It wasn’t the same


I have written about the excellent breakfast experience at the Fuller’s hotel, Drayton Court. I have had similar experiences at other Fuller’s hotels, such as the Queen’s Head in Kingston and the Fox and Goose on Hangar Lane. I recently booked the Hand & Flower in Hammersmith.

Well, I had expectations that the breakfast would be of a similar quality. I was one of the first in for breakfast, as I had an early start that day. The breakfast arrived quite quickly, but then again I was the only person eating breakfast at that point.

It certainly looked like the other breakfasts I have had at Fuller’s hotels, however though it looked the same, it wasn’t the same. Sadly it was a similar experience the following day.

Essentially it tasted like yesterday’s breakfast heated up. The bacon was certainly not freshly cooked. On one day the sausage was still cold in the middle. The mushroom was good though.

It wasn’t awful, but it certainly wasn’t good and nowhere near the standard of similar breakfasts at Drayton Court and The Fox and Goose. I know I could have complained, but I am not sure what I would be complaining about. Hey, your breakfast could be better…

Breakfast Omelette

When I stay at the Drayton Court Hotel in London, most times, it not all times I have the full English breakfast for my breakfast. It is excellent and delicious. One of the features of staying at this hotel is that, not only is breakfast included in the stay, but the hot food is cooked to order and brought to your table. This is a little thing that I like compared to dealing with the hot buffet at other hotels I stay at. They have an extensive and interesting hot food menu for breakfast, though as I said, I usually go with the cooked breakfast plate.

Deciding to have a change I ordered the spinach and mushroom omelette.

This was a homemade cooked omelette generously filled with spinach and mushroom. There was a ham and cheese option as well.

It was hot and tasty but needed a little more seasoning.

I wasn’t too sure about the large lettuce garnish; I don’t usually have salad for breakfast. 

Disappointing Breakfast

One of the best hotel breakfasts I remember from my trips away was in 2008 staying at the Ambassadors Hotel in Bloomsbury. Back then I said:

Beautifully served, it consisted of an excellent meaty sausage, some very nice grilled bacon, a small bowl of baked beans, grilled (and skinned) tomato, mushroom, bubble and squeak, black pudding and egg. You had a choice of eggs (chicken or duck) and cooked to your liking, I had a poached duck’s egg. It was also garnished with lettuce, not sure about the lettuce.

It was also table service, you ordered from the waiting staff and the food was bought to the table.

I hadn’t used the hotel in the last twenty years, but last month I booked a one night stay as I was at an event close by and then was catching the train from Kings Cross. I was intrigued if the breakfast was as good as it was before. So you can imagine I had quite high expectations about the breakfast offering.

However I can say I was quite disappointed with what was on offer and what I ate.

They had done away with the table service, and replaced it with a breakfast buffet. That wasn’t really what I had hoped for. Alas though the quality of the breakfast was poor. Some of the hot food was overcooked and some of it wasn’t hot.

I appreciate that my expectations were high, and I was initially disappointed that there wasn’t table service. However the whole experience was disappointing. 

Better coffee

Drayton Court Hotel

I was back in London and staying at the Drayton Court Hotel in Ealing. I have been staying here for a fair few years now. It is significantly cheaper than central London, and with the Elizabeth Line, hitting central London is really fast. West Ealing Station is a few minutes walk from the hotel, from there you can catch a train to central London in less than twenty minutes. 

One of the things about the hotel is the excellent breakfast, but the coffee was always a little disappointing. Interestingly their sister hotel, the Fox and Goose on Hangar Lane did a similarly excellent breakfast, but also had a coffee machine, so I could get my morning espresso hit.

I was pleased to see on my most recent visit to the Drayton Court Hotel that they had installed a coffee machine. This meant I could have a double espresso with my breakfast.

Pleased with that.

Smashing breakfast

Drayton Court Hotel

Generally when I am staying away I do go for the full cooked breakfast. The Drayton Court Hotel does an excellent cooked breakfast which I have enjoyed many times.

This time though I decided to try something different and went with the smashed avocado, heritage tomatoes, chilli, slow poached Lycroft Farm eggs, rye sourdough toast. 

I’ve never had avocado for breakfast, so this was a new experience for me.

smashed avocado, heritage tomatoes, chilli, slow poached Lycroft Farm eggs, rye sourdough toast

The food was beautifully presented and had been dressed with pea shoots, chives and some dressing.

I really enjoyed this dish, the tomatoes were full of flavour. I liked the heat of the chilli that was mixed into the smashed avocado. The eggs were cooked well. It all came together as well. 

I think I would order this again.

Time for a German Breakfast

I was staying in Berlin for a few days attending a conference. The last time I had been to Germany was in 1985 staying for a couple of days in Munich on the way back from a camp in Yugoslavia. This was my first visit to Berlin and the first visit to a unified Germany. I was staying at the NH Collection Mitte ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ in the heart of what was East Berlin.

I had breakfast in the hotel and I did find it interesting what was on offer and what I could have. I had never had breakfast before at a German hotel.

