It’s never too early for a champagne breakfast

BROWN’S HOTEL
33 Albemarle Street, W1S 4BP
Tel: 020 7493 6020
FOOD ****
SERVICE ****
ATMOSPHERE *****
Cost for two people: £495

Ruinart claims to be the world’s oldest champagne house, founded by Nicolas Ruinart in 1729, and Brown’s Hotel claims to be the oldest hotel in London, opening in 1837. They have combined to offer a new breakfast-in-bed package, based around flavours that compliment Ruinart’s rosé champagne. So far, so glamorous.

I went to check out the ultra-romantic package. Alone.

Brown’s, in Mayfair is owned by Rocco Forte and is as luxurious as you’d expect. My deluxe suite looked like a classically decorated apartment, rather than a hotel room, furnished with studiously cool books by the likes of Evelyn Waugh and George Orwell, and prints of Winston Churchill and vintage cigarette packets.

The concept is a breakfast designed to accentuate the subtleties of Ruinart Rosé, with fruit flavours chosen to reflect the fizz. It is a gigantic spread, involving waffles smothered in dark cherries, sugared pink grapefruit, pineapple and melon (served, of course, in a tiny hollowed-out pineapple, as if you would serve it any other way), strawberry smoothie, pomegranate “breakfast bars” (the low-point of the breakfast), croissants, and, obviously, the champagne itself. If you can polish it all off, you have a bigger appetite than I do, although I made a serious dent in the booze. My only complaint was the lack of coffee – an absolute necessity at any civilised breakfast.

There is also a perfume challenge, which involves identifying scents that reflect the nose of the Ruinart Rosé, with the correct answers awaiting you in a sealed envelope (I scored five out of eight). It’s a fun addition to the breakfast, although quite how educational it is, I’m not entirely sure.

If you’re looking for a special romantic gift for your other half, you could do far worse than this. By Steve Dinneen

The Ruinart Rosé Interpretation Breakfast In Bed, launches in October.

A meal fit for a Hobbit

To mark the 75th Anniversary of The Hobbit, HarperCollins is throwing a hobbits’ “Second Breakfast” in the gardens of Fulham Palace, transforming the traditional surroundings into the “magical world of The Shire”. The event will fall on 22 September, the date marked as the official birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Activities will include readings from Tolkien’s novels and what the organisers are calling a “Middle Earth feast”.

To apply for tickets log on to www.hobbitsecondbreakfast.com