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Top 10 Breakfasts in the South West

Top 10 Breakfasts in the South West

Main image: the restaurant at the Scarlet looks out over Mawgan Porth Beach

The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall


The breakfast I ate here last year was right up there in last meal status. Let's start with the view, a glass fronted first floor restaurant looking out over beautiful Mawgan Porth Beach, in winter or summer it just can't be bettered.Breakfast here is a total treat - start with Cornish Orchards apple juice, dried fruits poached in an Earl Grey and lemon syrup with yoghurt, before moving on to pancakes with berries and syrup, smoked salmon with scrambled egg or cut to the chase with local Cornish banger, dry cured bacon, hogs pudding, grilled tomato, mushrooms and butter fried egg for a fully fledged blow out. Why not? Afterwards that beautiful beach is yours to wander along and we'd be sorely tempted to book a cliff top hot tub for two. Be warned these slots sell out fast so you need to book ahead. Now that's a perfect Saturday.

The Beckford Arms, Wiltshire

Unusually for a pub the Beckford is actually the perfect spot for breakfast, something to do with the roaring fires, choice of areas to hang out in - bar, sitting room, restaurant - full complement of papers and just the general, laidback anything goes vibe of the place. As with all other meals they go to town on the breakfast menu, waffles with maple syrup, eggs benedict or royale, hash brown with fried duck egg, thyme roasted mushrooms on toast and of course the Full English with immaculately sourced, very local bacon, sausages and eggs. We can vouch for the coffee, the best in the area and if you come alone you'll find solo kindred spirits hijacking tables for four with a paper, a laptop and a furry friend or two. Call ahead to book weekday breakfasts.

Corner Bistro, Devon


Breakfasts are a speciality at this gorgeous bistro in Braunton. Take your hangover here for the Neanderthal friendly Angus steak, fried eggs and sauteed pots. For the fainter hearted boutique options abound - Dartmouth smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, mushrooms on sourdough topped with a poached egg soused in hollandaise, or a bacon butty featuring locally cured bacon, white bloomer, ketchup and Bavarian mustard. These guys know how to deliver a spot on breakfast. Fresh juices or smoothies - raspberry, blueberry and banana to soothe away the aches and pains.


Hive Beach Cafe, Dorset

Breakfast on the beach, is there a nicer weekend treat? Try the Hive Beach Cafe, where you can order Loch Fyne kippers, blueberry pancakes, French toast, smoked haddock, poached egg and chive mayonnaise, home-baked sourdough toast and marmalade or the full heart attack fry up. The coffees are spectacularly good, there's every kind of tea you can think of and views all the way out to West Bay. You'll want to leave room for the legendary carrot cake, burn it off afterwards fossil hunting on the famous shingled beach of Burton Bradstock. A low-fi feel with plastic awning in winter, belies the stunningly good food.

River Cottage Canteen, Devon


Seasonal, organic and wild are the buzzwords at this very cool cafe / deli / general hangout which just seems to work brilliantly at any time of day. Breakfast here mixes traditional - organic sausages, bacon, eggs and mushrooms - with more inventive, think smoked Chesil kippers and granary toast, Hugh's herby banger sandwich, dropped scones with honey. I'd travel a long way for the granola, fruit compote and River Cottage organic yoghurt. Last time I was here we got chatting to our neighbours and discovered a classic local cider farm on their recommendation. It's that  kind of place.




Town Mill Bakery, Dorset

Breakfast at the Town Mill Bakery in Lyme Regis (also Sherborne and Dorchester) is simple but utterly delicious. Ingredients that 'your great grandmother would have been familiar with' which means croissants and sourdough that literally melt in the mouth. They make their own butter, peanut butter and jam. They don't serve coke but they do have pure organic apple juice from orchards less than 20 miles away. There's muesli too, homemade of course, porridge in winter, yoghurt and fruit in summer and pastries all year round. It's pure without being worthy - you'll want to eat your bodyweight in toast and jam.

Sea Drift Kitchen-Cafe, Cornwall

interior cafe

We've fallen in a big way for this brand new cafe styled like an American diner in the picture-perfect fishing village of Porthleven. Freshly made Belgian waffles with bacon and maple syrup take a star turn here but there's also poached egg, ham and muffin, full monty steak, egg and sautee potatoes or a more dainty toasted teacake. Love the interior with its turquoise leather chairs and bright yellow pepper grinders and the American grill menu. The cooking is top knotch here with excellent coffee too. Afterwards take a stroll around the harbour.


Pythouse Kitchen Garden, Wiltshire

 pythouse breakfastA recent Saturday breakfast of scrambled eggs, sauteed mushrooms and toasted Rye was delicious and so gargantuan it could have fed the whole family (had I been inclined to take them). Things to love - WiFi, full complement of weekend broadsheets, seriously good coffee (with soya available), roaring logburner and gorgeous vintage furniture, much of it available to buy. It's a light and airy place even in the heart of winter with killer views over the garden. Ask for one of Mitch's kickass Bloody Mary's and scoop up some home-made pesto, fresh pasta and organic veg from the deli on your way out.

Roth Bar & Grill, Somerset


This year the West Country got a new brunch hotspot - of course it's the Roth Bar & Grill in Bruton. On weekends only (light breakfasts of Brown Cow yoghurt and fruit, toast and jam, cheese and ham toasties during the week) you can feast on eggs benedict or kedgeree washed down with a perfect Bloody Mary or Buck's Fizz. Great contemporary art hanging on the walls, spectacular coffee and the option of wandering round the galleries and Piet Oudolf's beautifully planted garden afterwards. It's the shape of Sunday, people.

The Lido, Somerset

Bristol's Grade 11 listed Victorian Lido has been beautifully restored and now has one of the best cafes in town. Come here for a breakfast of smoked salmon, cream cheese and sourdough toast, kippers or Turkish eggs, tomato, yoghurt and brown options. For the health conscious swimmers there's granola, yoghurt and fruit or muesli, I'm told the cakes here blow your mind. The restaurant is housed in the old viewing gallery - which means you get to watch everyone else working out while you fill up on coffee and cake. Chef Freddy Bird is ex Moro and Square in London, his cooking is supreme. Bliss.



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