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Would you like a heart attack with that, sir?


Britain’s B&B’s, guesthouses and hotels have been helping clog arteries for decades. The ‘full English’ has kept heart surgeons and Weightwatchers in business for over forty years. Yes indeed – the Great British breakfast has a lot to answer for. So, at great risk to myself, I recently undertook a brief review of breakfast tables across Scotland. The noodlepie journey to the operating table began at Herrislea House Hotel, in the village of Veensgarth in the Shetland Islands. But, please consult your doctor or dietician before trying this at home. Pictured above we have black pudding, local sausage, bacon, tomato and fried egg. The oatmeal stuffed black pudding was splendid, the sausage better than your usual hotel find with masses of meaty punch. The bacon did suffer from white scum - a big pieman put-off. All too commonly bacon producers add water to the bacon, hence the scum. If a fry-up doesn’t appeal first thing, you can order kippers, smoked haddock, choose from six cereals or snack on bannocks and oatcakes. There's also an excellent homemade rhubarb jam to accompany the toast.


At Alder Lodge Guest House in Lerwick, the ‘capital’ of Shetland, I opted for scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding, mushrooms and beans. Nice to see HP sauce on the table together with a selection of Robertson’s Marmalade. Whereas, Herrislea House Hotel was decorated with African and Asian paraphernalia picked up on by ex-merchant navy seaman turned hotelier Gordon Williamson, Alder Lodge goes for the wicker and lacy table cloth look. The breakfast was a bit of a disappointment. ‘Flan style’, watery scrambled eggs, flaky black pudding, white scum bacon and the biggest breakfast blunder of all, cheap baked beans. You can spot them a mile off, their light, wan expression gives them away every time. Stop scrimping and use Heinz.


Back at Burrastow House, also in the Shetland Islands, I wasn’t surprised to find scumless bacon on my plate in the morning after the night before's experience. I took a pew in the eight-seater wood paneled, plate lined breakfast room overlooking the voe outside and got stuck in. A bumper bowel loosening opener of homemade dried fruit compote, led into freshly squeezed grapefruit juice before moving on to the main event pictured above. I couldn’t find fault with the superb black pudding, back bacon, tomato and fried organic egg or the soft fruit packed muffins that followed. Interestingly breakfast at Burrastow must be ordered the night before – this is normally a good sign on the noodlepie quality checklist.


Alpen, Bran flakes and Weetabix will get you started at Roseneath Guest House in Oban on the west coast of mainland Scotland, but yer regular best of British is one of two options to follow in the fourteen-seater antler adorned breakfast room. The other option, on this visit, being pancakes. This rendition was well presented and speedy. Also worth noting, the chef got up extra early to cook for pieman and noodle girl as we had an early ferry to catch. Nice to see tattie scones on my plate, but Roseneath is also guilty of white scum sin. Plus the sausage was of the supermarket frozen variety which is invariably crap - as noted by Maki at I was just really very hungry. However, the coffee was served in a large cafetiere and didn’t come from the arse end of the Nescafe range. Also worth pointing out, Room 3 has a four poster bed, great views and owner Colin will greet you with a whisky on arrival, which is nice.


Over at Pieman’s Scottish bothy you’ll find more meat than many a B&B. Working in a westerly direction from the fried organic egg we have fried potato scone, bacon, Hall’s black pudding, wild Perthshire haggis, Lorne sausage and a decent dollop of HP sauce. No beans today just a few fibrous veggies centrestage. Haggis is all too often left off the breakfast plate in Scottish B&B’s which is a shame as they’re difficult to catch in the wild, but well worth the effort. The naturally tender, spicy tinge to the meat of a haggis is sensational. No-one to my knowledge has successfully reared one in captivity although you can find fake fellas in supermarket fridges all over Scotland.


The Tiree Scarinish Hotel on the island of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides also serves a haggis-free ‘full Scottish’. Some of the older crofters I chatted to said they hadn’t seen a haggis in the wild for decades. It’s thought they’re now either locally extinct or have gone nocturnal. However, pigs are still found on Tiree and I can happily report white scum-free bacon here. Although the sausage, which I understand is made locally was disappointingly bland. The Tiree tomatoes were the juiciest of all the breakfasts sampled on this trip.

I hope you enjoyed this brief 'Supersize noodlepie British breakfast review'. Now does anyone have the number for Weightwatchers?


