Breakfast in bed.

The closest I came to the perfect one was in a London hotel and the reason it wasn't perfect was that every morning the waiter hovered outside the door, waiting for me to get out of bed, and every morning I hovered in bed, waiting for him to bring in breakfast. He always won, swinging open the door and entering triumphant the minute I threw back the covers.

Ah, but once it was there. Hot croissants, marmalade, a bowl of steaming cereal, tea in its china pot.

Still, the delight of getting crumbs all over the sheets and spreading the paper right down to the foot of the bed neednot be dependent on a waiter waiting.

You can make your own breakeast the night before, cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Also done in advance is the tray. Knives, forks, napkins, all arranged, marmalade and jams in crocks, butter on a plate, flower from the garden or just a few inches of philodendron clipped from a houseplant for the green of it.

One of the nicest and easiest things to serve yourself is berries and cream - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, doused in heavy cream or dolloped with sweetened creme fraiche . On the side, a sweet bread - banana, blueberry, apply, anything dense and thick with nuts.

When berries aren't in season, wrap hunks of cantaloupe in thin slices of country ham and serve them with a round loaf of French bread. A large basket of fruit - oranges, bananas, apples, peaches - can be eaten with a runny Brie cheese (leave it out all night) and unsalted crackers. Other possibilities: chicken liver pate with pats of sweet butter, Swedish crisp breads and a large bowl of cherries, white grapes and orange sections; quiche Lorraine accompanied by peeled and sliced kiwi fruit or, if you have the patience to wait for the hard green papayas from the supermarket to ripen, a papaya, quartered and served with sliced of lime.

For a rainy, chill morning when you don't want to ever get up, have apple pie with Vermont cheddar cheese and a spiced rum and cider punch. A custardy bread pudding, stuffed full of raisins and covered with cream, gives, you bread, eggs, fruit and milk all in one bowl.

What you drink depends on how serious you are about getting up. Champagne, of course, or half champagne and half orange juice so you can feel virtuous about having had your Vitamin C. Bloody Marys are a classic, as are screwdrivers. Or, if you really want to spoil yourself, whip up a Ramos Gin Fizz, put Louis Armstrong on the phonograph, and forget all about the Sunday paper.


(Serves 1)

1 1/2 oz. gin 1 egg white Juice of 1/2 lemon 1 1/2 tsp. confectioners sugar 1/2 tsp. orange-flavored liqueur 3 oz. heavy cream

Forth in blender. Add 3 drops orange flower water. Pour over cracked ice. CAPTION: Illustration, no caption