Shropshire hotel backs the full English breakfast despite poll showing its decline

The full English breakfast has been backed by a Shropshire hotel and brasserie with the classic meal still as popular as ever with its guests, despite a recent poll suggesting the fry-up could be on its way out.

Head chef of The Old Vicarage Gavin Allen (centre) and his team
Head chef of The Old Vicarage Gavin Allen (centre) and his team

Customers at The Old Vicarage at Worfield, near Bridgnorth, still love the smell and the sizzle of cooked breakfast including sausages, bacon and of course the fried egg. 

This goes against pollsters Ginger Research which found this week that one in five 18 to 30-year-olds had never had a classic fry-up, suggesting it might be on the wane. 

David Blakstad, who owns and operates the hotel with his wife Sarah, said: “This poll certainly doesn’t reflect our experience with customers – the full English is as popular as ever. “

The poll of 2,000 people found seven in 10 people under 30 prefer a dish like smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, smashed avocado or pancakes.

“While we do offer plenty of alternatives on the menu for those who maybe don’t want a full breakfast, there’s no doubt that it’s still the morning meal of choice for many, and we won’t be stopping it any time soon,” said David. 

The fry-up became the breakfast of choice for half the adult population of the country in the 1950s, especially amongst those with physically demanding jobs. 

The 14-bedroom venue’s award-winning chef Gavin Allen is proud of his ability to cook a great breakfast.

“The key to a great fry up really is the ingredients, and one of the things I pride myself in is the quality of what I cook with,” said Gavin.

“We get everything for our breakfast and wider menu as locally as possible in Shropshire. All of our meat comes from Beaman & Sons Butchers in Bridgnorth which has been serving up meat for more than 125 years. 

“Where possible we’ll grow some of our own ingredients, such as tomatoes, or we’ll get fruit and veg in from Rowlands of Shrewsbury, we make our own bread and we use oil from Shropshire’s Bennett & Dunn – a vital ingredient to a fry-up of course. 

“Our full English is made sustainably as possible, which not only provides benefits in terms of freshness, but is also important to our guests to know that we haven’t transported ingredients from all over to make their breakfast.”

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