Food & Wine Lifestyle Luxury Hotels Travel

Breakfasts in luxury hotels

Spanish and Italians, and others, like whole ham, off the bone

Spanish and Italians, and others, like whole ham, off the bone

A hyper-energy gal of the world is constantly asked where she gets her energy from. Sleep, silly, and exercise, egocentrically, and breakfast, bountifully (plus love, of life and guy, and today and tomorrow).  She has her early morning routine wherever she is and, no, this is not the place to share ablutions or inner thoughts.

A German room service breakfast (at Villa Kennedy, Frankfurt

A German room service breakfast at Villa Kennedy, Frankfurt

Nationalities like different things.  There are many old empires that still head for ham, perhaps Dr Seuss-style with eggs.

Imagine the conquering explorers sailing from the olde worlde, Italy, Portugal and Spain, carrying hams to the other side of the world. They would be dried, to keep’em fresh.  The English also had hams, but preserved differently to give a pale pink texture with white fat around the edge.

In Italy, nothing beats a whole ricotta cake

In Italy, nothing beats a whole ricotta cake

Sometimes it is just essential to order room service breakfast. I went round the world once, not with dried hams but by ordering ‘brown toast’ for room service breakfast.  I got white bread toasted brown and, in Tehran (yes really) a whole loaf of untoasted brown sliced bread.

Later, in Dubai, it was an Iranian, Beyrouz Tamdjidi, who first thought of bringing a toaster up to your room, with your room service order so you could make your own toast.

Captain Nair receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from Greg Wilson, Director of ITP Publishing

Captain Nair receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from Greg Wilson, Director of ITP Publishing

Today, in Italy, buffets excel in dairy choices, say mozzarellas and ricotta cakes and cheeses. Italians also like their sweet flans.  Indians go for dals and rice, and chai (tea).

In Bombay I breakfasted in the eighth floor Royal Club of the Leela Kempinsk with its owner, Captain C.P. Krishnan Nair – a Kerala boy, 1923 vintage –  who conveniently lives right next door.

He turned up in a tight-fitting yellow polo jersey and roared with laughter as he told me about his good friend the Dalai Lama, who uses this as his home from time to time.  A couple of weeks ago he honoured the Kiwi Collection party in Cannes with his presence – he wore a brown woolly hat.

This last   (December 16th, 2011), Captain Nair was honoured with the lifetime achievement award from Hotelier India for his creation of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts – wish I had been here, giving further support to such industry stalwarts as the super Vikram Oberoi and Priya Paul, President of Park Hotels.

Early beverages-to-go, Peninsula Beverly Hills

Early beverages-to-go, Peninsula Beverly Hills

But the gal was on her way to another gorgeous luxury hotel, The Peninsula Beverly Hills, celebrating its 20 years as the home of discerning celebrities.  Being on UK time, I popped down early to borrow some parcel tape (no, not for nocturnal games but merely for tying up parcels).  Every good hotel should have a pre-breakfast selection of hot beverages.  This one was particularly stylish.

Egg-white-only frittata, Peninsula Beverly Hills

Oh so American, egg-white-only frittata, and half size please

Later, at breakfast-proper, with different damask patterned cosies for each order of tea, we heard about the birthday celebrations.  Third night had been sold for a mere $20 and boy do those Big Spenders like a bargain…

I heard about Room 23, which does not exist, other than the name of a book.  In 2009 Diana Jenkins published it, full of sometimes-racy photos of her friends, people like George Clooney, Sir Elton John and Lindsey Lohan, apparently overnighting, separately, at the hotel.

She is quite some woman, Ms Jenkins, real name Sanela Ćatić – a Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina girl, 1973 vintage – married to English banker Roger Jenkins, and now the brains behind Neuro functional beverages, of which more anon.