Lifestyle Fashion

Breakfast – Continental, English, what’s the difference?

Many food experts consider breakfast to be the most important meal of the day. It must be well designed to provide you with nutrients so your body and brain have everything they need to function at their best.

This is also very important during your holidays, especially those that involve a lot of sightseeing and walking: there is no excuse to skip breakfast! A trip to London will be one of those where you will be very active and it would not be too smart to start the day without a good breakfast.

When you stay at one of London’s famous B&Bs, you’ll receive breakfast every day; you know for a fact that it is included in the price of the room that you will pay. But, the owners of the B&B may be ready to offer you an English breakfast, which you would probably expect in the UK capital, or they may also serve a continental breakfast. It often happens when a particular B&B has a lot of guests from the US or mainland Europe. Many hotels also provide the choice for their guests, although most of the time you will be able to get an English breakfast or a continental breakfast.

Most people can’t tell the difference between those two types of breakfast. The difference between them is huge and can have a significant impact on whether you start your day full of energy or not…

Let’s start with the definition of continental breakfast. It is a light breakfast that usually consists of baked goods, such as pastries, rolls, toast, bread, croissant and muffins, coffee, tea or another liquid (for example, fruit juice, hot chocolate or milk). It can also include items such as: fresh fruit, cereals, jam, honey, cream, butter, yogurt, cheese -hard or cream- and sliced ​​sausages.

So it really seems light and is based on the Mediterranean breakfast tradition, but in London it can be served in a slightly more “heavy” version: it can include bacon, eggs, toast and roasted tomato.

A typical English breakfast is a hearty and substantial meal that usually consists of eggs (fried, poached or scrambled), ham or other meat (most often sausage), fish (herring), cereals, baked goods (toast or bread with butter), jam, baked beans, fried mushrooms, tea or coffee, and condiments (eg, ketchup, but HP sauce is most popular).

If your breakfast included all of that, it would deserve another popular name: “full English breakfast.” The full English breakfast is one of Britain’s oldest traditions, but due to health concerns (too much oil and fat!) it’s not served very often during the week. However, it is still consumed on Saturday and Sunday mornings, while breakfast on weekdays is much simpler. And if that full English breakfast includes everything mentioned above (sometimes even more, like black pudding and leftover meat, vegetables and potatoes from the previous day’s meals), then it’s called a “Full Monty”. That name is used by patriotic Englishmen to honor Field Marshal Montgomery, a World War II hero.

If your hotel doesn’t serve English breakfast, but you’d like to try it, you can easily find it in one of London’s traditional cafes that serve breakfast all day. Those places are often called “cafes” or “greasy spoons” and serve the full English breakfast as “all day breakfast”.

Bon Appetite!

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