"" Writer's Wanderings: Breakfast Included--What Does That Really Mean?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Breakfast Included--What Does That Really Mean?

One of the reasons we frequent the Hampton Inns is because when they say "breakfast included" we have a pretty good idea of what that means. Now it will vary at times depending upon where in the country you are. We've found grits in the south, a lot more oranges in the fruit section in Florida, and some other regional goodies on occasion that are extra special. But we can count on fruit, cereal, oatmeal, some sort of eggs, meat, pastries, breads, and juice and coffee. and their famous DIY waffles.

Other hotels offer similar breakfasts but there are those whose idea of breakfast might only be what they consider "continental." To me that always meant juice, coffee, and a pastry. Sometimes it includes eggs or cereal or toast. There is no standard meaning to "continental breakfast." If it's truly important it's good to ask ahead before booking.

Also be aware that in different countries, breakfast is a whole different concept than the American idea. In Italy we found breakfast consisted mostly of cheeses, crackers and what we would call lunch meats--ham, salami, etc. Juice and coffee were available (and tea).

When we stayed in France, one of the hotels only offered coffee, juice, baguettes and some cheeses. Luckily one of the women in our group had brought a jar of peanut butter and we passed that around. I'm sure the French were not happy with us.

In England you may receive a full English breakfast with eggs, "bangers" (large sausages), toast, potatoes, and of course, juice and coffee. And included with that will be a scoop of baked beans (not the spicy kind).

Many hotels and B&Bs are catering to the American tourist and others who may be traveling from other countries and cultures. One such hotel in Tokyo offered one of the largest breakfast buffets I've ever seen. I don't care where in the world you came from or what your body's time clock said it was, there was food for you. Along with the traditional Japanese and American choices, I remember spaghetti too and cheeses that Europeans would enjoy. It was amazing.

In China, being a large group of Americans, our hosts usually made some kind of eggs for us and provided bread but it was accompanied by an unusual assortment of side dishes--even one morning, boiled peanuts.

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