Anyone for Brunch?Brunch anyone?

“Americans who overslept invented the word brunch, but the ingredients and the casual atmosphere bear a strong resemblance to breakfast in an English country house or to a French midnight supper. The choice of menu can be as wide as the imagination.” Joan Crawford
For me brunch was the best thing ever invented. Born to be tasted on a sleepy Sunday morning, starting at eleven or midday. So good it's already been transferred to other days of the week.
I have always been a firm believer that a well laden late breakfast table can provide a calming respite from the hectic world around us. Too often breakfast is a hurried unsociable meal taken on the hoof while getting kids off to school or oneself off to a once specified office. All change Covid. In the not so distant past for many people, such late, leisurely breakfasts could only occur at weekends or during holidays, which meant they could be treated as a luxury to be savoured in full.Now with more time on our hands there is no reason why we should not all enjoy the pleasures of what was once the privilege of the leisured classes in past centuries, when time and circumstances allowed. Downton,Gosford Park and Mrs Patmore´s kedgeree
immediately spring to mind.
Landed gentry, accustomed to a more leisured pace, have always relished the pleasure of rising late to start their day with  the pleasures of The Times being ironed for them by Mr Carson, the said butler, before enjoying an unhurried feast that can be greeted with a fresh palate while the day is still young. It can be partaken outside of the home or prepared in ones own space.The former is still prohibitive with the the restrictions of the pandemic, unless we share an outdoor picnic in the garden with the Jones´s next door. So perhaps we should nurture the tradition in the comfort of our own homes. Brunch brings to mind things involving eggs, ham, bacon, avocado, smoked salmon, bagels, kidneys perhaps if one is going down the traditional route.Fruits, pastries, French toast, cheese, cured meats.

My favourite brunch item is Eggs Benedict, so much so that I have put my own stamp on it as a signature dish, follow the link for the full story. If push comes to shove I think my preferred option is to leave the house for brunch and enjoy it served to me in a  favourite establishment. Here in Portugal there are some fine options for brunch.Locally we have Guarita Terrace, and Cha com agua salgada. Tavira provides more options, Gilao is a great location on the river with a splendid midday menu, but I have to say our favourite stop is Nora Velha Cafe where you can sit on the terrace and while away the midday hours with a Bloody Mary or too and plenty of brunch options. Perhaps the best Eggs Benedict I have sampled in the Algarve were found at Artefact in Tavira, but brunch is something I feel belongs to the weekend and they are closed on Sundays which defeats the purpose really, shame. I am very much looking forward to sampling an all new recipe

“Our Scrambled Eggs” Flavoured with Truffled Olive Oil (Low Temperature Egg, Shoestring Potatoes, Prosciutto and cream of mushroom) 

at Cha com agua salgada when they open later this month, but until then I will have to keep myself going with those "backhead" memories of some of my favourite outdoor Portuguese brunches,namely in Lisboa. Poison Dámour, now sadly a pizzeria, the Esplanada cafe in o Jardim do Principe Real, the all morning breakfast buffet at Hotel Teatro,and the special brunch buffet for €18 at Pão de Canela in praça de flores, Principe Real.

Cha com agua salgada reopens Monday 19th April 

.........and don´t forget the Bloody Mary


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