We serve a traditional farmhouse breakfast to our Bed and Breakfast guests at Ednovean Farm. It is designed to set you up for the day – or at least my guests assure me they won’t need any lunch afterwards (maybe the cream tea or the Pasty didn’t count!)
So how do we start to put together a menu for breakfast? Let’s look at the traditional ingredients.
Anatomy of a farmhouse breakfast
The fresh orange juice to start the morning is a must of course and I lay out the cereals, Mueslis, Yogurts, and fresh and stewed fruit for guest to help themselves too. Porridge is a popular option with our guest, particularly if they are choosing our Newlyn Kippers to follow. I choose a traditional milled oat to make this, that need a long slow simmering so it’s best ordered in advance. Our stewed fruits are always popular and the Dorset Mueslis, Crunchy nut cornflakes and I’ve notice guest forsaking the higher fibre cereal in favour of cocoa pops lately too! Sometimes in the summer the figs that line the courtyard are ready to harvest and Charles simmers these gently or pops them freshly picked on the side plates. Later the year the apples come along from out orchard of vintage varieties and these we gently cook in the morning.
Cooking a full English breakfast
To cook the English breakfast it is always best to start with the best freshest ingredients you can find. I grill the smoked bacon with the tomatoes and mushrooms, after the sausages have had ten minutes head start and again look for an outdoor reared pork sausage – there really is a big difference in quality. Have the grill as hot as possible – I’ve found if I can smell the bacon it is usually time to turn it over. One of my first breakfast guest twenty four years ago now told me sagely “it take thirty minutes to cook a sausage” and I stuck to that advice ever since!
Lastly the eggs – they have to be free range and they have to be fresh – I buy day old eggs from a farm in the next village now and our fox enjoys the run of the farm.
We did have a group of rescue battery hens for a few years and they lived out their days in our orchard, scratching under the trees and providing big brown eggs with a good deal of pomp and circumstance.
I will always remember how the poor, pathetic, creatures could hardly stand when they arrived and I’ve never bought anything but free range since. For us hen keeping in competition with the farm’s foxes became an insurmountable problem, so all I have now is a hen house and too large an apple crop from our vintage West Country apple tree varieties.
Poaching an egg
A really fresh egg is essential for that simple everyday delicacy that strikes fear into the heart of so many people “the poached egg” believe me I tried every method of cooking them, invested in every sort of useless egg poacher until I found the miraculous answer. It has to be a really fresh egg – then if it is broken into a cup and gently lowered into a pan of water at a rolling boil no more it will sit in plump splendour in a tasty eggy mound. Personally I use a shallow frying pan (and it must be big enough to manoeuvre to get the egg out again) Watch carefully and gently touch with a wooden spatula to test the consistency of the white, lifting out as this becomes firm but the yolk is still runny. I can honestly say after twenty four years of white knuckle practise, no skill is involved, only a beautifully fresh egg!
With these breakfast ingredients a substantial or lighter breakfast can be put together accompanied with lots of crunchy toast made with bread straight from the bakery. And pots of tea and coffee there is something about the ceremony of pouring tea from a pot that beats a mug hands down
We’ve chose the traditional whole kipper as our fish option for our menu from the harbour port within sight across Mounts Bay at Newlyn. It is almost a vintage item today reminiscent of Edwardian Breakfast and we thought it would be more fun to offer than the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs that are on so many menus.
Our continental guests often ask “what is a kipper?” It is a Herring, a fish high in omega 3 oils, split butterfly fashion and then smoked over oak chips, It has not been salted so does need cooking before it can be eaten. I simply pop them under the grill for a few minutes until they bubble and hiss in the heat and I’m sure they have “woken up”
Choice is a great thing for holiday breakfasts though don’t you think – so we can offer plump fresh croissants instead of our cooked breakfast or simply cooked scrambled or poached eggs on toast instead!
We have a fabulous long oak refectory table for breakfast that we bought when we were married and it’s here that we’ve served so many breakfast under the soaring wooden beams of our roof but we know that sometimes a perfect, private breakfast in bed or on one of the private terraces that open from our bedrooms would be just the thing and so we deliver warm croissants boiled eggs fresh fruit, orange juice and organic yogurts to the bedroom for these guest. Just because a holiday is especially just for you!
- Use only the freshest eggs or know the hen!
- Source the best bacon and sausages you can find – try local Farmers markets
- Keep tomatoes at room temperature – try putting a really ripe banana with them to increase ripeness for added flavour.
- Really fresh bread from the bakery makes the best toast!
- Take time to lay the table and make Breakfast a celebration of your weekend together.
I hope that I’ve inspired you to try cooking a breakfast tomorrow morning. These are some of our Breakfast options at Ednovean Farm: –
Ednovean Farm Breakfast Menu
Served in the Dining room at our magnificent Oak refectory Table
Between 8.30 a.m. – 9.00 a.m.
Fresh Orange Juice
Muesli with natural organic yogurt
Stewed or fresh fruit
Organic yogurt both natural and plain
Two slices of grilled bacon, Sausage, tomatoes and mushrooms with free range fried scrambled or poached eggs from a local farm
Grilled bacon with free range fried, scrambled or poached eggs
Tomatoes and mushrooms with fried scrambled or poached eggs
Boiled eggs served with toast soldiers
A traditional whole kipper, oak smoked in Newlyn
Croissants warmed with a selection of farmhouse marmalade or fruit conserve
Wholemeal, granary or white toast (Gluten free available if ordered upon arrival)
Breakfast or fruit teas, freshly ground coffee or hot chocolate
Ednovean continental breakfast served in the bedroom
Please order the night before it will be delivered at 9.00a.m
Fresh Orange Juice
Toast and Croissants
With choice of teas or freshly ground coffee