How to eat a breakfast buffet: a post from my stay at the Mercure hotel, Inverness, Scotland
I was recently a guest at the Mercure Hotel in Inverness, Scotland where I got the inspiration to make this post. Navigating through a hotel breakfast buffet can indeed be a very daunting task especially if it is a high-end or a luxury hotel. On one hand you want to maximize your experience at the buffet by getting back more than your money's worth and on the other, you don't want to get run down by greed and overeat and ruin your holiday. However, keeping these few simple things in mind can save you from chasms of misery and make the whole affair a breeze.
1. Start by mixing the juices
I am always intimidated by the different kinds of juices a good breakfast buffet has to offer. In order to have the satisfaction of having tasted them all, I mix all my favorite juices in one small glass together, always preferring freshly squeezed juices to canned ones.
Sometimes, I may just pour myself half a glass of orange juice and then stand back and observe (without judging of course) how the other guests get themselves through the pressing exigency of the moment!
2. Juice and coffee can be had together!
Don't be embarrassed to have your juice and coffee together-this I learnt in the U.S.! Whether you are having breakfast at Ihop or Denny's or your favorite hotel in the U.S., you are usually served orange juice and coffee together. It took me some time getting used to but I have since adjusted my mind to enjoying the hot and cold beverages together.
3. How to eat porridge and muesli
You can start your breakfast with muesli and have porridge like a dessert or vice-versa but don't have both of them together--you might just want to throw up even before beginning your breakfast! At times like these, it is always good to remember life's little rules on self control and happiness and eat only small quantities because you want to be able to taste everything and not die of greed!
To maximize your 'cereal' experience, mix the different kinds of muesli and cereal together with nuts, prunes and a spoonful of yogurt and maple syrup or honey (or both!) and get the best out of your cereal bowl.
Porridge usually takes me way back in history to my school days when my mother used to give us porridge as the main breakfast dish every single day of the year. Sometimes when you are traveling alone in a foreign country, it's good to have a dish that you connect with at a deeper level and remember and feel good about the unselfish love of your mother minus the school days of course!
4. Be specific while eating the main course
When you get to the main course, it always pays off to be more specific in your choice of food, for e.g. I would rather eat fried eggs and toast instead of gorging on all different kinds of smells, tastes and shapes.
While eating and enjoying only one hot dish, don't give in to the evil temptations of the mind that may lure you back to the buffet bar for trying out all the other dishes you missed out on!
5. Pack some take-aways!
I love croissants and usually pack a couple as a day-snack that always come in handy when I feel hungry later on. You can wrap them in a tissue and carry them in your pockets and if you are not wearing clothes with pockets, just ask the hotel staff to help you--they are most obliging and will let you take other stuff too like yogurts and cereal bars that make a great midnight snack!
6. Exercise to build your appetite
Try and get some exercise before your breakfast buffet so you can build your appetite. If I drink only a soup for dinner and swim laps before my morning meal, I am able to do some justice to the expensive and extensive breakfast. There is nothing worse than ruining your holiday by not exercising and overeating--you will feel dull and depressed all day, it's truly not worth it!
7. Table with a view
This was the view of the city of Inverness right from where I was sitting and having breakfast at the Mercure hotel; it couldn't get better than this! I was grateful there were not many people at the buffet that day as I was not in a mood to practice compassion and give up my nice table to someone else.
Note to the Mercure hotel, Inverness, Scotland: Thank you for a splendid breakfast and such great views of the city from my breakfast table! Thank you also to your kind staff for letting me take pictures of the buffet.