Hello friends, and a happy new year to you and yours. I write these words on one of the rare occasions that I have snubbed a weekend treat out with Himself in favour of another half hour in bed but I am going to tell you about one of my favourite food related outings- and that is the breakfast out. Breakfast is after all the most important meal of the day and according to fitness guru and general legend Dolph Lundgren the one meal where you can afford to eat whatever the hell you want, be it oatmeal or icecream. Check out the shape he’s in, dude knows what he’s talking about.
Yes, we go out for breakfast a lot and not just to avoid washing up or pretend we are in Sex in the City, there are multiple selling points. To begin with: the boy has a ferocious appetite and is ready to wolf down a metric ton of cereal within minutes of leaving bed whereas I tend to require a coffee and half an hour of grumbling and staring before I can start on the calorie intake for the day. A great compromise then if he can have his appetiser bowl of porridge at home then the time taken to get dressed and drive across town is the perfect interlude for me to wake up and him to settle his insatiable guts in time for Second Breakfast. Everyone is happy.
You can’t really argue value wise if you’re going to attend any one of most of the venues I will go on to chat about later in this section, there’s very low likelihood that you could replicate that pile of grub at home for less than a fiver a head (or less for younglings)- especially if you live with a breakfast behemoth as I do.
But the finest point, and if I’m honest the most genuine justification I have for travelling out for a massive fry up at least 3 times a month is that it’s nice, it’s a treat and we talk to eachother. Weekend mornings at home can be bizarrely unsociable in my experience. During the week we have our routines and brief interactions but we generally say a heartfelt good morning around the shower rush and me constantly bashing the ‘sleep’ button on the alarm clock. But come the weekend the early hours are so frequently lost to grumbles and grunts around social media and Saturday Kitchen. Plus, ever since his gluten revolution and my abhorrence of porridge that isn’t laden with jam we rarely want the same thing on our first plate of the day. So we go out, we can both have whatever we want and what with being at a table for two without a telly, we have a chat.
We catchup over the crumpets and debate the highs and lows of the week as we fill up on bottomless coffees and wonder if it’s ok to pocket a couple of the little individual marmite pots.* We gossip and judge and giggle guiltily as we sneak back up for just one more tiny bit from the buffet bar. We are disproportionately grateful at the insistence of the other to fill our coffee up. We plot our weekend or program the satnav and we enjoy our breakfast and our company. This might sound like nonsense or the need for a relationship counsellor but really it is no different from an evening date, which I’m sure most people wouldn’t question for a second. It’s also a damn sight cheaper than your average evening dinner date and leaves you with the whole day to work down from the eight mugs of coffee you have managed to squeeze in on top of all that fry up. And somewhat ironically, spending this time together is a glorious strike for independence. No sharing, no guilty need to give the big boy the odd sausage from the pack, no begrudging agreement to a bowl of gruel in order to cling to the social interaction of having a meal together. And then of course, after all this time shared, thoughts exchanges and drinks poured we can happily bugger off to spend the bulk of the day grumbling around social media, watching Saturday Kitchen on catch up and, equally importantly, sorting out dinner.
I’ll get into the reviewing later, from budget to luxury, from Cardiff to Colchester, Hilton to Harvester, you get the idea, but for now the boy has returned from his solo jaunt and it is high time I had something to eat and he made me a coffee.
*this is never ok, but you will still do it.