I had breakfast in this hotel on five consecutive days recently and would like to share my experiences with anyone interested.
The dining room is spacious and comfortable and the tables are set with white linen cloths and presentable silverware. The music is of the classical variety and is set at quite a low volume so it is not obtrusive. Breakfast is an all self-service affair which is situated in a well set out anteroom off the main dining area. This helps to keep clutter and human traffic to a minimum.
The hotel has come up with a neat solution to the slight burns one gets when opening the covers of the several bains-marie used to keep the food hot. And that is to tie a cloth table napkin around the handle. Brilliant! And the plates are heated in a plate-stack warmer which however could have been set a little hotter in my opinion.
As for the food: the orange juice is described on the menu as been freshly squeezed but it is not. And why is it not freshly squeezed? Is it so difficult to do? In Paris recently I was given a knife to cut the orange and the citrus press took 30 seconds of work. It was worth the effort. It always is when you taste the result!
Back in Mullingar there is a good variety of foods on offer including smoked salmon and fresh fruits galore and there is also a white fish option but no kippers which surprised me somewhat. On several mornings I had the pancakes which were of the French crepes variety and which I really enjoyed. On another occasion I had the fry from the buffet which was not too bad. However the sausages were described as being golden fried. But I have news for the chef! When I came to them they were almost black and that was quite early in the morning. And the black and white puddings were crusty on the outside from hanging around keeping warm which makes them a somewhat unpalatable. However to make up for that the coffee and the cakes and breads were all first-class. And there is a large lounge to relax in afterwards if one has the time.
Essentially, in spite of the criticisms, breakfast here was mostly a satisfying experience particularly when I had the pancakes which were really very good. And at €15 for the full meal or €10 for the continental variety it represents very good value for money. Recommended for the hungry early morning traveller.
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