In my distant memory airport breakfasts were a thing to look forward to. I remember starting holidays with a full English breakfast at duty free prices…or am I just misremembering? There is a strong possibility it’s just wishful thinking because today’s fayre is very different. It seems to be dominated by poor quality food and service at ridiculously high prices – exploiting the trapped passengers. No wonder people turn to drink in airports at 7am!
On my most recent visit to an airport I tried a brand I hadn’t come across before. The Grain Loft looked promising. A large space in Terminal 1’s food court it was a nicely presented area in rough wood finish with wall decorations of bottles and beer-related memorabilia. There were some nice touches too – booths with USB charging stations, serve yourself beer taps, an open kitchen. The menu looked promising too. We wanted to try some porridge and they had it on the menu. So far so good.
The format is that you pick a table and
order at the bar. The promise is to try and get you food to you within 15 minutes which is a nice touch when time before a flight may be limited. The coffee was OK. It arrived promptly at the table and, by modern coffee shop standards, reasonably priced at £2.70 for a latte and £2.30 for a largish black Americano. Pet hate here: if I ask for a black Americano don’t ask me if I want milk or waste a jugful on the tray.
The main event was dreadful though. The Eggs Benedict was terrible – the worst I have ever had. The muffin was not toasted or had been waved a metre away from a candle at best. The “bacon” was undercooked and was quite flabby. The poached eggs were underdone and still had some white. The hollandaise was surprisingly acceptable but I was underwhelmed by that point. At £9 it was shocking.
The porridge was a saga. It finally arrived Ten minutes after the Eggs Benedict and only after my wife had tried to find out where it had gone. The waiter was hopeless. Initially he said there was no porridge and the schedule didn’t know how long it would be until the next batch was ready. When my wife reordered he suddenly found another portion but it still didn’t appear. The porridge itself, served in an attractive enamel pot with honey and golden caster sugar, was tasty but just ridiculously late.
The manager begrudgingly refunded the meal but, at the start of the holiday and in with a less than third-full restaurant it was a bad and inexplicable experience. I won’t be back.