Breakfast Buffets in the UK

Breakfast buffets in the UK. I have to say that I didn’t even know there was such a thing, but a few weeks ago, my whole world changed.

It was my birthday and Guy was looking for ways to make me feel at home. I had mentioned to him previously how my dad and I used to go for breakfast all of the time (and still do when I’m home), so he took this idea and ran with it. After sleeping in, we got up on a lazy Sunday morning and trekked through the rain to a nearby breakfast buffet. .

Now, it was lacking in many of the American classics I crave (American bacon, shredded hashbrowns, biscuits, etc). But it was a buffet, and there was breakfast food, which meant that I was ALL. IN.

So in, in fact, that I took enough pictures to turn my experience into a blog post to share with you all. I am telling you now that there isn’t much more coming besides pictures of eggs and me rambling about endless portions, so feel free to bail out now if you are more refined than me.

The name of this restaurant, the beacon in this sad English winter, is Harvesters. It’s a chain restaurant, similar to Perkins or Dennys or whatever not-that-great-but-will-do American restaurant you can think of. I am fully aware that most of the food is probably frozen and then heated up in a microwave, but I DO NOT CARE.

When we walked in, I almost cried on account of how similar it looked to chain restaurants I am used to. Because sometimes I don’t want a pub (or a gastro-pub), I don’t want a family-owned cafe, and I don’t want a fish and chips shop or Chinese takeaway. I want a cheap meal in a restaurant that duplicates its menu across the country and has friendly waiting staff. I want large portions served on a branded plate with a funky accent light overhead. I want a buffet.

We were seated at a table for two and told the breakfast options. It cost £4.99 per person for a massive English breakfast and an unlimited continental buffet featuring cereals, small pancakes, fruit, yogurt and toasts. I rejoiced and started to choose what I wanted for my hot breakfast.

This amounted to:

Four hashbrowns
Three eggs (scrambled)
Tomatoes
Beans 

and finally
FRENCH FRIES. FOR BREAKFAST.
I didn’t even know this was a THING, but apparently it is. This reminds me of the time I talked about how English people make fun of Americans for their eating habits when really England is super unhealthy. But in that moment, despite being on a wedding diet, nothing was getting in the way of me and my french fries.
Guy also got sausages and bacon with his similarly large breakfast.
I didn’t get an amazing picture of the continental buffet because I looked a bit ridiculous taking photos, but here is an example.
I went up and visited multiple times, not because I was particularly hungry, but because I could.We finished 45 minutes or so later, looking at each other like we weren’t sure what just happened. I was about to be in a food coma, and also on Cloud 9 because for that brief moment, I could pretend that I was 4,000 miles away from the cold and the dark and the wet, sitting in a bright American buffet eating my weight in carbs.

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2 Responses

  1. matt says:

    Happy Birthday!

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