I’m not really one for eating out for breakfast but when I was invited along to breakfast out with friends how could I refuse. As I knew in advance I checked the Harvesters allergen menu which was difficult to read but fully comprehensive. It was great because I knew exactly what I could eat. I ordered the breakfast which includes all you can eat continental style breakfast. I explained to the server that I had a dairy allergy who put a note on her mobile device for the chefs to see. She even double checked that I was able to have eggs (at least she was thorough).
Whilst waiting for the cooked breakfast we hit the continental breakfast. It was mainly pastries and crumpets so not much for me. I had a bowl of rice crispies without milk as no dairy free alternative was available. I have to say it’s a longtime since I’ve had rice crispies and they hit the spot nicely. There was also a big bowl of fresh fruit salad but I steered clear of this as the spoons had all been muddled up and I didn’t want to risk cross contamination.
I grabbed myself a cup of tea. I opted for the normal PG tips black tea. There was a small selection of Twinings but theses appeared to be old and looked like they had previously got wet. It didn’t take long for the breakfast to arrive. It was of a good size. I didn’t miss out because I was dairy free which can often be the case.
The breakfast was acceptable but nothing special. Some parts were warm others piping hot. I was little disappointed by this as I thought it was all cooked fresh. I enjoyed the mushrooms these were hot, cooked well and juicy. The same could be said about the tomato. The eggs were cooked as I personally like, slightly hard on the outside and nice and runny to the centre and again were hot and freshly cooked. Sadly, both the bacon and sausages were warm as if they had been cooked earlier ready to serve. The sausages were dry on the outside and meaty to the centre and lacked any real flavour. They were ok but nothing special. I have eaten much nicer sausages when eating breakfast out. The baked beans were fine but again warm and not hot. One seemed to jump from one side of my plate onto the tomato. Finally, the hash browns. I enjoyed these, they were a treat as often I am unable to have these. They were freshly cooked nice and crunchy on the outside with fluffy potato pieces to the centre. They were cooked well and weren’t greasy.
Onto the tea. I was disappointed by the quality of the tea selection. I was looking forward to a Twinings herbal tea. Never mind PG it was. On returning to the hot water urn it had run out so the server had put out hot water in a plastic jug. Not particularly safe and it meant the water was not hot even though they insisted it was and spoilt our tea.
Would I recommend the Harvester if you are dairy free or have food allergies or intolerances for breakfast well that it’s a tough call. The allergy menu is very concise and the staff appeared to understand food allergies and deal with it correctly. Sadly, the quality of the breakfast was not as I had hoped. I expected it to be all freshly cooked especially when dealing with food allergies and intolerances. This was clearly not the case with my breakfast due to varying temperatures of the food. Yes there is a limited continental breakfast, but I expect that. If I’m being picky simple measures should be in place to prevent cross contamination of the fruit salad so everyone can enjoy it. I was also disappointed that no dairy free milk alternative was available. It is in so many eateries now, please if nothing else rethink this.
I may visit another Harvester and have a completely different experience who knows. Sadly, I don’t think I will. Sorry Harvester but I really didn’t enjoy your breakfast and have had more enjoyable eating out experiences elsewhere.