Celebrating the Great British Breakfast

by Mark Broadbent

Mark Broadbent has enjoyed a food-obsessed career spanning three decades. He’s cooked in Five star Hotels, Two star Michelin restaurants, Gastro Pubs and Member’s Clubs, delivering unforgettable cuisine or acting as a consultant. London’s Bluebird was just one of his success stories. Under his creative direction, the restaurant achieved huge critical acclaim and was especially loved by AA Gill.

July 14th 2015

Ah, the full English (or full Scottish, full Welsh or Ulster fry, wherever you may be in the country). Can there be a greater British institution?

Once again, we have the Victorians to thank for one of our best traditions, with both aspiring middle classes and manual workers bringing a cooked breakfast to popularity in the 1850s.

For the wealthy, a decadent morning meal was a way to demonstrate upward mobility, while for labourers a hearty fry-up was just the ticket to get through a day of hard graft.

Not much has changed today, and there’s nothing like the Great British Breakfast to set you up for the day ahead (or, let’s face it, recover from the night before).

One of the best parts of my job is when I get to come up with menus for crews on location, especially if I’m asked to do breakfast.

Whether it’s a film set, a fashion shoot or a corporate gathering; you can always guarantee they’ll be a massive mix of people, and appetites to match.

Hands down, the most popular dish on my on-location breakfast menu is always the full English. Cumberland sausage, scrambled eggs, oven roasted tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms and another of those Brit classics – Heinz baked beans.

There’s two golden rules when it comes to the perfect full English breakfast. Keep it simple and use the best ingredients you can find, especially when it comes to the star players – sausage and eggs.

For the fattest, juiciest and meatiest sausage, I’d always opt for the Cumberland. And the freshest of eggs – preferably locally sourced – will reward you with the softest scramble.

Hot, buttered toast is an essential accompaniment, and in my opinion no full English would be complete without a steaming hot mug of tea.

While my full English goes down a storm on sets, I’m always mindful of catering for those who prefer something lighter to kick off the day.

Granola and yoghurt pots

I serve up granola and yoghurt pots on location for a healthier alternative to kick-start the day.

Packed with fresh berries, creamy Greek yoghurt and honey-infused granola, these little pots of energy are a quick-and-easy breakfast to make any day at home.

This is a little gem of a recipe that takes just a few minutes to prepare.

apple juice50ml
best-quality honey3 tbsp
ground cinnamon½ tsp
rolled oats125g
blanched almonds, sliced25g
Greek yoghurt500g
seasonal berries – raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries all work well300g
honey1-2 tsp

Preparation Time: 1hr 30mins
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Mix together the apple juice, honey and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in the oats until well coated. Lightly grease a baking tray and spread the oat mixture into it. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Add the almonds and stir to break up large clumps. Cook for another 5-10 minutes until crisp.
  2. To serve, loosely stir honey into the yoghurt. Place the fruit in a glass, bowl or jar and then spoon over the yoghurt and top with granola.

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