Hunt Breakfast at The Griswold Inn, Essex
By Sarah Crisp
The last time I ate a Hunt Breakfast was at the Tynedale Hunt Ball served at 1:00am before “Carriages” in true Downton style. So when Erica asked me to review the Griswold Inn’s fare I waited until my husband (and date for that particular Hunt Ball) was back from a trip to the UK to share it with me. Legend has it that the Inn’s Hunt Breakfast originated during the British occupation of Essex in the war of 1812 and as you step into the Tap Bar one could easily be transported straight back to just before the British raid on Essex in 1814.
The Hunt Breakfast is served on Sunday from 11:00am until 1:00pm, and it is wise to reserve your table even out of season. Choose the dining room to be close to the buffet or the tap-room to enjoy the Dixieland Jazz quartet. Take a table in the parlor for a cozy fireplace, or the library to be a little quieter (and ideal for a large family group or infants).
The hot buffet includes breakfast sausages, bacon and eggs, plus steaming trays of fish, chicken and pork. The omelets are made to order soufflé-style and they are happy to do egg-white only if you prefer. My favorite had to be the Belgian Waffle Station with wickedly sweet blueberries, warm maple syrup and whipped cream. A nice touch for children is a cone of fresh-popped corn from the antique popcorn machine in the tap bar. We enjoyed almost two hours sipping smooth coffee, listening to jazz, and occasionally strolling back to the buffet.
Best for: Historic atmosphere, family friendly environment, and waffles!