What is a Full English?

What is a Full English Breakfast? (sometimes referred to as a ‘Fry Up’)

I have thought a lot about this for years and have decided that there are a minimum of 4 items that are essential:

Sausage – fried, baked or grilled

Bacon – fried or grilled

Egg – fried, poached, or scrambled

Bread – generally toasted, but could be fried, or simple bread and butter.


Over and above the items that I consider mandatory, there are other options that can enhance the breakfast:


Tomatoes – tinned or fresh

Beans – these should always be served separately – no one wants beans contaminating the rest of their breakfast, (yes it’s a personal thing to me)

‘Bubble and Squeak’ – fried

Mushrooms – sautéed, ideally with butter – never boiled!

Black Pudding – fried or grilled

Hash browns – fried or baked

Kidneys – generally devilled

Potato cakes – fried or grilled, (often substituted for the bread)

Oat cakes – fried or grilled, (often substituted for the bread)

White pudding – fried or grilled

Adding Haggis makes is a Full Scottish Breakfast – something I wholly recommend!

It doesn’t go by the rule that the more items the better the Full English, however the general rule of thumb is the mandatory 4 items are complimented with an additional 2 items from the optional list. Most commonly, tomatoes and mushrooms are added.