I had my first taste of Carluccio's breakfast two years ago, around Christmas time, and it has since remained my number one spot for eating out for breakfast. The pastries are sweet and fresh, the bacon is crisp, the eggs have just the right amount of wobble and the bread - well, I could write a whole post about the bread. We paid under £10 each which included a drink, and depending on what you order your bill could come to under a fiver.
If you have never been to Carluccio's for breakfast - or any meal - you are missing out. Save up your pennies, find your nearest branch and make a trip out of it. Eat at all the Italian bread your stomach will allow. Then, enjoy browsing the sweet and savoury treats available to buy in the shop. It is generally an amazing experience, just to visit the place. The one in Cardiff is located underneath the library in the city centre, and on Tuesday I went with my friends Rich and Rhi for breakfast before embarking on a day of last minute Christmas shopping in the Welsh capital.
When you walk into a restaurant and the first thing you see is this, you know you're in for a treat. We were too hungry to stop and browse so we decided to eat first.
I knew what I was having even before looking at the menu; pancetta (posh bacon) and eggs on Italian toast. Rhi chose the same and Rich the breakfast bread tin which would have been my second choice.
Shortly after our food was brought to us, our drinks arrived along with an extra egg on a separate plate for me; apparently the chef had only given me one egg - I hadn't even noticed.
Little lonesome egg on such a large plate. Best orange juice, by the way. Sweet, tart and fresh. Yum.
I am always tempted to buy a panettone from Carluccio's, but at nearly £17 I don't think I can justify it. They look so so good, though. You can get the traditional fruit one or a chocolate one - I would be happy with either.
Rhi picked up a few gifts from the festive display of treats but I was in the mood for browsing, and tasting...
These chocolate dipped bread sticks were stunning. The slight saltiness of the bread added a wonderful depth to the chocolate and I was impressed by the idea of combining foods you might eat before and after your main meal. Again, I would have loved to have bought some but at £10.95 a packet, I resisted.
Before we left, I took a few photos of things I particularly liked the look of:
Chocolate coins - perfect for stockings. It is so worth buying good quality chocolate coins - no one likes cheap chocolate.
On a hot day a can of San Pellegrino hits the spot. There's something about the packaging and design that I love, too. Italians get it so right, you know?
These lemon tarts looked like they might have tasted like actual heaven - so yellow and creamy looking - but after an indulgent breakfast we had had enough to eat and were ready to make our way to the shops. It was such a busy day and although I got a few great items for Christmas, I can safely say I will never be going Christmas shopping the week before ever again.
Have you ever been to Carluccio's? The waiter took the menus away before I had a chance to take a photo but there were so many delicious things to choose from - you can check them out here. Carluccio's is amazing for lunch and tea, too. I have fond memories of trips to London with my parents and going to eat at a bustling branch in the heart of the city. It is a restaurant I will always be glad to go to, but especially for breakfast. Are you hungry yet?