Here’s how to get the most out of your hotel breakfast
How do you create the perfect breakfast when you have a wealth of options? And when should you arrive for breakfast to get the best possible selection? An expert from Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz gives you his top buffet tips!
“We know that many of our guests stay here because of our excellent breakfast,” says Terje Christensen.
He is Food & Beverage Manager at Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz in Oslo – the proud recipient of “Oslo’s best hotel breakfast” award. Christensen has overall responsibility for all food and beverages served at the hotel, and is well-versed in quality-checking everything that is whipped up in the kitchen, including the breakfast menu.
“Breakfast is important to people. It has a huge impact on how the rest of our day turns out. So we need to get those energy levels up,” observes Christensen.
“And we tend to regard breakfast as even more important when we are staying in a hotel, since this allows us to take a break from our normal busy schedules and spend more time enjoying food that we don’t typically eat every day.”
It’s difficult to argue with that. Because there’s nothing quite like sliding out of bed and making your way to a bountiful breakfast buffet, filled to the brim with everything your palate could desire.
That said, it can also be a little perplexing to be faced with a sea of options. Before you know it, you have piled your plate high with way too many foods – only to realise that they don’t even complement each other.
To give you the low-down on how to get the perfect start to your day on your next hotel visit, we have asked Terje Christensen to share his top breakfast tips!
1. Find the perfect time
Deciding when to have breakfast will obviously depend on your schedule, but if you have the flexibility, you may want to take note of certain ideal times.
“It’s important to highlight that the selection of food and beverages available will be the same regardless of when you arrive, since we constantly restock the buffet,” reassures Christensen.
“But if you are looking for a peaceful atmosphere and shortest possible queues, you are most likely to find this during the first half hour of the breakfast service on weekdays and before 10 a.m. on weekends.”
2. Allow plenty of time and see what’s available
The best way to get the most out of a breakfast buffet is to give yourself plenty of time. This will allow you to revisit the buffet several times and try as much as possible.
“It’s worth walking around the buffet and getting a feel for what’s on offer before you start helping yourself,” explains the expert.
“This makes it easier for you to combine a balanced plate of food – and ensure that you get to taste everything on your wish list.”
3. Start with the cold food
“I always recommend starting with the cold options,” says Christensen.
This is because the warm selection should be eaten separately. If you combine cold and warm foods on the same plate, the warm items tend to get cold before you get around to eating them.
“Think about a fried egg, for example. It doesn’t take many minutes for it to cool down to a less-than-ideal temperature.
That’s why it’s wise to choose a selection of cold foods, before returning to the buffet to fill your plate with some of the warm options.”
“This also reduces the risk of helping yourself to more food than you can eat, and therefore has the added advantage of reducing food waste,” highlights Christensen
4. Don’t forget what’s not on display
One thing about hotel breakfast buffets that many people do not realise is that, in most hotels, you can order dishes not displayed at the buffet.
“We accommodate our guests’ needs and preferences,” explains Terje.
“If you fancy an omelette with spinach or a porridge with a certain topping, for example, you can simply ask one of our staff, and we’ll take care of it. By making certain dishes ‘à la minute’, we give our guests freshly prepared food and the precise range of tastes they are looking for.”
And this obviously also applies to anyone with special dietary requirements due to allergies or for medical reasons and the like.
“We aim to give all our guests the same experience, regardless of their circumstances or expectations. If you have special requirements, I would recommend that you advise the reception desk when you check in, so that we can be fully prepared.”
5. Get the freshest foods
The freshest foods are often the best, and while some of the dishes offered at the breakfast buffet obviously need to be prepared in advance, there are a few dishes that can only be made from scratch once the buffet opens. And naturally you don’t want to miss out on these!
Terje Christensen reveals that all of Rosenkrantz’s breakfast dishes that contain eggs are made the same morning. And the energy shots are squeezed at the crack of dawn. All fruit is cut just before serving, and all the bread you find at the buffet is freshly baked.
“We even make a gorgeous warm liver pâté every morning, and we also serve grilled bacon straight from the charcoal grill.”
6. Make sure you don’t lose your food
And speaking of food waste, here’s a classic scenario at a breakfast buffet: you decide to get a bit more of something or top up your coffee, and when you return to your table a few minutes later, you find that the waitron has cleared away the plate of food you were busy eating. How do you prevent this from happening?
It’s quite simple, according to Christensen.
“You simply place your cutlery on the napkin next to your plate before you leave the table. Because if you place your cutlery at an angle on the right side of your plate, you are signalling to the waiting staff that you have finished your meal – and therefore risk having your food cleared away.”
7. Try new flavours
Last but not least, Terje Christensen believes that you will get the most out of your hotel breakfast if you dare to challenge your tastebuds.
“We always include classic flavours in our buffet, but we also like to explore and be creative with seasonal produce. As an example, we are currently serving cured salmon with beetroot, reindeer cuts, cured halibut and many exciting cheeses. So when you stay with us, you get the chance to taste flavour combinations that you have probably never tried before.”
Menu recommendation for breakfast visionaries
Are you having breakfast at Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz? If so, Terje Christensen has the following tips for the perfect three-course combo:
1. The cold round: “Skagenrøre” seafood salad
Start your day with a fresh seafood salad. Mix your favourite summer greens together, and top off with a dollop of seafood salad. (If you are not a fan of “Skagenrøre”, try substituting it for chicken or herring.) Best enjoyed with a wholegrain roll and a freshly squeezed energy shot.
2. The warm round: Egg and bacon with friends
Egg and bacon is and will always remain a breakfast favourite, and the bacon grilled on the charcoal grill by the Rosenkrantz chefs should definitely be sampled. Choose your preferred type of egg and add warm vegetables and perhaps some green beans, meat balls and sausages if you are particularly hungry. The fresh apple juice from Egge farm will complement your meal well.
3. The dessert round: Cheese platter
You will find a wide selection of cheeses at the buffet, so all you have to do is select your favourite flavours and top it all off with your choice of accompaniments – such as biscuits, marmalades, prunes, grapes or melon. If you are visiting Rosenkrantz this autumn, look out for the warm Camembert. It tastes just divine with nuts and a drizzle of honey! And according to Christensen, a little bubbly is the perfect complement to cheese.
Book your next stay
Breakfast is always included when you stay at one of our Norwegian hotels.
At our hotels in Brussels and Rotterdam, you can choose if you wish to enjoy the breakfast.