Great English breakfast, or “help yourself”?

Breakfast in a British homestay is one of those times where you are most likely to hear the expression “please, help yourself”. Your teacher will say this to help you feel comfortable in their home.

Feeling comfortable in your homestay is the most important factor in a succesfull Homestay English course. Living in the home of your teacher means that you are a guest in the home of a British family, and this is different to being in a hotel. The ideal situation is that you feel comfortable in the home and more like a visiting  ‘member of the family’, rather than as a paying guest. This relationship means that you enjoy the friendship and hospitality of the home teacher and their family, but also that you contribute to home life by, for example, sometimes offering to clear the table after breakfast or to keep your bedroom tidy!

This leads me on to talk about the British breakfast. If you have read about British food or visited the UK before, you have probably heard about or experienced the ‘Traditional British Breakfast’, or ‘The Full English Breakfast’, or just ‘Full English”.

The normal ingredients of a traditional full English breakfast are bacon (traditionally back bacon, less commonly streaky bacon), eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread or toast and sausages, usually served with a mug of tea.Black pudding is added in some regions, as is fried leftover mashed potatoes (called potato cakes).

But can you expect a Full English Breakfast every morning in your homesay? Well, the easy answer is ‘no’, and you probably wouldn’t want one! The Full English breakfast is a special treat since it is time consuming to make, and highly calorific!

At breakfast time you are more likely to have a choice of fruit juice, tea or coffee, cereal, toast and an egg.  Most home teachers will lay these items on the kitchen table. Very quickly after you arrive to the homestay, you will know where everything is kept, so, your teacher is very likely to say ‘please, help yourself’!

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