What: 5 star spa hotel. This review focuses on the breakfast. Lunch and dinner will be reviewed in another post.
Prices: Breakfast is included in the price of the room.
Vegetarian menu: Extensive. At the buffet there are many, many vegetarian and vegan options. Soy milk is also available for cereal. Many fruits, pastries, compotes, cereals (all sorts, some gluten free, etc.). Hot veggie breakfasts included Belgian waffles with blueberry and maple syrup and pancakes. There wasn’t anything on the hot breakfast menu for vegans, but the chef proved more than willing to cook anything you might ask for (in this case she made a good job of frying bananas one day and frying potatoes and pineapple the next). Their gluten free bread was their only vegan bread — all of their other breads are made with eggs, and not all of the waiting staff seem to be aware of the fact that Guinness bread is not vegetarian.
Drinks: Lots of juices, water (still and sparkling), teas, coffee (a full pot of the sort you might expect in France), non-dairy smoothies.
Service: Well above average. Often excellent.
Comfortable? Very. The breakfast room doubles as the restaurant in the evening and looks out onto the gardens. White linen tablecloths and napkins. Guests are encouraged to breakfast in the fluffy white bathrobes provided (and many do so). The only odd thing was the choice of music — I’m not sure many people would like to listen to dirges while breakfasting, given the choice. Soft classical music would seem to be a more obvious choice for the setting.
Was the food good? This reviewer loved breakfasting here. Usually I skip hotel breakfasts as they are often dire with little, if any, thought being given to vegetarians, let alone vegans. However, the buffet here was extensive and hygienic. Separate spoons were provided in each bowl (lovely pottery ones). The fruit was of very high quality and included strawberries, blueberries, grapes, etc., and none of it was bruised or dented. I didn’t try the pastries, but they looked good. There was also stewed pear and rhubarb, homemade compotes and much more, and it was all very tasty. The Belgian waffles were delicious, as were the off-menu requests.
Toilets: Very nice. Cloths for drying your hands. Perfectly clean.
My advice to the breakfast chef: Keep up the excellent work.
My advice to the manager: The cheese and cooked meats are placed on the same board, and there seems to be only one tongs. From a vegetarian point of view this is unacceptable. Cheese and meat should not be touching each other, much less be on the same plate, and a separate tongs should be provided for each item.
Overall: Breakfast at Monart is a fantastic experience. The food was great and beautifully presented in a lovely setting by attentive staff. The best hotel breakfast, by far, that this reviewer has ever had.