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Journeywoman's European Brunch Directory...

London, England
When we were living in England, Kieran and I were frequent guests of the pub chain, Wetherspoons which serves several variations of the proper English brunch. The cool thing about the chain is that they would choose old and interesting pubs in each city so each one we went to was a different atmosphere and experience, but same great service and food. Website: P.S. There is also a free app on their website to help you identify all their locations.

Submitted by: Karin & Kieran Website: Twitter: @kandkadventure

One of my favourite places to eat in central London is the Cafe in the Crypt at St. Martin in the Fields Church (Trafalgar Square). They're open all day, serve three meals and afternoon tea. English and continental breakfast is served from Monday - Saturday (no breakfast on Sunday but they serve a roast beef lunch). The food is freshly prepared and you get to enjoy it in a brick-vaulted ceiling room. Look out for notices because there are musical events in the church and brass rubbing workshops on site as well. The church is located very near the National Gallery so after some time admiring art you can come in and enjoy a special English treat. At £5.75 their afternoon tea includes a scone with jam and Cornish clotted cream, a slice of madiera cake and double chocolate fudge cake with tea or coffee. Incredible value for the money! Website: Click here:

Submitted by: Lynn, Vancouver, Canada

My very favorite, very small restaurant for breakfast or lunch in London, is called The Muffin Man. There are two floors - the ground floor is for non-smokers, and smokers can use the upper floor. Expect homemade food; good soups, real chicken in the chicken sandwiches, and, of course, tea. It's located on Wright's Lane in Kensington. Wright's Lane is a tiny, two block long, street just off the Kensington High Street. (It's near the Copthorne Tara Hotel, and not far from my favorite Clark's shoe store.) All in all, a great location. Oh, and did I mention that they serve breakfast all day long?

Submitted by: Robyn, London, England

What's my idea of the perfect brunch? Kippers with marmalade on ciabatta toast. Weird I know but there's a place in London that panders to my whims, the High Road Brasserie. Located in the heart of Chiswick, west London, surrounded by interesting boutique shops, it's the local hot spot to people watch. Insider tip: get there early on Saturday and Sunday mornings as it gets busy. For those with more usual breakfast tastes they also do a magnificent full English breakfast, Eggs Benedict, Smoked Salmon with scrambled eggs, all the usual favourites. With indoor and outdoor seating all year, it's my favourite spot to relax and watch the world go by. Website:

Submitted by: Maggie Dobson Website: Twitter: @athomeinlondon

EDITOR'S NOTE: Here are some tips about good food for less in London. Click here.

Madrid, Spain
Located smack in the center of Madrid, Carmencita Bar serves up a fantastic midday brunch every Saturday and Sunday. Starting at noon (allowing you plenty of time to sleep in) and lasting until 5:00 p.m., you can enjoy favorites such as eggs benedict, french toast, and omelets. Wash it all down with a Mimosa or a Bloody Mary for good measure. Brunch items are a la carte but you should expect to spend around 10€-15€ per person. Check out brunch at Carmencita Bar at: Calle San Vicente Ferrer, 51 Madrid.

Submitted by: Lauren Aloise Website: Twitter: @spanishsabores

Oslo, Norway
This spot is a bigger splurge. On Oslo's main street Karl Johan, Grand Café in the Grand Hotel Oslo was once the hang-out of the Christiania Bohemians, a group of 19th century intellectuals and artists. World famous playwright Henrik Ibsen sat at his regular table twice a day, drinking a tankard of beer and reading the newspapers. It's easy to be transported back in time in this high-ceilinged, airy venue. Nothing ancient about the jazz brunch, however. Every Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm, Grand Café serves a huge buffet of meat, chicken, salmon and vegetarian dishes, and all kinds of fruits and yummy desserts. All to the tunes of smooth jazz. Website:

Submitted by: Anne-Sophie Redisch Website: Twitter: @SophieR

EDITOR'S NOTE: Journeywoman readers sent us these tips about Norway. Click here.

Paris, France
So happy to hear you are compiling a list of my European brunch spots, my fave meal of the day! Although Paris is a great city to eat any time of day, Café Qui Parle is a fantastic place for brunch. It can be a lil' pricey during the week, but the traditional weekend brunch buffet is really great value. You can get a plentiful meal for about 15 euros. Try the homemade jams, French cheese plate, brouillés, and freshly pressed jus d'orange. Best of all it is set in the backdrop of the historic artistic quarter in Montmartre and a bit off the tourist grid on a quaint corner. You can opt for an outdoor table and do some people watching on a Sunday! Website: Address: 24 rue Caulaincourt, 75018 (best méro stops: Blanche or Caulaincourt)

Submitted by: Cristina, Website: Twitter: @thetravolution

EDITOR'S NOTE: Paris locals tell us where they like to eat. Click here.

I recommend Le Loir dans la Théiére . The worn leather seats and charming chipped china in this salon de thé make eaters feel at home. Lingering is encouraged although laptops are not (see sign on the wall!) this place is designed for eating and chatting with your friends face to face over a good pot of tea and a tall slice of lemon meringue pie. Tarts are this shop's specialty and they offer a selection of sweet and savory tart du jour all afternoon, along with soup, salads and other light ladylike fare. Their desserts are on display and temptingly laid out along the old wooden buffet on the far side of the room, no need for a dessert menu here, just hop up, have a look, and point to your treat of choice! Address: 3 rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris.

Submitted by: Mary Campbell Website:

I recommend Au Pain Quotidien . On weekends they serve breakfast until 5:00 PM in the afternoon. In Paris they have six locations including Le Marais, St-Honore and Victor Hugo. If you are a solo traveller, you will enjoy their communal table. The table is described like this on their website, 'Friends and strangers alike come together around our communal table to break bread and linger for a while.' Their breads are great, many of their products are organic and I enjoyed my time there very much. Go early to avoid the weekend lineups: Website:

Submitted by: Veronica, Toronto, Canada

Prague, The Czech Republic
Café Savoy is a glorious coffee house that dates from 1893 and has all the art nouveau flourishes you would expect. It's in perfect condition because its stained glass windows were plastered over from 1939 through 1989. Now it's a place to sit and enjoy one of their prodigious breakfasts, each named after a different country. The French Breakfast is a French baguette, fried sweet toast with maple syrup, grilled sausage with french fries, Prague ham, boiled egg, French blue cheese, butter, homemade jam, croissant, grapes, fresh orange juice, café au lait. Rest afterwards is required. Address: Vitezna 5, Prague.Richard, Toronto, Canada

Submitted by: Richard, Toronto, Canada

EDITOR'S NOTE: Read Six Meals in Prague. Click here.


Foods to avoid...

"Cold soup is a very tricky thing and it is a rare hostess who can carry it off. More often than not the dinner guest is left with the impression that had she only come a little earlier she could have gotten it while it was still hot.'
(Fran Lebowitz, Metropolitan Life, 1978)

'At a sidewalk table outside a crummy cafe facing the station, I gulped down a patch of lasagna. It was clammy-cold and looked like something that should be bandaged.'
(Patricia Hampl, Virgin Times, 1992).

'I came from a family that considered gravy a beverage.'
(Erma Bombeck, A Marriage Made in Heaven or Too Tired to Have an Affair, 1993)

'The soup, thin and dark and utterly savorless, tasted as if it had been drained out of the umbrella stand.'
(Margaret Hasey, With Malice Toward Some, 1938)

'Bread that must be sliced with an ax is bread that is too nourishing.'
(Fran Lebowitz, Metropolitain Life, 1978)

'As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists.'
(Joan Gussow, New York Times, 1986)

She Eats Around the World


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