We had our first trial run breakfast service at the weekend, and it was a good job we did. It was served in the newly roofed conservatory, with views up the mountain and views of the rubble in the corner, half painted walls, piles of wood, glass and a large hole outside. Our guinea pigs were the Warrys (Jasper, Lou, Bean, Roly and Floss) and my Mum who was visiting to help us get ready for opening.
On the menu was the usual array of cereals, tea, coffee juice etc, home made sourdough bread, with Welsh* breakfast and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon as the main cooked options. The orders contained a good variety of options to test us:
- 1 Welsh with poached eggs
- 1 Welsh with scrambled eggs
- 2 x scrambled eggs with smoked salmon
- 1 scrambled eggs on toast
- 1 kid’s full Welsh with boiled egg
- 1 kid’s full Welsh with scrambled egg, but no mushrooms or tomatoes
It took us an embarrassing 32 mins from the order to service, which looking back on it, I’m not quite sure how it took so long. We had pre-cooked the sausages, but everything else was made to order hoping to keep it as fresh tasting as possible. Unfortunately we managed to get the worst of both worlds by freshly cooking it, and then overcooking a few things in the general confusion.
Lessons learnt from this and the feedback from our guests were:
- Too slow, needs to be 10 mins max for a cooked breakfast, just enough time to have a first cup of tea and some cereal
- Portions too big, especially the kid’s portions – 1 rasher and 1 sausage max and offer seconds
- Some of the bits were cold – bad timing, more practice
- Crust on the home baked bread too hard – I have been lightly coating the dough in oil as it proves to stop it sticking, might have to change to
- Butter, preserves etc to be served in their own little pots, ramekins etc
- Put cereals in kilner jars rather than boxes
- Keep it simpler, don’t give option of different types of eggs – controversial one, if people want poached instead of fried I think they should have them
- Ask guests the day before what they want so more prep can be done in advance. – Very controversial one, to ask or not to ask, that is the question. Can we ask guests the day before what they want the next day?
A few things to work on. It was pretty good already, but we want to serve an amazing breakfast not just a good one.
* The main distinguishing factor of a Welsh breakfast is laverbread, which we didn’t have so strictly speaking it wasn’t a Welsh breakfast at all, apart from that it was eaten in Wales. In case you are interested, laverbread is cooked, pureed, seaweed that is rolled in oats and then fried, delicious.