Breakfast begins around 0730 when the doors to the Crystal Dining room open. Guests pass a dispenser of skin disinfectant before moving to their choice of table set with white linen cloths and napkins and good quality cutlery and crockery. An aproned waiter approaches immediately offering tea, coffee or water. Guests have a choice of ordering from the menu or the buffet or both. Everything is prepared and cooked in the galley except for eggs . A chef stands in the centre of the buffet ready to prepare eggs in any style.
There is a choice fried eggs in any style with your choice of mushroom, onion, bacon, tomato and cheese. The rest of the breakfast is self serve buffet style, typical of what’s seen in hotels. There are stands with a large variety of breads rolls, croissants and pastries with butter margarine, jams, honey, peanut butter nutella and vegemite.
Another table offers a variety of hot and cold starters such as cereals, muesli and porridge accompanied by bowls of fruit salad fresh fruit, cottage cheese and yoghurts.
The central buffet offered trays of marinated mustard or wine herrings, smoked mackerel and an abundance of smokes salmon topped with thinly sliced onion, accompanied by a horse radish sauce. A platter of ham, prosciuto salami and pate stands next to a platter of several varieties of thinly sliced cheeses. Next to this is a plate of fresh vegetables such as cucumber, green leaves and tomato.
Large dishes of scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, fried bacon, sausages and crisp hash browns are always available.
Other dishes varied between baked beans, fried mushrooms, French toast and seasoned baked tomatoes. A range of drinks included hot and cold milk, spiced iced tea and juices were also set out.
You could also order off the menu dishes such as eggs Benedict, lamb chops or minute steak with fried onions. The food was abundant and fresh and offered sufficient choice to please most. The waiters were exceptionally attentive, with a most agreeable demeanor but were over efficient, tending to remove cutlery and crockery before the last bite had been swallowed. Seasoning was variable either excessive or insufficient resulting in inconsistent taste of the food. Although ingredients were of good quality the lamb and the minute steak were cut very thinly and they and the onions were always dry and overcooked. The eggs Benedict that we requested to be lightly cooked were wet and made the bun they sat on soggy and diluted the otherwise tasty Hollandaise sauce. Perhaps if they had cooked them for longer they may have been able to drain them more thoroughly. A light early bird breakfast was also available half an hour earlier for those who wanted it in the lounge area with tea and coffee, orange juice and iced spiced tea, a variety of pastries and croissants with a range of jams.