One of the pleasant features of flying first thing in the morning on the British Airways shuttle to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Manchester, (I can’t speak for the others having never flown the routes) is that they serve you a hot English breakfast. Bacon, sausage, scrambled egg, tomato, and mushrooms are served along with orange juice, a roll and tea or coffee. On flights further afield on BA, I’ve had the same. Before I catch the train to 7.10 Leeds from London Kings Cross, I have time to nip round the corner and get a proper breakfast from a greasy spoon. (they know how to give decent portions)
Now Visit Britain has published research showing that the rest of the world rather fancies trying a full English as well. Forget for a moment whether it should be called an English or British breakfast as there are slight changes in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Our notion of what is breakfast is what they want to try. It isn’t a small survey either; 26,000 people were questioned. Amongst those keenest to try our favorite meal are people from Russia, Brazil, and India. One nation reluctant are the Irish but this may because they have their own version.
The research did not stop there. Some time ago, Britain was criticised for the quality of its food. Today most of us think it has improved out of sight. So Visit Britain asked people to agree or disagree that British food is very bad. Broken down by the country in which those people lived, 27 nations out of the 36 disagreed with the notion and yes, France was one of those nations who thought our food was bad. But then so did the Germans and the Poles. Our food obviously doesn’t deter people visiting us because France is our leading source of tourists just as we are the largest visitors to them. And many of us go there because of the food. Or so we say. Maybe it’s because it is the nearest country for many of us?
What many visitors don’t appreciate is the range of regional food that we have. Farmer’s Markets have grown increasingly popular as have food shows where you can sample taster menus. Last February I was at the airport in Haverfordwest for a Pembrokeshire business show at which food was highlighted. The range was wide, the quality good and the number of visitors was high. But maybe we shouldn’t tell visitors everything. Some things should remain our secret.