Built in 1841, the Rose & Crown Hotel in Guildford is a popular dining / accommodation / function destination for locals and tourist alike. We had a rather disappointing dinner there a few years ago – and I’d heard breakfast described as being very pedestrian – so it was with some trepidation that I headed back to try breakfast on a recent Sunday morning.
There isn’t a big selection of dishes on offer, and you’re not going to find anything incredibly inventive, however that’s not what the Rose & Crown is about. This board sums it up nicely, and you can see the full weekend breakfast menu here.
Seating is outside in the garden and there’s plenty of it. The Rose & Crown seems to be a popular place to meet for breakfast, there were quite a few groups and families dining while we were there. Getting a seat without a booking was no problem early in the morning, although I can imagine it being very busy at peak times.
Fearing the coffee, I ordered a mocha. I couldn’t actually taste any coffee in it so I think I received a straight hot chocolate – either way, it was nice. Renay enjoyed her latte.
Predictably I chose the “Convict’s Breakfast” – bacon, pork sausages, tomato, hash browns, mushrooms & toast ($22). I was preparing to be underwhelmed but I must admit that I was very impressed with this plate, and it was one of the best “full” breakfasts I’ve had in a long time.
Everything on the plate was of good quality and cooked well (the scrambled eggs in particular were excellent), and the portion size was very generous – two hash browns and two decent slabs of toast went a long way in this regard. There were no baked beans on offer, but I guess you can’t have everything. Maybe next time I’ll bring my own.
Renay chose the vegetarian tart with goats curd, asparagus and burnt orange dressing ($16.50) with hash browns on the side ($3 for two – very reasonable). She really enjoyed this, going as far as to say that this was one of the best vegetarian tarts she’d eaten, even better than the one at West End Deli.
The Rose & Crown is open for breakfast seven days a week (from 7am on weekdays and 7:30am on weekends), although the weekday menu is very limited and presumably aimed at feeding hotel guests – you can see it here. The lunch and dinner menu is also a bit uninspired, but there should be something on there to please everyone – you can see it here. Some of the main courses approach $50, so don’t expect a cheap meal.
Breakfast competition is tough in the area with Jezebelle and Little Guildford offering more interesting menus very close by, although the Rose & Crown offers a different kind of experience. If you want to share breakfast with friends or family in a comfortable outdoor setting with decent, consistent food then the Rose & Crown would be hard to beat.