Bed and Breakfast
Bed and Breakfast
Bed and Breakfast is the usual form of hotel arrangement but BEWARE, many hotel sites now offer “room only” deals and add the cost of breakfast on to the bill of the unwary traveller. Sometimes this can be as much as $35 or £30, though the average cost for a three to four star establishment is usually around the £15/ $18 mark.
Bed & Breakfast (or B&B) can also refer to a type of small privately-run hotel or guesthouse offering overnight accommodation and breakfast, but usually does not cater for any other meals. Usually, bed and breakfasts are private homes with fewer than a dozen bedrooms available to the public. Breakfasts are usually served in a special dining room or in the host’s kitchen.
The bed and breakfast establishment can be a secondary source of income for the proprietors or their main occupation. It is usual for the owners to cook breakfasts and clean rooms but some bed and breakfasts hire staff for cleaning or cooking. It has become the vogue for specialist bed and breakfast establishments to operate in a niche market. Some offer themed rooms – such as New Jersey’s 1950s-themed Summer Nites – others are in unusual locations, such as lighthouses, canal boats and castles. A Bed and Breafast establishment usually becomes a hotel when it offers more than a dozen rooms and/ or is managed and staffed by someone other than the owners.
Bed and Breakfast Around The World
Breakfast is the first meal of the day and the name comes from the breaking of the fast after the previous day. Despite to globalisation of hotel chains and conformity, breakfast can still be a very different meal depending on where you are in the world, even in hotels. Common demoninators throughout the world are a cereal-based dish, with fruit and/ or vegetables and a drink. A protein, in the form of meat or lentils, is usually included in all but the poorest cultures. Bed and breakfast is the commonest form of accommodation throughout the world.
Bed and Breakfast in the British Isles
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the traditional breakfast is fried and is usually called an English Breakfast, a Scottish Breakfast, a Welsh Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, or an Ulster Fry (in Northern Ireland), depending on where in the kingdom you are. In these health-conscious times, as many of the ingregdients as possible are grilled instead of fried.
Although there is no rigid formula, common ingredients of the bed and breakfast menu are bacon and egg, whcih may come with sausage, tomatoes (tinned or fried), mushrooms, baked beans and fried bread. Regional variations may include black pudding in the north of England; fried oat cakes in Scotland and parts of the English north Midlands; lava bread (actually a form of seaweed) in Wales; chips in Scotland and the London area of the south-east; and soda bread, fried potato bread or farl/ fardel (type of bread) or potato farl in Scotland and Ireland.
Eggs will usually be fried, poached or scrambled. Tea (or coffee) and toast is invariably served and will be brought at the start of the meal.
In Victorian times, it was common for the middle and upper class families to start the day with a breakfast buffet, consisting of bacon, egg, sausage, etc, plus more exotic ingredients such grilled kidneys, keggeree (smoked herring in curried rice) and kippers. You will sometimes find kippers and kedgeree on breakfast menus in higher quality UK hotels Here at Bargain Hotel Finder we like to start with fresh fruit followed by kippers and then toast and marmalade.
The traditional UK hotel breakfast will consist of three or four courses (depending on how you define a course):
1. Fruit juice (usually a choice of orange, grapefruit or apple).
2. Cereal (muesli, cornflakes, rice crispies, etc) and/ or yoghurt with or without fruit.
3. A fried breakfast – increasingly from a buffet.
4. Toast with marmalade or jam (jelly).
Although bed and breakfast establishments tend to stop serving around 10am (or earlier!), all-day breakfasts are a common dish on pub and café menus and the use of every available ingredients is called a “full English” or “Full Monty”. The writer W. Somerset Maughan pointed out in the 1930s that: “To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day.”
Bed and Breakfast in North America
In the United States and Canada, the traditional breakfast eminates from the same source as full English breakfast, mixed in with other European traditions – see below. Fruit is often served and a dry cereal (such as cornflakes or rice crispies) has become very common. The main bed and breakfast dish is often centred around eggs and might include crispy bacon, sausage, pancakes and maple syrup. Other popular breakfast dishes include hot oatmeal porridge, (grits, a porridge made from corn, in the South), pan-fried potatoes (hash browns), bagels, toast, “English muffins”, biscuits, waffles and pancakes; pastries such doughnuts, Danish and croissants. Coffee, milk and fruit juices are the usual breakfast drinks.
Regional and ethnic variations abound. For example, Soul Food items like fried catfish, chicken wings and pork chops are popular with African-Americans, especially in the South. In the same region, grits are popular – often served with country ham and red-eye gravy), whilst around the areas bordering on Mexico in the south-west, you’ll often find burritos and spicy huevos ranchos on the breakfast menu. Other regional specialities include crab cakes in New England , beignets and Chisesi ham in Louisiana, lox and smoked salmon in the Northwest, and goetta around Cincinnati. In Canada it’s common to be offered maple syrup with crêpes, French toast, waffles or pancakes.
Commonly North American bed and breakfast hotels will either give away a “Continetal” breakfast of rolls, ceral and coffee or else offer a buffet breakfast, often as a fixed-price extra.