A Full Welsh Breakfast at the Oakeley Arms

February 16th, 2017

We absolutely love good food here at the Oakeley Arms, and breakfast is no exception. We pride ourselves on fresh ingredients, and local ones wherever we can. We think breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially if you’re staying with us, so a Full Welsh Breakfast at the Oakeley Arms is one of our favourite dishes!

But just where did the idea of eating an array of items all together at breakfast time come from? And how long have we been doing it? According to research, the Full English breakfast is a tradition that dates back to the 14th century. The gentry of the time were famous for their breakfast feasts, and believed that nobody should start the day on an empty stomach. In the tradition of hospitality, wealthy households would provide lavish feasts for their guests and even neighbours. Full breakfasts were particularly important before a day’s hunting and were often considered important social occasions. And of course, for the wealthy classes, a lavish breakfast was an opportunity to showcase a family’s wealth and prosperity, and the quality of produce on their estate. Breakfast began to be huge affairs with several courses, with plenty of meat at each!

From wikicommons

The tradition continued into the Victorian era, when a new social class began to uphold the idea of an English Breakfast. For the aspiring middle classes in Victorian times, breakfast was the perfect opportunity to demonstrate wealth and social standing. The Victorians were responsible for standardising the ingredients of a breakfast and creating the recognisable Full English that is renowned around the world.

And as the Industrial Revolution caused a huge population growth in Victorian Britain, and created vast numbers of jobs and employments, the custom of having a large and calorie laden breakfast to fuel hungry workers soon spread down the working classes.

And of course, it’s a tradition that is still withheld today, with a few minor variations of course! Here at the Oakeley Arms we serve a traditional Welsh breakfast – a delicious fry up with all the trimmings, and featuring locally sourced produce wherever possible.

So, next time you come and stay with us, don’t forget to try a Full Welsh Breakfast at the Oakeley Arms – it really will set you up for the day!

Did you know…….

  • Some people count bacon and eggs as a full breakfast, whereas for others it must include sausages, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast or fried bread, hash browns, black pudding and even bubble and squeak or potato cakes!
  • In Mrs Beeton’s renowned Victorian cookbook, she suggests the following for a full english: Broiled fish, such as mackerel, whiting, herrings, dried haddocks, &c.; mutton chops and rump-steaks, broiled sheep’s kidneys, kidneys à la maître d’hôtel, sausages, plain rashers of bacon, bacon and poached eggs, ham and poached eggs, omelets, plain boiled eggs, oeufs-au-plat, poached eggs on toast, muffins, toast, marmalade, butter. Yum…..
  • The Full English Breakfast fell out of fashion during the Second World War, due to the scarcity of bacon and eggs.
  • Welsh variants on the Full English include ingredients such as laverbread, cockles and leek and cheese sausages.
  • A typical Full English breakfast has around 1,200 calories! But it will set you up for the whole day!
  • The English Breakfast Society was founded in 2012, in order to “restore the traditional English breakfast to its former glory”.
  • According to research, the prefect English Breakfast is made up of: 20% sausages, 38% bacon, 5% mushrooms, 8% tomatoes and 29% eggs.
  • 60% of the nation prefer ketchup with their English Breakfast, while 40% prefer brown sauce……


From wikicommons