The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Portorais Hotel, Palermo, Sicily

Portorais Hotel
Via Piraineto, 125
Palermo, 90044
+39 091 8693481
by Blake Pudding

We were somewhere around Corleone on the edge of the mountains when the Prosecco began to take hold. I had been commissioned by Oligarch magazine (incorporating Toff Monthly) to write an article on a classic car rally. Girls, Alfa Romeos and louche antics, the piece would practically write itself and I would get a free holiday. It was not to be. When the rally organisers found out about my intentions they threatened to run over my legs with a 1972 Cadillac Eldorado. I was skint and commissionless in Sicily so I patched a call through to Malcolm Eggs to ask whether he would take a special breakfast dispatch. He said yes and generously agreed to pay my expenses out of the LRB budget. I was back in the game but rapidly running out of words without having touched on what I had for breakfast.

We had eaten that morning at the Hotel Portorais. Everyone looked a little peaky after the night before though not as peaky as the hotel itself with its air of faded grandeur and thwarted ambition. The staff’s uniforms looked like something from an am dram production of HMS Pinafore. They laid on a top breakfast though. Excellent coffee of course - it is very hard to get bad coffee in Sicily - but also cakes, tarts, croissants, yoghurt and best of all a kind of flat calzone thing stuffed with ham and cheese. Not knowing when, where or with whom I would be having lunch, I made a bit of a pig of myself. I need not have worried, as after getting slightly lost, we ran into the rest of the group just outside Monreale. The Cadillac was groaning with food and wine. I necked the best part of a bottle of Prosecco, ate more pizza and then shouted “follow me to Corleone, I know the way,” though of course I didn’t and was just drunk and showing off.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like you did the right thing by eating up large in case you couldn't find food later! Before we left Taormina to head back to Palermo I stocked up on tramezzini, cannoli and water. Lucky for that. In the middle of the island we got lost and couldn't find anywhere open to grab a bite so had a picnic in a funny little playground next to a church. The view across to Etna was fantastic, even if it was freezing outside! Next time, I'm going to check out the Portorais. Sounds like my kinda start to the day. Thanks for the tip.

5:42 PM, May 12, 2009  
Blogger Malupi said...

I loved your blog, we will be in London in June and I'm finding out where to eat, we will be staying in the Allen House Hotel, our Royal Holiday Club membership took us there and we plan to enjoy every day of the week.

5:39 AM, May 16, 2009  
Anonymous surfadelic23 said...

Better be careful around Corleone, I've heard that's bat country...

2:50 PM, May 19, 2009  
Anonymous Blake Pudding said...

Thank you Mr Surfadelic for getting the not terribly obscure literary reference. None of my friends did.
You win a signed photo of the former Mrs Pudding looking exasperated.

5:23 PM, May 21, 2009  
Anonymous surfadelic23 said...

Cheers Mr. Pudding!
Love The London Review of Brekfasts, gives me great ideas for when I'm on Holiday!

7:52 PM, May 22, 2009  

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