One hungover Saturday morning I picked my way through the sick-strewn streets of Bedminster in search of coffee and a quiet corner to compose myself in. The Lido sits atop some of Clifton’s highest hills, so breakfast had to be good; luckily, such sherpa-like activity is well rewarded here. Their granola is fabulous, full of nuts and packed with dates and apricot and served with a yoghurt too delicious to be truly good for you. Their sourdough toast comes with thick yellow butter, and their main menu befits the well-heeled and gillet-rich clientele: bacon sandwiches come with grape dust mustard and dandelion, kippers are wood-roasted, there are loose leaf teas, coolers and spritzers of all floral and herbal denominations. It’s popular with the Clifton set, as well as with mums with babes and swimming-capped regulars rhythmically puffing there way up and down the outdoor pool. Breakfast finishes before 12 and the sunshine draws a crowd, so it’s better to get there early. There is but one health warning: gaze out across the water and there’s always a chance you might come face to face with a soggy Speedo’d crotch. Best make that coffee a strong one just in case.
Price: From £2 (toast and preserves) to £7.50 (wood-roast kippers).
Though in truth we’d been camping for days and subsisting on Tim Tams up until this point, this still rates as one of the Best Breakfasts Yet. I have read reviews that bemoaned the frosty glances from Kai Whakapai’s resident dreadlocked locals, langorously declaring you ‘uncool’ with one twitch of a pierced eyebrow, but in our single-minded pursuit of breakfast our cagouled and sandalled-selves weren’t too put off. In any case, the first hit of beautifully made coffee followed by buckwheat pancakes with grilled banana, blueberries and maple syrup were enough for me to forgive anyone anything. A mix of Kiwis and tourists were spread across two floors, with cool jazz and some rather fine reggae to accompany our meal.
Price: From $5 to $15 (coffee included).
The worst kept secret in Nelson, The Café (pron. “caff”) is a local favourite, and justly so. It’s a few steps from the beach so families flock – and with tables outside you can watch your kids fly off the merry-go-round as you dine. There are parasols for those alabaster Brits not quite used to the New Zealand rays, and a classically Kiwi attitude to service (so all your meals are served with a smile). The breakfast menu is a wonder to behold: pancakes stacked with fruit and maple syrup, fried potatoes with bacon, sour cream and cheese, doorstops of carrot cake with more cream, berries and fresh pineapple. Toast and fruit salads are also on hand should the cholesterol levels require. There are kid’s portions, fresh orange juice and good coffee. Beware low-flying seagulls – they want your breakfast as much as you do.
Price: From $5 (toast) to $14 (brunch stack).