So once I got my coffee and a (disappointing) orange juice, I headed to the service area to choose something for breakfast.

There was a kitchen that cooked omelettes and fried eggs to order. On the hot plates were Nuremberg sausage or Nürnberger Rostbratwurst. These were small grilled sausages with a distinctive flavour. There was also scrambled egg, which was nothing to shout about. I quite liked the cheese covered grilled tomato, the cheese certainly enhanced that tomato. The streaky bacon was overcooked for my liking. I guess if you like crispy bacon then you would enjoy this streaky bacon, personally I prefer my bacon cooked, but still soft. Though initially a little apprehensive, I did quite enjoy the mushrooms in a cream sauce. 

There was a wide range of breakfast items available. I did expect to see cheeses and cold meats, but was a little surprised to see fresh salad alongside. That felt a lot more like lunch than breakfast. Next to the salad was a lovely selection of fresh fruit. Elsewhere there was yoghurts and cereal.

I really loved the bread selection, as well as a range of bread rolls, there was a great range of loaves which you could cut slices from. There was white bread, seeded bread and wholemeal bread. Along with the bread was pastries and croissant.

There was also a pancake machine, which you could use to make your own pancakes, to which you could add maple syrup.

This was a splendid selection of breakfast items and I really enjoyed eating breakfast at the hotel. 

Time for a breakfast or two

I was staying at the Campanile Hotel in Glasgow close to the SECC where I was attending a conference. I was there for a couple of nights and had breakfast twice in the hotel. When I went down for breakfast it was quite cold in the dining room, I was glad I was wearing a sweater. The hotel wasn’t that busy so as a result they didn’t have a hot buffet breakfast, they made the breakfast to order. Actually I kind of preferred that over helping myself. At least the poached eggs (which I usually order) would arrive with the breakfast. The breakfast on both days was very similar, however on the first day the bacon was overcooked for my liking.

The second day they did a better job on the mushrooms cooking them to order, though I am not sure deep frying them was the best way to cook them (they were also very hot). 

I was a little disappointed (and just a little disappointed) that there were no Scottish aspects to the breakfast, such as Lorne sausage or tattie scones.  

Alongside the cooked breakfast, there were the usual breakfast items, such as croissant, cereal, orange juice and fruit. I did like the fact I could have a double espresso with my breakfast, as opposed to the standard filter coffee I had the last time I was staying in a hotel.

Overall it was a nice breakfast and set me up for the two days I was in Glasgow.

Toasted Panettone

A quick breakfast for me was to take a panettone, sliced and toasted. It can toast rather quickly so I use the lowest heat setting on my toaster.

A spread of butter, a double espresso, and a great quick tasty breakfast.

Breakfast once more at the Fox and Goose

I was in London and staying again at the Fox and Goose close to Hangar Lane. 

On my last visit there I had a great breakfast and some good coffee. So I was expecting another great breakfast and the good coffee.

The breakfast was superb. It consisted of pork sausage, Mrs Owton’s bacon, Hampshire black pudding, grilled tomato & field mushroom, hash brown, Heinz baked beans, and two poached eggs. 

Alas the coffee machines were broken, so they had to revert to standard breakfast coffee, which was disappointing. Well the breakfast was excellent.

Breakfast at the Fox and Goose

I was in London and staying at the Fox and Goose close to Hangar Lane. This is a Fullers Hotel and is part of the same chain at Drayton Court, which I have stayed at for a few times now. When I was staying at the Drayton Court Hotel I had an excellent breakfast.

The breakfast plate was beautifully presented. The three rashers of bacon were cooked to my liking, not overdone, full of flavour. I enjoyed the sausage and the black pudding. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked, and had runny yolks. The field mushroom was delicious, though I would have liked my tomato a little more cooked. The beans and hash brown were nothing to write home about, but did help complete the breakfast plate. I really enjoyed the breakfast and is one of the best breakfasts I have had at a hotel. 

I did make one criticism of this otherwise excellent breakfast, which was about the coffee.

However one criticism, was the quality of the coffee, which was standard filter coffee, and not very good. 

I would have appreciated better coffee to go with such an excellent breakfast.

So when staying at the Fox and Goose, part of the same Fuller’s chain, I knew (and hoped) I would have a similar excellent breakfast.

Upon arriving in the breakfast room, I was given a warm welcome and shown to my table. I ordered the full English breakfast and they also cooked the toast, so no need to mess about with the breakfast room toaster that I normally have to contend with.

Coffee was from a machine, but was so much better than the filter coffee that was on offer at Drayton. I could have my morning double espresso.

I also had a nice pot of Greek yoghurt before the main event, and dressed with some honey, delicious.

The breakfast arrived and it consisted of pork sausage, Mrs Owton’s bacon, Hampshire black pudding, grilled tomato & field mushroom, hash brown, Heinz baked beans, and two poached eggs. 

Well as with Drayton Court, it was excellent. It was a great start to the day.