Best Hotel Breakfast
Hotel breakfasts can often be a bit of a hit and miss. The scrambled eggs are always in danger of being overcooked into curdled lumps, while the line for the waffles can be demoralising so early in the morning. Thankfully, hoteliers are starting to pay more attention to their post-slumber victuals and offering tasty edits of the city’s best, but without running the risk of overwhelming with choice.
Every morning in its high-ceilinged, mod-Baroque dining room designed by Philippe Starck, the Royal Monceau in Paris puts on an astonishing sweet spread by Pierre Hermé that is one part diabetic shock and two parts inspired. For fans of the fabulously talented patissier, it’s a surprising treat that doesn’t require a schlep to Hermé’s tiny rue Napoleon atelier in the St. Germain quarter.
Headlining the sweet temptations are the Ispahan croissant, its crusty folds laced with rose-water icing; a deeply bronzed twirl of crisp kouign-amann, a Breton classic; and Hermé’s version of the kugelhopf, here reimagined as a fist-sized sugar-encrusted nugget of light, fluffy cake riddled with golden raisins.
On another tray lounge cream cakes in vanilla, chocolate and lemon, as well as a gluten-free lemon version—because this is France and why should health concerns stand in the way of a sugar-loaded breakfast?
The rose-water motif also runs through the selection of yoghurts and jams, but Hermé outdoes himself with the apricot and almond milk jam, and a gooey, lush sablé chocolate spread that’s perfectly matched by the pile of light-as-air discs of crepes.