Sunday, 23 October 2016

Breakfast at The Good Egg, Stoke Newington, London

The Good Egg had been on my brunch wish list for such a long time. But for a South West London resident, getting all the way from SW19 to N16 is quite a trek across the city. I don't mind a long tube journey with a good book, but when you could be facing an hour-long wait for a table at a popular establishment like The Good Egg, I kept choosing other restaurants off my Sunday brunch wish list to try instead.

Then came along one of those extra-special mid-week days off, you know the one, where you just fancy a day to yourself, with absolutely zero plans - no jetting off for a city mini-break and no jumping on a train for a hen do. Nope, nothing. Perfection.

So this lovely sunny Friday comes along and I jump on the tube and make my way up to The Good Egg in Stoke Newington for brunch before a massage later in the day (I told you it was an indulgent "me day").

Despite it being 11am on a Friday, the small venue was still bustling, but I easily got myself a table inside. The brightly-lit room's focus is the marbled bar and open kitchen where you can see the chefs preparing the Israeli-inspired seasonal menu. You can see the produce sat on shelves behind the wooden bench which surrounds this Jewish-style brunch joint.

Eating solo, I ordered a coffee and settled down with the menu, where I sat indecisively for an age. Challah French toast, tahini, marbelized egg, pastrami and my favourite shakshuka all jumped out at me and I just couldn't decided.

I was torn between the shakshuka (baked eggs with with tomato and peppers, with preserved lemon yoghurt & sumac and a challah roll. With rare-breed merguez sausage or halloumi £9) or a bacon and date pitta (pita stuffed with bacon, marbelized egg, date jam & amba £7.50).

On asking the waitress very nicely, she said it was possible to have a half pitta on the side of my shakshuka instead of the challah roll, which meant I could at least try both. Hurrah.

Served in a sturdy skillet, the shakshuka was bravely spiced, with a hefty dollop of lemon yoghurt and the sausages were firm and delicious. But the star of the show for me was definitely the bacon and date pitta which was served on those little metal taco trays - genius. The sweetness of the dates with the saltiness of the bacon worked wonders - well those Americans do know what they're doing, they serve their bacon with maple syrup. 

The Good Egg is up there with my all-time favourite brunch places, I just wish it wasn't quite so far away. 

93 Stoke Newington Church St, 
London N16 0AS

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Mug of the Month: A Cath Kidston classic

I'm very chuffed to say this month's Mug of the Month comes from a reader, Clare McDonald, who submitted her lovely Cath Kidston Highgate Ditsy Stanley mug.

This gorgeous and simple design is a classic Cath Kidston pattern and I personally love the duck-egg blue contrast with the pretty pink flowers. Clutching your morning coffee on a blustery autumn day and you can be transported back to spring for a few precious moments with this lovely addition to your kitchen shelf.

You can buy it here for £6.50. 

If you want to submit your favourite mug for next month's Mug of the Month, do get in touch via social media... @cl_baldwin on Twitter, @breakfastatcarolines on Instagram, or email me:

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The last days of summer

Hello breakfast-lovers, I know, I know. It's been a while. I have to apologise for my summer hiatus, but rest assured I have been eating, drinking and creating a lot this summer.

And haven't we had such a good one? I've really been able to take advantage of our tiny London garden this year, even if it is for a quick cup of coffee and a boiled egg in the morning sat at our rickety garden table.

But I've definitely been loving the long, hazy, summer nights which start off drinking pimms with our Ray-Bans and end up drinking Rioja, snuggled under piles of blankets and the stars.

Or sunny Sunday afternoons, one hand tending the smoking BBQ, the other holding onto a sunshine Aperol Spritz, condensation slowly dripping down the glass (I really think Aperol is my favourite colour).

And not forgetting frozen margaritas and ice-cold martinis served in lovely glasses I unearthed from my mum's attic. I told you there was a fair bit of booze.

This summer, alfresco dining has been a grown up affair, every evening setting the weathered table with a a pretty, yet simple tablecloth and a jar of sunflowers or gerberas to reflect my mood.

