, your hotel would score 10 out of 10 in my book!! I used to love porridge with apples and cinnamon but found that oats no longer agree with me, not even gluten free ones damn it. I have been using chia seeds as an alternative, soaked overnight in almond milk and then warmed and fruit added to it in the morning.

  16. Porridge every day for me-hit in winter made with water, and bircher's muesli style only if the weather is very hot. I've tried other breakfasts but always end up hungry and snacking. The breakfasts in your hotel looked delicious. Catriona

  17. The breakfast fare looks delicious Gina! I would love to see some of that displayed so beautifully in my kitchen on a chilly fall morning ;) I have porridge every morning, with a sliced apple (skin on), a couple of generous spoonfuls of yogurt and sliced almonds on top. Very satisfying, and fills the tummy with all good things :)

  18. Toast and Marmite is my breakfast, usually at midday which is the earliest I can stomach food.

    Porridge does not like me...


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