I took such pleasure in the dos and do nots of dinner partying that I thought I would try my hand at another astonishingly educational insight into the world of hosting… the perfect breakfast in bed. Having served at least one in my time and been served two, who better to give you such sound advice? (Does sarcasm translate in print?)
Know your audience
This isn’t just in terms of the menu selection but, importantly, timing. Are they a morning person? Will you be able to tame the lion with a bacon sarnie or are they likely to slap you in the face with it prior to 7am. Think carefully and fit THEIR schedule, not yours.
Minimise the moving pieces
If they’re anything like me and are particularly precious about their beautiful high-thread count Egyptian cotton white sheets, you can get lost with your sloppy beans or rogue raspberries unless they are stuck into a pile of yoghurt with no way of escaping. In the name of simplicity, why not try baking an omelette or perhaps some stacked pancakes that require a knife and fork (not a drip risk – always avoid mess prone food).
Get ahead of the game
An unexpected breakfast in bed is the best kind, so, like a Ninja, you want to be up and at it without arousing suspicion. If you are up at 5am and cooking in the kitchen for 3 hours, alarm bells may ring. So why not prep ahead? Overnight oats are a delicious idea and super simple to pull together. Alternatively, why not get your ingredients weighed out and measured the night before. The last thing you want is the other party climbing out of bed and asking, ‘is there anything I can do to help?’. No Pauline, eff off back to bed.
If you’re going to spoil someone, do it properly. A breakfast in bed isn’t a daily affair so make it count. Rather than just bringing a croissant with a half finished tub of lurpack that has since become a breadcrumb graveyard, why not jazz it up with a selection of spreads in cute little ramekins, or even a small platter of several pastries. Go on, you’ve got this.
It’s the finishing touches.
A proper napkin, flowers, maybe even a small cupcake from Waitrose that they can take to work… something that transforms the tray from an inflight meal to something they’ll remember.
Buy a tray
Come on, let’s be smart about this. Breakfast in bed is turning into quite a plethora of food and fancies (if you’re following the list correctly), and that one shift you spent working in the local pub still probably hasn’t prepared you to carry all this. Grab a tray with handles, a rim to catch spillages and wide plates and bowls to prevent messes. Maybe a thermos for the tea or coffee as it takes notoriously longer to navigate a plate on your lap than your regular breakfast scoff.
You cook AND clean.
Don’t be a 12 year old on mother’s day and lure your partner into a false sense of relaxation, only to be obliterated once they go down to the kitchen to see it upended with every possible pan charred and every box of cereal going stale in the morning sun. Not cool, mate. Not cool.