Check out my Instagram for all my food-related updates (I've given you a couple as a taster below). And apologies again, but sit tight, more breakfasts are coming your way very soon.

A photo posted by Caroline Baldwin (@breakfastatcarolines) on

Friday, 13 May 2016

Breakfast at A la Folie Café Français, Miami Beach

I must admit, one of the last things I was expecting to find on a street called Española Way, was a French café. But nestled far down this pretty little street off South Beach, draped in trees heavy with yellow blossom and bars serving the best tequila in Miami, is a petite and chic café, called A la Follie.

A photo posted by Caroline Baldwin (@breakfastatcarolines) on

Española Way feels distinctly Spanish with its colourful awnings hanging off the Spanish-style buildings, but everything about A la Folie Café is most definitely French. While it was heart wrenching to walk by cafés serving huevos rancheros, I followed my trusty guide book to find A la Folie, which was easy to miss due to the overgrown palm trees right in front of the entrance, providing shade for its early-morning breakfast goers, sat at spindly little tables lining the pavement – sorry sidewalk!

A French friend of mine tells me "a la folie" means "like crazy" and is sung at the end of the 'he loves me, he loves me not' game, which is of French origin.

Inside is full of French memorabilia as well as rows and rows of magazines (even a few in the French language), while Church-style pews line the walls, decorated with navy scatter cushions which complement the black-tiled floor. A framed map of Paris neighbours the French prints on the wall, while a gramophone is cleverly suspended towards the back of the café. This is the kind of place you could happily spend a few of hours with a couple of bowls of coffee, escaping the sun while reading a magazine or two. 

My friend and I order coffee and my café au lait arrives in a big bowl with no handle – how very French – and we peruse the menu, which features a number of traditional dishes including French onion soup and escargot, it was breakfast, so it was time to eat our weight in those carbs the French do so well. 

A la Folie Café Français specialises in paper-thin crêpes made from buckwheat, which is what my friend chose, which enveloped a generous helping of blue cheese and spinach, topped with a good handful of toasted almonds. Meanwhile, I decided to go for the breakfast bread basket: a baguette, pain au chocolat, croissant and jam, accompanied by a fruit salad, just in case you wanted to attempt your five a day.

I must say I regretted my choice of baked goods when my friend’s crêpe arrived, which she gladly let me “try” (I mean, share). If I was to return, I’d order the bread basket between two in addition to a breakfast dish. That said, the pastries were buttery and flaky, while the baguette held its crunch even doused with enough jam to cause a severe spike in anyone’s blood-sugar levels. 

If you’re in Miami Beach and fancy a quiet brunch spot to watch the world go by, try out this little French gem on Española Way.

A la Folie Café Français
516 Española Way,
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Monday, 25 April 2016

Mug of the Month: Peacock Power

A couple of months ago I attended an event at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London. where I enjoyed my morning cuppa out of the most delicately designed peacock mug. The mug in question was part of the St Pancras Chambers Collection and costs £15. 

It really was beautiful.

And there must be a trend for peacocks this season, because if, like me, you think £15 per mug is a little steep, I found a colourful variation in Debenhams this month, for almost half the price, at £8 each.

If you want a touch of elegance with your morning brew, go grab them now while you still can.

Mug of the Month: I’m a firm believer that if you drink a cup of tea out of a beautiful mug it will taste better. Every month I will be featuring a lovely mug which will be perfect for your morning cuppa. Spotted a special mug I should know about? Get in touch: or tweet me @cl_baldwin

Monday, 18 April 2016

Breakfast at Yardbird, Miami Beach

A short walk from the hustle and bustle of Collins Avenue on Miami Beach, where the party goers drive their flashy cars, pretty girls screeching and waving their arms out of the window to a toot of a fellow horn, sits Yardbird, a much more casual affair.

Achingly cool, Yardbird is the type of restaurant where your Bloody Mary is served in a mason jar, along with two sticks of crispy fried bacon - even the bill (sorry cheque) comes in a mason jar.

