How to boil an egg and create a luxurious start to your day:This morning I was able to experience one of the best breakfasts EVER – thanks to a few of my favorite things this Christmas – in no particular order:
Downton Abbey Christmas Special
Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature by my friend Lisa Borgnes
Silver tray, butter cloche and linens from Vintageweave
Egg cups under glass cloche from Caroline
English Wedgwood china from Aunt Caroline found at a little shop in Santa Monica
Silver salt and pepper pots from Emma
Beautiful new china tea pot with blue birds from Aunt Caroline, from the same little shop in Santa Monica
Miranda penultimate episode
Deep red camilia flowers off the tree in the garden
Silver napkin ring with MADAME engraved on it found in the brocante in Provence last summer.
So here you have my favorite worlds colliding and giving me luxury beyond anything even Lady Mary could dream of. Lisa Borgnes suggests in her book, Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature, under the title Secrets of a Stately Home, page 99, that “You don’t need to live in a stately home to enjoy the benefits of centuries of tradition. Little domestic rituals have meaning that goes beyond appearance; they forge a link to the past and act as an emotional buoy in today’s rapidly changing world.” At the bottom of the page she quotes Vita Sackville-West’s THE EDWARDIANS:“Wood must be cut and carried, hot water bottles put into beds, inkstands filled, breakfast trays prepared, blinds raised and lowered… life … must be made as pleasant as possible.”
I’ve always had a love of decanters, I’ve ordered house stationery from Smythson’s of Bond Street, I’m airing out my sheets every morning and I’m already big on room sprays and scented candles and diffusers. I’m all over dipping handkerchiefs in eau de cologne (One of the advantages of being married to such a cosmopolitan French/New Yorker is he always has a real handkerchief in his pocket) – so I’m taking a tip from Vita Sackville West and I’m embracing the art of the breakfast tray and going all out to make life as pleasant as possible.
You will need as many of these items as you can find:
A silver tray – preferably antique and very frilly!
Good quality bone china
Lots of silver – spoons, knives, salt and pepper pots and preferably some cloches.
Caviar (Optional although essential really!)
French Yogurt – I like St Benoit
Frozen Wild Blueberries
1. Bring a pan of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt.
2. Gently place the two eggs into the boiling water and cook for exactly 5 minutes for the perfect soft boiled egg. Whilst the eggs are cooking I lightly toasted and buttered some white bread with very cold salted butter. I cut into soldiers and put on a little plate Jenga style.
4. After 5 minutes remove the eggs from the water with a slated spoon and place in the egg cups. It’s important to stop them cooking – a quick swipe to the top with a large knife will reveal the deep yellow yolks. I placed one under the glass cloche on the tray and topped the egg with a generous teaspoon of caviar.
5 I then sat back and thoroughly enjoyed as the family all looked on jealously at my extravagant luxurious breakfast. Minty set about making her own luxurious tray and Rémy asked for an egg and soldiers from my tray. He said it was like being at Lucknam Park and we all decided we would return their someday soon.
Tomorrow when I ask if anyone wants an egg I know they will think twice about reaching for a croissant!