English Breakfast Redux


While I did have an English breakfast my first day in London, shortly after checking into my hotel, I was completely exhausted and didn’t have my camera with me. So I was glad that I had the opportunity to show it to you a second time around on Thursday morning after I had returned from Milton Keynes.

Above is the breakfast service at the hotel restaurant at the Thistle Euston, and for hotel buffet breakfast I think its pretty good, although nothing in England in my estimation is a particularly good value for the money (since our American currency isn’t worth squat there, but that’s a rant for another time).

My slanted American take — I like English Breakfast, but not all parts of it. Eggs, Sausage and Bacon and Hash Browns are totally up my alley, and with the exception of the Hash Browns, they’re better than most American versions, particularly the Eggs and Bacon, which appear to be less industrial in their farming and production techniques, yielding a superior product overall. Mushrooms are a totally logical choice, as are the grilled tomatoes, although the tomatoes are totally a seasonally and geographically dependent thing, at least here in the states. I have to assume the tomatoes are coming from warmer parts of Europe and are not being grown locally this time of year. Sweet baked Beans? I could take or leave them with breakfast, really. I much prefer the spicy black beans you see on Mexican or Colombian breakfast plates than the insipid sugar/molasses cooked versions in English Breakfast or Boston Baked beans.

I also won’t understate the value of good marmalade and jams, which add to the general enjoyment and British-ness of the whole thing.

4 Responses to English Breakfast Redux

  1. maher says:

    you are missing the black pudding !! thats essential in making this the ‘full english’ breakfast. FWIW its the item most tourists leave uneaten so maybe the hotels are not putting it in their buffets (i dont see it in the pictures above) but blood sausage works at least as well with fried eggs as bacon.

  2. K says:

    Did you mark my last comment as spam? Actually I wanted to the same thing: black and white pudding are an essential of every English, Irish and Scottish breakfast! Great blog!

  3. Dry says:

    Ah, shame your first taste of a full English breakfast was at a hotel. Hotels never fry eggs well, the bacon and the sausages are always substandard catering versions, the mushrooms are yucky and the tomatoes half raw. Your photo confirms that your hotel was no exception. I bet the beans were catering quality too.

    I wish I could have done you a home version – Quality grilled bacon and sausages from a decent butcher, field mushrooms, crispy fried eggs that have soft yolk but NO uncooked white. I’ve come to favour tinned plum tomato rather than fresh, the juices do something magical with the bacon, egg and brown sauce – this would be in place of beans also. I think the inclusion of blood sausage may be regional, and modern tastes seem to have rendered it definitely an option rather than essential. But, more than anything, THROW AWAY THOSE HASH BROWNS – an authentic full English would have BUBBLE AND SQUEAK. Far superior to mass produced fat-filled tasteless synthetic potato shapes. Or at least replace them with sliced, parboiled and fried potatoes. Hash browns is a US thing isn’t it? As far as I’m aware they weren’t a feature of the full English before the last ten/twenty years.

    Next time you are in England, try staying at a country guest-house that advertises it’s breakfasts as farm fresh and something special. The real thing is in a different league to the city hotels.

    Very entertaining blog.

  4. Irotama says:

    which appear to be less industrial in their farming and production techniques, yielding a superior product overall. Mushrooms are a totally logical choice, as are the grilled tomatoes, although the tomatoes are totally a seasonally and geographically dependent thing, at least here in the states.

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