But, for those of us who absolutely love breakfast and can’t find enough ways in the world to experience it, there’s nothing like a B&B to make sure your day starts off right. In fact, some folks choose a B&B based solely on the types of breakfasts they serve and the menus they create. Once a B&B gets a word-of-mouth reputation as a great place for breakfast, the world beats the reservation path to its door.
On the other hand, if you’re visiting a B&B you’ve never been to before, the best way to find out what they serve for breakfast, and when they serve it, is simply to ask. Often this information is found on the B&B website, but if it’s not, be sure to give the innkeeper a call. They can give you a sense of the type of breakfast they serve based on the time of week you’re planning to visit. This sort of communication is particularly important if you have any food allergies that they need to be made aware of (or, other such issues as the need for dishes to be free of gluten or lactose, vegan or vegetarian, etc.).
There are also a range of dining styles that can be found in B&B’s. Here are the most popular, but note that a B&B may use several of these breakfast serving styles based upon notions such as day of the week, season of the year, or other considerations.
Buffets: Here, guests are served during a specific time to a variety of breakfast selections
that may include traditional and specialty items, as well as fruit, breads and cereals. Keep
in mind, in this style of serving, guests who arrive later in the breakfast service time frame
may find the yummies have been largely devoured by the early risers.
Continental: Somewhat similar to buffets, continental breakfast service differs in that it
usually has a smaller array of food offerings. Whereas buffets might have casseroles, eggs
or other entrees in addition to dishes like pancakes, potatoes, and hot cereals, continental
type breakfasts are limited to pastries, muffins, toasts, juices, and coffee/tea. While certainly
great tasting, expect lighter continental fare in a more casual atmosphere.
Family Style: Though a less frequently found breakfast service method, the family style
breakfast is a B&B tradition going back to its very roots. Again, the innkeeper sets the time
everyone is to arrive for breakfast. Ten, dishes of food (sometime very deep and large!) are
passed around and between guests. Family style breakfast service is as interesting as it sounds –
a group of guests communing together over a meal.
Breakfast Made-to-Order: In a B&B that offers made-to-order breakfasts, guests have more
flexibility about what they eat, and when they can eat it. Innkeepers offer breakfast during certain
hours, and when the guest arrives they can order from a limited number of entrees and a wide
selection of other items such as pastries, fruits and even innkeeper specialties. The food is then
prepared and brought out to you. Some B&B’s will even provide second and third servings (the
rule of thumb: Be sure to only order what you can actually eat!).
Breakfast in Bed: The ideal romantic notion. Some B&B’s offer this as a matter of their routine,
while some will do it for an additional charge. In all cases, breakfast in bed is quite the charming
travel experience. With the breakfast in bed style, guests will usually order the night before from a
menu. The next morning, at the desired time, breakfast is delivered to the room, and then cleaned
up afterwards. No need to get dressed or, for that matter, even get out of bed. Again, check with
your innkeeper to see if this is something they offer.
There you have it, a traveler’s primer to B&B breakfast styles. It's obvious from this list that in the same way the accommodation qualities of each and every B&B are unique, so too are so their many breakfast styles.
Alas, so many B&B breakfasts, so little time to try them all!