A Gentleman at Breakfast

Inspired by the 1775 painting A Gentleman at Breakfast, attributed to Henry Walton, let's resolve to breakfast like gentlemen in 2015.

A Breakfasting Gentleman's Robe from New & Lingwood

First dress like a gentleman for the most important meal of the day. Wrap yourself in the English Conservatory Dressing Gown from New and Lingwood (above and below). This is a gown that says, 'I refuse to be rushed.' Some consider it an abuse of human dignity to start the day without one.

The gown is handmade of silk in England. The silk features intricately embroidered branches, leaves and birds. It can be adjusted to your measurements when ordering, which is good as you wouldn't want the sleeves dangling over your runny boiled egg.

Three Breakfast Courses

Consider the English breakfast a three course meal. We'll keep a simple outline, but do substitute kippers or Omelette Arnold Bennett where you think necessary.
  • Porridge starters
  • Main course: full English breakfast
  • Toast and marmalade afters
This will be accompanied by a pot of tea, and a tumbler of cloudy apple juice from Cawston Press. Use the juice as an apéritif.

Porridge Starters

For your porridge, try:

English Breakfast

The English breakfast must have:

  • 2 fried eggs
  • 2 rashers of streaky bacon (crispy)
  • 1 rasher of back bacon (crispy)
  • 1 excellent pork sausage
  • 2 slices of black pudding
  • Grilled tomato
  • Mushrooms

You will know where to source good local bacon and eggs, but do make black pudding the hearty centrepiece of your English breakfast from reliable pudding-makers such as the rare-breed Fruit Pig Company who also make morcilla (the Spanish version of black pudding).

Black pudding with poached egg on toast is another suitable breakfast 'mains'.


I discussed the subject of the English breakfast with a reader recently. We have both attempted to make marmalade with disastrous results — too runny, insipid, wrong colour. Do you make your own? If so, where did we go wrong?

Thankfully, we have some excellent jam people in the UK.

James Bond swore by Frank Cooper's Vintage Oxford.

Highgrove has the photogenic Duke of Rothesay marmalade (above).

Fortnum's stock Sarah Byrne's Larkins Marmalade, which is made with beer from Kent's Larkins Brewery and recommended as a side accompaniment to bacon and sausage. Larkins Marmalade was a winner at the 2014 World's Original Marmalade Awards at Dalemain Mansion. With my efforts I shan't be entering too soon.


  1. Sounds like a fabulous idea. As I'm currently in the Southern Hemisphere - and it's a touch warm - I'll have to breakfast like Bond in Istanbul where “the yoghourt, in a blue china bowl, was deep yellow and with the consistency of thick cream. The green figs, ready peeled, were bursting with ripeness, and the Turkish coffee was jet black and with the burned taste that showed it had been freshly ground.” But I'll follow that with toast and lemon marmalade. A great start to the day and the new year.

    1. Thanks Benedict. I sometimes go for the 'Bond in Istanbul' breakfast even in blowy old Blighty. Boy, could Fleming describe a breakfast.


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