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Wow!!!! That was really something! I had to go put a cool cloth on my forehead after reading that. Well, done. I've been eating cold cereal for too long. I need some eggs and sausage.


Wow!!!! That was really something! I had to go put a cool cloth on my forehead after reading that. Well, done. I've been eating cold cereal for too long. I need some eggs and sausage.


Oh they were great! now I want some treacle tart for my afternoon tea :-)

Hey Noodle pie,

Welcome back! I haven't had a good fry-up in years. Normally though, the ones that I have had, haven't been so artery clogging...well, not with as much meat on the plate. I do enjoy eating a nice black pudding (I never thought I would like it) and it looks like you do too! Makes me want to go back to London again! As always, wonderful post and pictures.

I miss these English breakfasts..and not forgetting those fried bread that are cooked in the bacon fat..YUM..BTW, these breakfast are great for hangovers...Mik

Welcome back. Mmmmm big breakfasts were always one of my big faves when coming back from Japan.

Thanks for the interesting point about the water in the bacon - bastards!

Momo - Treacle tart, Spotted dick, Rhubarb crumble, Sticky toffee pudding, A Devon cream tea. Calorie choked classics each and every one of them.

MIk - agreed re: the hangover business. Washed down with a can of Irn Bru too though. Apparently Irn Bru not only outsells Coca-Cola and every other soft drink in Scotland, but it's a BIG seller in Russia - a nation partial to the odd tipple.

You just brought back some great memories of my trips to Ireland, Scotland and Great Britian. The breakfasts were amazing.


there's a small breakfast joint called the "rain tree cafe" down the street in my neighborhood that serves an "irish breakfast." all i can say is, theirs does not compare in the slightest to any of the offerings above. i think the black-and-white-pudding is about a third of those pictured...

Just read your 'Would you like a heart attack with that, sir?'. With reference to your endorsement of Heinz baked beans, may I challenge you sir, to compare Heinz with Watties, from New Zealand? I think you'll find they're far superior to the Yankee variety.

FWIW, have been following your Vietnam adventures for some time. Love 'em! Keep up the good work. You keep me searching the net for recipes to ccok up what you eat.



Have never heard of Watties. It's a great name, I'll keep a look out and will report back as and when I get a taste. Thanks.

Less than one-third of the fat in the diet should be in the form of saturated fats, such as butter and lard. The remainder should be from monounsaturated or polyunsaturated sources, which help decrease blood cholesterol levels.

Fats are a dense source of calories. Both protein and carbohydrates have four calories per gram; fats have nine. So any time you have a fat-filled snack, it's likely to be relatively high in calories.

Some foods people choose for small snacks contain 10 or more grams of fat. "That's quite a bit for one serving of a snack food," according to Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition, Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group. "I advise people looking for low-fat frozen dinners to choose products that contain less than 10 grams - and that's for a full meal or an entree."

I've lived in Edinburgh for 7 years now, and although I eat relatively healthily most of the time, I get serious cravings for a fry-up every now and then (though I usually go for the veggie one, sorry:)
My tried and tested favourite is the one served at Native State pub, Bristo Square, Edinburgh - but that's probably more to do with the excellent price/quality ratio (£4.95 incl juice & coffee before 11am and not too greasy).
Gotta try some of the more authentic sounding ones you've listed thou!

Can anyone tell me if it is common in England to have sugar on scrambled eggs???

I am trying to find out for my son's school project. My grandfather came from England and always did that and taught his family to, but I am not sure it is a true English "thing".

Thanks, Kim

Hi im peter i come from southern asia so mind my langauge if something is isnt spelt right
Well I wanted to know ive been living in england for about 6 months now in a little town called crawford I wanted to know how to make a good pancake my son Mohammed wanted some panpakes on pancake day so i wanted to know how to make a nice pan cake with no grease or not to moist see hes illergic to citrus fruit so i dont want to put lots of sugar on to make it sweet i cant put oranges on so i wanted a substitute for it to be sweet thanks , Jarvis



This food seems to be really delicious.I'm really hungry!

yes i would of nvr known that all tht fat and greasy is unhealthy lets all go on aa jog :P
u big bunch of fattys

Ummmm very juicy tomato si?

Your article makes me remember these "Full English" Breakfasts in London several years ago... Humm, I am very hungry!

Good to see HP on the table. As an occasional treat I like to have soda bread with a full English. You can get it in most supermarkets now but when I was younger the only time we'd have it when my grandparents brought it back from Northern Ireland. Mmmmm.

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