The Hotel Zombie Buffet Breakfast
Hotel buffet breakfasts are the pits. The worst. Here's our way around it.
Coagulated scrambled eggs. Sticky bacon drowning amidst a sea of sticky bacon. Bloodless blood puddings. Mortified fried eggs. Coffee from a machine. Tea from a machine. Everything tasting of the tired steam of a bain marie.
It’s not difficult to understand why the buffet breakfast in Irish hotels is so bad. The cooked Irish breakfast is the most bespoke meal imaginable. To make it correctly, you need to pay rapt attention to every single detail.
The scrambled eggs must be scrambled at the last minute. The bacon needs to be properly crisped. The sausages must be dry and fried just-right. And there are no beans.
For most hotels, no matter how many stars their service level promises, the cooked Irish breakfast is a bridge and a brigade too far: too difficult, too last-minute, too staff-demanding.
So, they cop out. They take the last-minute attention that makes a great breakfast, and they abandon it. In its place is a facsimile buffet: all the ingredients, without the attention. A ghost breakfast: present, but mortified. A Death Row of cooked obsolescence. The Zombie breakfast.
European hotels understand this, and so they don’t even go there. The continental breakfast is simplicity itself: cold meats, cheeses and breads with fruit and yogurts and a few token cereals. It’s not a big deal, and they don’t promise a big deal: it’s just something to get your motor running and to ease you into the day.
But Irish hotels do promise a big deal, and then they under-deliver, which adds to the disappointment.
So, what to do? The answer is: book a room at room-only rate.
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