Breakfast done well is easily my favourite meal of the day.
Now my typical morning routine involves waking just after 6am, and try to dash in and out of the cold kitchen as quickly as I can. I throw oats and milk into a pan, stir up some porridge while the kettle boils, then hurry back to bed to eat my breakfast in the warmth.
(I guess I could just switch the kitchen radiators on and eat at the table - but then I'd have to move the pile of ironing I like to ignore!)
Porridge. Coffee. Orange juice. No thought, just something quick and filling for the day ahead.
So come my days off, I like to make something of an effort with my first meal of the day.
I love the smell of proper coffee brewing in the cafetiere, rather than guzzling down a cup of the instant stuff.
Adding a little extra goodness to the breakfast with a fruity juice or smoothie, freshly blitzed there and then. This one's simply half a mango, a handful of raspberries and a good dose of apple juice.
And then there's the salty combination of buttery toast and a couple of eggs. This time around I went for boiled eggs and soldiers, but I regularly mix it up with poached eggs, scrambled eggs, bagels, pancakes...
(I'll let you in on a little secret... I'd actually planned that oh-so-cliché breakfast of poached eggs and avocado on this particular morning, but the avocado turned out to be one of those rogue ones that seem perfectly ripe until you slice them open to find a rock solid centre...)
There's something incredibly satisfying about getting boiled eggs just right. My perfect boiled eggs need to have the whites cooked through, while the outermost yolk is slightly soft, with plenty of runny yolk left for dipping in the toast. I'm fairly sure I get it more through luck than skill each time because I'm never very consistent with remembering to set a timer!
I enjoy making breakfast something of an occasion, even when I'm just cooking for myself. It makes me think of weekend brunches in Clifton (ahh how I miss my Bristol life...) and long holidays with nowhere to be first thing in the morning.
Rather than huddling back under my duvet, half listening to the warbling radio, I like being able to sip my coffee and watch the television, ideally with the sunlight streaming in through the window.
There's just something about setting yourself up for the day with a hearty breakfast, bringing it all together with warm food, fresh coffee and a sweet juice full of flavoursome goodness. And that peaceful feeling, taking my time to actually enjoy it all. It makes me feel like I've got my life together, ready for a productive day (even if that's just getting on top of my TV 'to-watch' list).
Just don't leave it too late, or it becomes brunch and that's a whole other experience altogether!
What would be in your perfect day off breakfast?