With Valentine’s day just around the corner, we asked one of our new favourite food bloggers, Kate Baker, to give us some ideas for a romantic start to the morning
Breakfast in bed
Valentine’s day. Breathtakingly exciting for 10 year olds, mortifying for teenagers and pretty much non-existent for anyone with kids. But hold on! If anybody deserves to be told that you love them, it’s the person with whom you have shared night feeds, 5am episodes of Ben & Holly and that sinking feeling when you realise you don’t understand your child’s homework.
And this is why I think breakfast in bed is exactly what we should all be bringing back this Valentine’s day (and frankly, any other Sunday morning that finds you both at home). I confess that as somebody who struggles with early mornings, sneaking back to bed with a plate of toast and a coffee is absolutely one of my favourite things – so to make it a bit special for your loved one this February, here are my top tips for a romantic breakfast in bed.
Focus on your surroundings – if you’re planning a romantic surprise the next morning, spend a couple of minutes clearing the stage the night before. I’m not suggesting you re-decorate, however nothing kills the mood like a week’s worth of unfolded laundry winking at you from the corner of the room.
Get your good stuff out – don’t save beautiful bed linens or gorgeous crockery for best – use them, love them and appreciate the pleasure that little luxuries bring to our lives. I love crisp white linen, supersoft throws, huge scatter cushions to lean into and I have a thing for beautiful coffee cups.
Keep it simple – this is a treat, now is not the time for a painstakingly complicated cooking session. I’ve put my favourites here…
- Toast and marmalade with coffee – it seems really obvious, but the key thing here is to use great ingredients – proper butter, sourdough bread, good (preferably local) marmalade and decent coffee. It’s always popular in our house and the kids can help too if you want them to.
- An oldie but a goody. Salmon, scrambled eggs and avocado sprinkled with nigella seeds for a bit of added interest and served on rye toast.
- Stir some rhubarb compote (homemade or shop bought – whatever works for you) through a small bowl of Greek yoghurt. Sprinkle over some crushed pistachios and drizzle with runny honey. Serve with a warm croissant to rip up and dunk and the fruit tea of your choice. Easy, delicious and looks amazing.
- Porridge, with anything you like – the world is your oyster! When I have time to make it properly, I like mine with bananas, honey and figs. I like it even more when someone else has made it for me.
- If you’re really pushed for time, you can easily find ready to cook croissants or pain au chocolate in the frozen section of your local supermarket. Sling a couple in the oven while you feed the dog and hey presto – breakfast in bed!
Attention to detail – STOP! Before you take that tray upstairs have a look at it. A small posy of flowers, the newspaper and a handwritten note make a huge difference – heck, it IS Valentines after all!
Make a habit of it. Catch up together, let the kids in for a snuggle and turn a blind eye to the toast crumbs – it’s the little rituals that turn our homes into havens.
Words and pictures by Kate Baker – Food and lifestyle blogger