Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Shepherd’s Hut at Argoed, Brecon, Wales

20130522-163427.jpgOne of the undeniable perks of the Egg Poacher’s job is the occasional foray into the world of glamping: be it tipis, treehouses or train carriages, all must be seen and sampled. Best of all, we sometimes get to stay, and this means one thing – breakfast in some gorgeous locations.

The Shepherd’s Hut in Brecon is one such wonder – built to measure, it hosts a proper double bed and posh compost loo, a hot shower and an incredible view to the hills. Owners Ben and Amanda (she a the business partner mum, he the hands-on and unbelievably capable son) have given this project a huge amount of thought and time, allowing guests to feel welcomed and at home while providing the seclusion that many seek from the week’s bustle. Better still, the fabulous Felin Fach Griffin is a mere mile down the hill, so you can fuel up on beautifully cooked local meats, homemade desserts and some very fine wine before a short, star-lit climb back to bed.

Gently prodded us from our slumber by the sun the next morning, we were soon clambering up hill and over fences to capture the best views of Pen Y Fan. Our breakfast was generously delivered to us: warmed croissants, homemade jam, fresh coffee and juice and – for the children we really are – our own choice of cereal. With nothing but the birdsong and the occasional curious hen to listen out for, we settled into the absolute peace and felt the world and its worries float away.

Price: from £95 per night, including breakfast.

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Filed under Intrepid Breakfasts

Havana Coffee, Cotham Hill, Bristol

20130513-140159.jpgNicely ramshackle and comfortably worn in, Havana Coffee provides a welcome relief from the “boho-local-mimosa” joints so easy to come by in Clifton. Che Guevera and Diego Rivera look down upon the mismatched tables and worn tiled floor, with rumba music continuing the Cuban theme. There’s a sense of timelessness about the place: students in slogan’d T-shirts delving into fry ups and deep bowls of filter coffee, the owner and his cronies putting the world to rights in the corner, bathrooms that haven’t seen a paint brush for a decade or two.

The food itself has both a North American theme – thick milkshakes, pancakes of all denominations – and a more traditional bent; the full English comes with artery clogging hash browns, boiled, buttery mushrooms and square toast. Seeking some grease to soak up last nights’ excesses their excellent (and enormous) bacon butty hit the spot, while their coffee is as unforgiving as you might hope.

Compared to the organic options nearby (HFW’s River Cottage Canteen is just up the road), Havana isn’t sophisticated – but, happily, it isn’t trying to be. Instead, it serves no-nonsense breakfasts cooked to order from a small kitchen out back, with not a jot of pretension in sight.

Price: from £2.90 (beans on toast) to £7.50 (Big Breakfast).

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Filed under Locals