Where does the British breakfast come from

What does english breakfast mean?

“Breakfast like an emperor, lunch like a king, dinner like a beggar.” Actually a German folk saying - but anyone who has ever tried an English breakfast will have doubts. If you compare the multi-course English breakfast with our continental breakfast, the British clearly take first place in terms of imperial breakfast.

Table of Contents

What actually is an English Breakfast?

Maybe it's because England is an island and is home to so many fishermen and sailors: With an English breakfast you get the feeling that your host wants to give you a solid base of vital substances and nutrients for upcoming adventures. With a full English breakfast in your stomach, you probably don't feel like having any more meals all day and into the evening.


The multi-course breakfast provides you with vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates for a long time. Originally intended as an energy store for the hard-working population, the English breakfast is also very popular with vacationers with an extensive sightseeing program and with bargain hunters with half board.

What is a full English breakfast?

The English Breakfast begins with a vitamin C flash made from orange or grapefruit juice. Sometimes half a grapefruit is served with the toothed spoon that goes with it. Then traditionally it would be the turn of porridge - an unsweetened oatmeal that is not so popular these days. Instead, you will be offered different types of cornflakes.

The main course is served on a large plate and, depending on the region or establishment, consists of an individual combination of fried or scrambled eggs, fried sausages or bacon and grilled tomatoes or mushrooms. In recent years, baked beans from the USA - baked white beans in tomato sauce - have become increasingly popular.

There is also toast or bread slices roasted in the pan. The conclusion is a “dessert” made from toast, butter and citrus fruit jams. Sometimes strawberry, cherry or apricot jam is served instead - which for traditionalists in England amounts to a style break. If we have already landed on the topic of “tradition”: Coffee addicts don't need to panic. For an English breakfast, coffee is now served just like traditional breakfast tea with milk. Are your head spinning from the many details? Then get a quick overview.

What does English breakfast include?

English breakfast includes:

  • Orange juice or other vitamin bomb
  • Carbohydrates in the form of cereals such as corn flakes or porridge
  • High protein warm main meal
  • A sweet finish with toast with jam or jam
  • Coffee or tea can be refilled at any time

Breakfast categories in hotels

In German-speaking countries there are different terms for categorizing breakfast offers.

According to DIN EN ISO 18513, a distinction is made between three categories:

  • Simple breakfast or continental breakfast
  • extended breakfast
  • breakfast buffet

A simple breakfast or continental breakfast includes at least one hot drink, bread, butter and jam or jam. With an extended breakfast you get - at least - a hot drink, a fruit juice, fruit, bread and rolls, jam, butter, cheese and sausage. In order for a breakfast offer to be called a breakfast buffet, it must offer more components than the extended breakfast. These often include egg dishes, muesli, yogurt, croissants or yeast particles.

A special case among the breakfast offers is the brunch - the combination of breakfast and lunch. Brunch is often served as a buffet with a particularly rich selection.

Which breakfast is right for you?

Breakfast gruff, who struggle to choke down a slice of toast in the morning, are always well served with a simple breakfast. If you prefer a little more variety at the breakfast table, the extended breakfast is a good option. The breakfast buffet suits gourmets who like to try as many different delicacies as possible.

For the budget-conscious traveler, the buffet is also a great way to save on lunch. The same goes for the English breakfast. If you like hearty food, the Full English Breakfast is for you. And if you are one of the late risers, brunch is clearly the best arrangement.

More about catering:

<< Back to the travel dictionary