We were in Toronto this past weekend. It was a trip planned around hockey (hockey game, hockey hall of fame, purchasing hockey schwag) for my son Myles’ birthday. Even though I was the sole woman on essentially a boys’ trip and the Ontario Science Center isn’t on my bucket list, it’s always nice to be away. I realized one of my favorite things about being away and my young boys realized it too. One of my treasured travel treats is room service. It isn’t so much that the food delivered is outrageously delicious, though I did have an amazing tandoori chicken salad the first night when we arrived late, after all we have some of the most amazing restaurants here in NYC. No, there’s something else that makes room service special.

I snapped the photo above while my family was still sleeping. I wasn’t sleeping because I knew at 8am the doorbell would ring. Sure enough it did ring at 8:01! and in rolled the little room service table/tray. This one had a heat drawer underneath keeping Myles’ French toast…well toasty. My room service breakfast wasn’t necessarily anything I wouldn’t have at home. I had 2 hardboiled eggs (omega 3 eggs no less), mixed berries and coffee. What I don’t have at home is my coffee in a shiny stainless steel carafe with accompanying adorable milk (well cream) pitcher, my eggs in ceramic egg cups and my berries in a little ramekin with a mint sprig. I don’t serve French toast with sprinkled confectioners’ sugar; I don’t make rainbow yogurt parfaits or use my pretty china. I don’t but I could and you could too, right?

Chefs know the importance of presentation and plating when it comes to the overall dining experience. Thanks to the Food Network even home cooks can present a dinner plate with verticality and garnish. For some reason though, we do not tend to pay attention to presentation for breakfast or snacks or when we were whipping something together for ourselves and nobody else. Interested in this room service effect, I have been experimenting. I brought lemon and lime slices to the office and a glass instead of my reusable water bottle. I used my silver and white wedding china for my green tea and sliced my apple, fanned it out, sprinkled it with cinnamon and added a dollop of almond butter for my afternoon snack. None of this was time consuming and yet it felt different. It felt special and I found myself eating in a more relaxed manner. Having taken the time to prepare my food, I was taking more time to enjoy my food. I am enjoying room service right here at home.

Are you a room service fan? Any tricks you have to make food more special? Do you think presentation of food influences your eating speed or enjoyment?

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