He Said, She Said: What is a Good Breakfast?

*The most exciting thing about He Said, She Said is wondering if we’ll still be married by the end of each post! We both write on the same topic but only get to read the other’s work after it’s published.*

He Said:

The only place you’ll find a proper full English breakfast is in England – nowhere else comes close!

She Said:

A full English breakfast can stay in England for all I care. Australia has the best breakfasts in the world. 

Mr and Mrs Romance - He Says She Says - What is a good breakfast

And what’s more, he says:

I think I know what I’m talking about when I say I know English breakfasts. I’ve had enough of them. A modern Australian breakfast is something to marvel at, it really is. But can the Lucky Country really provide a proper cooked English breakfast? No.

City cafés here have to fancy up a fry-up with spiced ‘home cooked’ beans or some sort of weird salsa, and fall flat on the bacon front. Cafés in the countryside just serve pies. I haven’t found anywhere here yet that can compete with a traditional English greasy spoon.

Having said that, Australians offer the greatest range of delicious things to break your fast on. As long as you’re not deeply hung over and in need of ‘grease-suscitation’, an Ozzie café will serve you amazing morning treats to get your day started.

Mouth-waterers like Goats on Toast at Two Good Eggs (sour cherry toast with sweet goat’s cheese, honey and smashed walnuts) or Goblin Café’s Braised eggs in the pan (comes with lamb, spiced tomato, sumac, yoghurt sauce, & sourdough toast)… unbeatable.

We had high hopes for breakfast when we were in the States, but felt a bit underwhelmed – apart from the brunch cocktail menus we spotted. Nothing like a Bloody Mary to go with your eggs bennie!

Europe also wasn’t as we expected. Pastries galore but still not the range we are spoilt with back home in ‘stra’ia.

But when it comes to the wire, the only nose in front is really England with her hyperbole of oil, cholesterol and delicious free radicals plated up as the good ol’ English breakfast.

And another thing, she says:

Australia may not have a national cuisine, but our breakfast menus are world class. Mr Romance will argue the virtues of a full English but where’s the avocado? Where’s the artisan sourdough? There’s just not enough choice on the English breakfast menu for me.

When we were talking about breakfasts, I couldn’t pick a favourite dish.

We did have a spectacular breakfast at our hotel Villa Louise in France, but even still it wasn’t exactly the healthiest way to start the day. A fresh croissant in France is a delight, but what if you feel like something else? The Continental breakfast is a little lacking in variety.

My hunger changes and the best thing about the menu here in Australia is choice. If I had to choose one breakfast favourite, it would probably be a dish with corn fritters, poached eggs and avocado. Maybe add some bacon on the side and a fresh juice. Though I also love some smoked salmon scrambled eggs, or an omelette, or French toast with berries, or…

I might stop there as I’m starting to get hungry.

Australian cafes make the best breakfasts even if they can’t get a full English right, just the way Mr Romance likes it. At least they can make a good coffee to go with it, and that’s just what I need to start the day.

Mr and Mrs Romance - What is a full English breakfast

Here’s what you should be getting if you order a full English:

  • Bacon (at least three rashers)
  • Sausage (two’s plenty)
  • Eggs (two thereof) – more often than not fried, but poached is acceptable.
  • Beans – straight from the tin and heated till they can flay the skin
  • Tomatoes – there should be two types really. Tinned and soaking into your toast, and sliced and grilled.
  • Hash browns – preferably two. I’ve had these substituted for chat potato type things. This is only just ok.
  • Mushrooms – a small pile, please, with thyme and butter.
  • Bubble and squeak – if you’re not sure what this is, you haven’t lived.
  • Black pudding – I’ve only become okay with this stuff in recent years and it still gives me a bit of a stomach lurch when I think about it too much, but if it’s not on offer, it’s not a full English.
  • Fried bread – Mrs Romance (and most Australians in fact) cower at the thought of this stuff. I can understand why. It’s like looking at a crusts-on coronary. For this reason, I would probably forgo this luxury.
  • Toast – two slices of.
  • Tea or coffee is a must.

How about you? What’s your favourite breakfast dish? And where do you like to eat it?

Images by Mrs Romance.


  • Reply November 18, 2013


    I’m with the Mrs on this one! You’d be hard pressed to find a bad breakfast in Australia. The best thing about it is the options – whatever you could imagine having for brekkie will no doubt be on a cafe menu. If I’m being completely indulgent (otherwise known as pretending calories don’t exist), I love nothing more than a mix of sweet and savoury – French toast with maple syrup and a side of crispy bacon…yummmm! Oh and we do the best coffee in the world, too!

    • Reply November 19, 2013

      Mr Romance

      Fair enough, Sonia. I totally agree with you about the number of options available in Australian cafes – and the number of cafes around too – is the absolute best. My issue is finding a proper fry-up. Australian establishments just can’t compete!

      As for the sweet and savoury combos, I think Mrs R will be on your side too. She loves a bit of maple syrup action with her bacon or pancakes. I think I over-did it with sugary breakfasts when I was a kid – too many bowls of Frosties and Crunchu Nut Cornflakes!

      The coffee here is SOOO much better than the stuff in the UK or the US. I think Italy might pip us to the post but I don’t think France stands up to our efforts. By the way, I finally found a cafe in Chicago able to make a capuccino… but the barista spoilt it by asking me how ‘dry’ I wanted it. What on earth does that mean??

  • […] also cooks the breakfasts every morning. She does a mean full English, which is praise indeed coming from me! Breakfast’s served in the elegant formal dining […]

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