The first meal of the day has always been something of an obsession for Hugo Woolley. A man quite defiantly in favour of the supposition that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, Hugo has put together a collection of some old favourites, modern flourishes and quite simply, quirky concoctions. With over 30 years of experience in the catering trade, including a stint running El Vino on Fleet Street, and another stint training up Bunny Girls in silver service, Hugo has quite possibly seen it all when it comes to breakfast.

Breakfast covers a sizeable geographic reach, with European morning-time creations such as Irish Potato Farls, Swedish Beef & Fig Open Sandwiches and Madeleines. Further a field American Blueberry Muffins, Huevos Rancheros and Spanish Frittata feature, with Hugo’s own take on Koulibiac, a traditional Russian breakfast-based pie.

Although Hugo is quite serious about starting the day with a coddled egg or two, his sense of humour and foodie experiences pervade the book. A good batch of these recipes have been passed on from Hugo’s friends and acquaintances including the Savoy Hotel’s Bar American, “Heart Starter” or “Corpse Reviver” – a hangover cure that promises to give you a kick start. “Drink straight from the shaker”, advises Hugo to those bearing the brunt of a heavy night out - “you are probably past caring”.

For days when hangovers are happily a distant memory, Banbury Potato Cakes, Ham & Egg Breakfast Tart and The Colonel’s Rumble Tumble Eggs promise to give lunch and dinner a run for their money. The only trouble with this book, is that it runs the danger of leaving you dribbling over the pages in your fuggy haze of morning consciousness, while you decide which meal will be the first of the day.

Breakfast by Hugo Woolley.

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