Do you ever feel like there will never be enough time in the world? These days are passing by in a blur, one after the other, leaving behind a trail of unreached goals and unmet deadlines, and the searing hot guilt of the serial underachiever.

Nevermind. On Sundays I still take the time to treat myself to a good breakfast and this, my friends, is the breakfast of champions.

Sourdough bread, toasted, spread with a generous amount of butter.

Chard, wilted in a bit of olive oil and garlic and chili flakes.

Duck eggs, poached, using this miraculous method from Delia,  which has transformed my egg poaching experience. Before: deconstructed filaments of doom, tears, tantrums, deep seated feeling of inadequacies, self-victimisation (“why does the poached egg hate me? why? WHY?”). After: perfectly formed poached egg, minimal fuss, propensity to call myself an “egg ninja”.

Parmesan shavings, kampot pepper.

Eat while sitting in the sun with the heating turned on and the steam rising from a cup of tea.

What are you having for breakfast today?

I’m on my way back to Scotland for a few days. I was starved this morning and bought a bacon roll in desperation at King’s Cross – a thing dry and brittle like the desert.

I couldn’t help thinking about the best quick breakfast to have in Paris, at this celebrated bakery near the Canal St Martin. It’s a wonderfully pretty place, that smells of yeast, warm bread and butter even on Sundays when it is closed. They’re famous for their Pain des Amis (friendly bread? bread for friends?), large loaves cut up and perfect for sharing. But it’s the fresh croissants, crisp, buttery and salty, and petits pains filled with things like goat cheese and honeyed apples that I can’t resist.


There are benches by the canal for picnicking, and when you’re done wiping the crumbs off yourself you can go visit the many outlet shops in the area for a Maje or Les Petites bargain. Bliss.

Where: Du Pain et des Idées, 34 rue Yves Toudic 75010 Paris (Métro Jacques Bonsergent)

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 6.45 am to 8 pm

Tip: It’s worth going in January for their very good galette des rois

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Hand stamped vintage cutlery, perfect for the spoon thief in your life.

£7.50 from Goozeberry Hill’s etsy shop.

I also want the “Mrs and Mrs” forks and “Everything stops for tea” spoon.


This is breakfast.

I don’t want to hear your cries of disgust or see your little noses wrinkle up disapprovingly. This is not just breakfast, but the breakfast of champions: chunks of dried fish fried with garlic and caramelised until crispy and golden, wonderfully sweet and intensely savoury, perfect with a side dish of rice porridge.

You’ll find the dried fish at most Cambodian markets. The fish is marinated in a flavoured brine before being left to dry out in the sun. Choose a stall where the owner takes care to bat the flies away; if you travel overland between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, you’ll find particularly tasty specimens at Kompong Thom market. The smaller variety is made from wild fish and more delicious than its fatter farmed cousin.

To prepare it, wash it thoroughly and chop into thumb sized pieces. Fry the fish in about one centimetre of oil until both sides are crispy and golden brown. Remove the excess oil, then add a lot of chopped garlic – about 6 or 8 cloves for a whole fish.

When the garlic starts to change colour, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar and a tiny bit of water over the fish. Stir well until everything has caramelised around the fish chunks, then serve with some steaming hot borbor (rice porridge) and beet pickles.