I feel if Yardbird was set in London, it would instantly be labelled "hipster", I'm not sure if it's the size (Yardbird is much bigger than the tiny pop-up restaurants which litter Old Street in East London), or the softly placed wild flowers and tea-towel placemats adorning the tables, which brings this place right back down to its Southern roots. If you combine wooden floorboards, an iron-top bar with a gigantic wine rack, that's the right amount of cross between sophistication and traditional, if you ask me.


After trying and failing to book a table one Sunday morning in March (apparently the staff don't check their voicemails on a Saturday afternoon), my friend and I managed to find a space between the many Miami brunch revellers and the cocktail paraphernalia at the bar - in fact I felt like I'd committed a cardinal sin asking the bartender for a coffee instead of a mimosa, but she skilfully poured the strong American coffee across the bar, avoiding all iPhones, with a lovely smile on her face, before going back to shaking her colourful liquid concoctions. 

Whitewashing the exposed brickwork also softens the surroundings, while floor to ceiling windows on this corner street building allows the Miami morning light to flood into the room. Around us are people from all walks of life - gaggles of girls gossiping over cocktails, hungover-looking young couples attempting a brunch date, parents with young children sat in leather booths munching on pancakes and a huge family gathering on one table which was stacked with every dish from the menu, with the grandparents tucking into various dishes and happily toasting their younger counterparts over a breakfast cocktail.

I always get overwhelmed choosing breakfast dishes from a new menu. While I want to try something new, or taste something I wouldn't normally choose, I also want to order a classic to see how different venues put their spin on that famous eggs benny - FYI, Yardbird's comes with a biscuit crumble and lardons. 

At least this time I was traveling with a friend who is a first-class foodie and sharer, so we decided to start with the Maple-Glazed Bacon Doughnut ($9). I expected one doughnut we could cut in half to whet our appetite, not a tower of four, shiny with syrup and encrusted with bacon bits. We gleefully tucked in to the miniature skillet and the sweet doughy pillows went down a dream with our American black coffee. I did think they could have been more savoury, I tasted more maple than bacon, but they were still delightful.

While I had my eye on the Chicken, Watermelon and Waffles ($36 and the house speciality), a day of eating like an American the day previously had already broken us, and I felt it would have been a waste. So we opted for two of Mama's Biscuits ($14), one with Virginia ham and cheese, the other with crispy chicken and pepper jelly. Biscuits are such an American breakfast, and in my experience are often dry, but these scones were airy and sweet, topped with smoked ham almost like bacon and the other with some of the best friend chicken I had ever tasted - salty, but not at all greasy. To be honest, for a Southern menu, none of it was greasy or oily and I love how Yardbird has a perfect balance traditional southern diner comfort food with a classy cocktail service

Virginia Ham and cheddar cheese

Crispy fried chicken

Afterwards suitably stuffed, we leaned back on the bar and watched the Mac 'n' Cheese and the '77 Elvis Chocolate Chip Pancakes float by, which was pure torture. We wanted to taste everything, but our British stomachs couldn't handle another morsel and as I write this post, how I wish we had sucked it up and ordered dessert - it was Sunday brunch after all.

1600 Lenox Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33139

Friday, 25 March 2016

Baked avocado egg for brunch

If you've been reading this breakfast blog long enough, you'll know by now I'm a big fan of baked eggs. I've tried baking creamy eggs with smoked salmon (Royale) and spinach (Florentine), as well as ham, chorizo and chilli. It's a really comforting weekend brunch, which is simple and has the added bonus of looking great on the plate.

But until very recently I had not baked an egg inside an avocado. Yes, you heard me right, inside an avocado.

Recipe for one blissful weekend brunch

While I bang on about avocado smash ALL the time on my Instagram feed, I haven't even applied heat to this green fruit before, never mind use it as a capsule for baking eggs. But when you remove the stone from a perfectly ripe avocado, you find yourself with this beautifully smooth hole, which really is just asking to be filled to the brim.

I made this one quiet weekend morning for myself, but it just so happens an avocado has two halves, so this recipe can easily be doubled to make breakfast for two - if you want to share, that is.

