I had been counting down the days until this weekend for several weeks now. After a flurry of weekends away, Christmas parties and other social engagements, it was the first whole weekend since early November with absolutely no plans. Well – no clear commitments or reasons to leave the house, anyway. I had plans – plans to drink mulled wine, watch Christmas movies and wrap presents. Plans not to wake up until 9am (in your 30s this counts as a lie in – I wish I could sleep in until midday like I did when I was 17!) Plans to drink Bucks Fizz and stuff my face with Toffifee. Plans to start winding down and looking forward to a well-earned break from work (only two more days in the office – what will I do with 12 days off?)
I find it amazing how different our weekend morning rituals are compared to mid-week. On a work day I’m up at 6.30, staggering like a zombie in a dressing gown down to the kitchen for my first green tea of the day, checking my phone through a half-closed eye and calculating how many hours it is until I can go back to bed. The first time I eat usually isn’t until around half 10 – either a bowl of cereal or porridge at my desk, or lately, a Quality Street or the results of someone’s Christmas baking. I used to be an absolute breakfast evangelist – the first person telling people it was the most important meal of the day. But when you’re usually leaving the house around 7.45, every precious minute counts – especially for a die-hard faffer like me; if you’ve calculated that I’m up and about for over an hour before I leave the house for work, that’s because I usually spend a good 20 minutes scrolling through Twitter, reading blogs or rifling through my wardrobe and deciding what to wear before I really get my bum in gear and start getting ready.
That’s why slow weekend mornings are especially special to me. A chance to pad around the house in pyjamas and slippers, letting the minutes tick by without panicking that I should already be halfway down the M27. A chance to roll over in bed and maybe even open a book and allow myself a few pages of reading before rising for the day. A chance to lie back on the sofa, wrap a blanket around me and enjoy that morning cup of green tea, lavishing in the satisfaction of having no particular place to be.
And breakfast becomes an occasion – transformed from a ginger nut crammed in my mouth whilst writing an email, to something to really get excited about. We all know that no-one does petit déjeuner like the French, so I turned to my friends at Brioche Pasquier to stock my breakfast table. Croissants, pain au chocolat and brioche loaf are the perfect ingredients for a languid breakfast. The Brioche Pasquier croissants au beurre are undoubtedly the best ones I’ve ever tried – soft, butter-y, and perfect paired with lashings of butter and jam (I had mine with Marks and Spencer Strawberry and Champagne Conserve – now that’s my kind of croissant topping!)
On several Tapping family Christmas mornings we've had bacon and cheese croissants as breakfast on Christmas morning (one of those funny little habits you get into!) and their brioche croissants are amazing with savoury ingredients. I'm a bit brioche crazy at the moment - burgers are definitely best served in a big, fluffy brioche bun, in my opinion. I've also bookmarked their Oat Crusted Brioche French Toast recipe for a future weekend breakfast; the photo alone is making my mouth water!
We spent some time munching through the various pastries and loafs this morning - the best thing about not having to rush breakfast is being able to wait until there's enough room for another croissant! We watched Elf in our pyjamas, whilst looping baker's twine around brown paper packages, snuggled up to Bodhi on the sofa, made a pot of gingerbread chai tea, and generally just embraced that feeling of utter, unbridled laziness. And then popped a couple more pain au chocolat in the oven...