• Cyril McAree

The End of the Breakfast Buffet?

While the traditional breakfast buffet, usually marked by multiple platter replenishments may have gone into temporary retirement, Ashford Castle is reassuring guests they will still be able to enjoy the same vast assortment of breakfast options they’ve always enjoyed. From the freshly cooked ham on the bone served straight from the carving trolley to an assortment of freshly prepared juices , there will be just as much choice as the iconic breakfast buffet had to offer previously. Should guests want to indulge in buttermilk pancakes, whiskey porridge, an omelette and a selection of the finest pastries, then why not.

Niall Rochford, general manager at Ashford Castle explains: “Guests will continue to enjoy a selection of pastries, cereals, fruits, cheeses, homemade chutneys and jams and, at Ashford Castle, a very special selection of homemade breads, usually followed by an à la carte dish such as eggs benedict, a full Irish, fluffy buttermilk pancakes or creamy porridge with a drop of whiskey.

“I think that the big concern for those planning on holidaying at home this year was the demise of the breakfast buffet and not being able to enjoy a little of everything, not to mention the perceived guilt that might accompany ordering in abundance. Well, at Ashford Castle, we want guests to enjoy the same dining experiences that they’ve always enjoyed. So if your order is a slice of Mrs. Tollman’s bread (a secret recipe from our owner), a sliver of smoked salmon, some of our famous baked ham on the bone and a poached egg, that is what you can expect when you come to Ashford Castle this year.

“So don’t mourn the temporary passing of the much loved buffet breakfast, because breakfast is still a feast for all at Ashford Castle.”

Executive head chef Philippe Fairneau has always been committed to sourcing the best seasonal produce from local suppliers in the West, including ingredients grown and foraged on the 350-acre estate. Breakfast will continue to be served in the George V dining room which features exquisite mirrored panelled walls and 11 Waterford Crystal chandeliers. Guests will also find appropriate arrangements have been made to allow for social distancing in all dining and public areas. Staff have been meticulously trained to ensure that guests can relax knowing that they are being beautifully looked after to the highest of standards.

With 83 rooms and suites, together with a hideaway cottage, Ashford Castle sits majestically by the shores of Lough Corrib, surrounded by ancient Irish woodland and beautifully manicured lawns. Once home to the Guinness family, the 350-acre estate in Cong, Co. Mayo is part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection and a member of Leading Hotels of the World, where guests have been enjoying exceptional levels of hospitality for more than 80 years.

The five-star property is home to a myriad of outdoor activities for guests’ enjoyment, including Ireland’s first falconry school. Ashford Castle is the only hotel in Ireland to have earned a Five-Star Forbes Travel Guide Ranking.

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