Firstly, take half an avocado and discard the stone. Now, dig out a little more of the avocado's flesh to make room for the egg and then find a container which will keep your avocado upright while it is baking in the oven. Next crack an egg into a ramekin (this gives you better control) and carefully slip the yolk into the hole, along with some of the egg white (remember the whole egg probably won't fit). Once full to the brim, use a piece of kitchen towel to mop up any white which is sitting on the flesh, this means the bright green won't be hidden beneath any cooked egg white.

That's the hard bit out of the way. Now give the avocado egg a good grind of salt and pepper and pop into a hot oven for 20 minutes until the white has just set and the yolk is still runny.

While cooking, whip up your favourite side to accompany - I went for strong chorizo and mellow wilted  spinach, because the avocado egg, while pretty, is quite bland. I'd also add chilli flakes for an extra punch.

Enjoy x

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Mug of the Month: Lakeland's cake in a mug

I love baking. The comforting combination of wet and dry ingredients which magically transform into a spectacular carrot cake, raspberry cheesecake or chocolate torte in the oven. But sometimes, my sweet tooth isn't very patient. That's where these mugs come in.

Lakeland's 'cake in a mug' (£7.99) and 'muffin in a mug' (also £7.99) provides you with instructions on how to make a sweet treat in three minutes flat. It clearly won't taste as good as a Sunday afternoon labour of love, but it will surely fix that afternoon cake craving we all get now and again.

Check out the range, here.

Image: Lakeland

Image: Lakeland
Mug of the Month: I’m a firm believer that if you drink a cup of tea out of a beautiful mug it will taste better. Every month I will be featuring a lovely mug which will be perfect for your morning cuppa. Spotted a special mug I should know about? Get in touch: or tweet me @cl_baldwin

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Breakfast at the Dutch Pancake House, North Wales

A recent visit home to Wales resulted in my friend and I getting lost in the foothills of Snowdonia trying to find our way to the Dutch Pancake House in Conwy. If you try and make this journey yourself, rest assured, it's really easy, just don't take the back-roads like my friend did if you're starving and also suffering after too many cups of tea. But the plus side of this oh-so bumpy journey was trying to make friends with a cute little mountain pony and spotting lambs gambolling over the green fields, which was enough to distract me from the pain in my bladder for a good 30-seconds or so.

We finally arrived, and after hurrying back from the (very nice and clean) bathrooms, we settled down with our menus and took a look at our surroundings. This cafe has been around for many years, serving its famous pancakes, and I couldn't believe how I hadn't been taken here as a child. The family-friendly restaurant is decked out in Dutch paraphernalia, with Delft Blue plates, Vincent Van Gogh prints and cloggs adorning the walls - as well as a strangely-placed fish tank in the centre of the room.

After warming up with a cappuccino, we chose our pancakes - one cheese, bacon, leek, mushroom and egg, and one special pancake, folded over with a creamy leek filling. Well, we were in Wales.

A Dutch pancake - not to be confused with a Dutch baby pancake - look like a crepe, but are ever-so-slightly thicker making them more structurally sound when housing their generous fillings and also more satisfying than a paper-thin crepe pancake. Both pancakes were divine, the first was like a pancake pizza, with crispy bacon, while my fold-over was more like a comforting deconstructed cannelloni, perfect for warming you up on a dull Welsh Sunday.

After our first course, we then glanced at each other across the large pine table and both, quickly and shamefully, ordered our dessert pancakes - one lemon and sugar and one cherry special with cream and ice cream, both dusted with icing sugar.

The Dutch Pancake House is situated in the grounds of Conwy Water Gardens. So after a pancake (or in our case two), I heartedly advise to take a stroll and be at one with the Welsh countryside. Not only will you fall in love with the nature reserve, it will help you work off that double-helping of pancakes. Just be warned - the Aquatic Centre sells bird feed, so be prepared for the chickens and ducks to chase you around expecting treats. We made quite a few friends that day, come to think of it.

Uh oh, no feed. We'd better make some friends

Why, hello there Mister Cockerel

Bottoms up
After those pancakes, you and me both!
So calm and peaceful until Mr Cockerel starts up again 


Dutch Pancake House - Conwy Water Gardens
Glyn Isa
North Wales LL32 8TP
01492 651063