It's the most important meal of the day and, with a little planning and preparation, you can create a stunning breakfast for any special occasion. We have lots of tips to help you organise and serve your meal, including breakfast recipe ideas, advice on how to set a breakfast table and how to serve breakfast in bed. We'll also discuss some of our best special occasion breakfast ideas so you can start the day off right.
Breakfast recipe ideas
What you decide to put on your breakfast menu can depend entirely on the occasion and what you're in the mood for. The most popular types of breakfast foods are cereal, fresh fruit, toast, and porridge. For more special occasions, some people may also choose to prepare an English Breakfast, American breakfast, or continental breakfast to go alongside these other elements.
What is an English breakfast?
A traditional full English breakfast usually consists of bacon, sausage, eggs, and toast. Some people also choose to add extra accompaniments to the dish, but these can vary throughout the UK:
- England: Black pudding, baked beans, fried bread instead of toast
- Cornwall: Cornish potato cakes, Hog's pudding (a type of sausage made in Devon and Cornwall)
- Scotland: Haggis, potato scones, oatcakes
- Wales: Laverbread (a dish made from edible seaweed that has been boiled to a paste, covered with oatmeal, then fried)
- Ireland: Soda bread, potato farl (a bread made from potato flour instead of wheat flour), or boxty (a potato pancake)
What is an American breakfast?
An American breakfast is similar to an English breakfast, but often contains fewer components. A traditional American breakfast includes eggs, bacon or sausage, and toast. Pancakes are sometimes offered as an accompaniment or an alternative for those who prefer something sweeter in the morning.
What is a Continental breakfast?
A continental breakfast is a much lighter affair and is often served in hotels — especially across mainland Europe, which is how it gets its name. For this sort of meal, you'd often find pastries, muffins, jams and preserves, and fresh fruit.
When you've just woken up, you'll probably want your breakfast to be quick and easy to prepare. We've got some great breakfast recipe ideas you can try that would be perfect for any special occasion.
- Overnight oats
- Spelt pancakes with figs, salted caramel sauce, and walnuts
- Cardamom and almond granola with roasted plums and cacao
- Hot smoked salmon and roasted tomato benedict
If you're serving just one course, you might want to choose one hot dish to serve alongside cold recipes. Not only will this make everything easier to prepare, but you'll be able to avoid your whole breakfast cooling down as you eat.
Remember the drinks
A delicious breakfast isn't complete without a drink or two. Coffee and tea make for the perfect morning pick-me-up. Just take a look at our guides on coffee curation at home and how to make the perfect cup of tea for advice on crafting the ideal brew.
Along with your coffee or tea, you might also want to serve a glass of fresh fruit juice to offer a refreshing zing. Common breakfast juices include orange, apple, pineapple, and grapefruit, but you can always pick your favourite.
How to set a breakfast table
Once you've decided what to make for breakfast, you can then think about how you'll serve up your dishes. If you're providing a mixture of different breakfast foods for your special occasion, make sure you set out all the tableware you'll need right away so you can spend the rest of the morning enjoying your meal.
A typical breakfast table setting should include:
- Dinner plates for larger meals such as an English breakfast or American breakfast.
- Side plates for pastries, muffins, or toast
- Bowls for cereal, porridge, and fresh fruit
- Cutlery, including a knife, fork, and spoon
- Glasses and a jug for juice
- Teacups and saucers or coffee cups and espresso cups
- A teapot if you're serving tea
- Any extras such as honey pots, egg cups, sugar bowls and milk jugs
If you're catering to the whole family, you might also want to place foods such as pastries and muffins on serving dishes, such as sandwich trays and rectangular serving platters, in the middle of the table so everyone can help themselves.
Since breakfast is often a more relaxed affair, you won't need to lay a tablecloth or make your place settings feel too formal. However, if you'd like the morning to feel more special, there are a few things you may want to bear in mind when laying your breakfast table for an occasion. For example, glasses are always placed at the top right-hand corner, with your teacups and coffee cups placed just below and to the right of them.
Usually, forks are placed to the left of the plate with your knife and spoon to the right. Your knives should be placed on the inside with the sharp edge facing towards your plate. Alternatively, you could place all of your cutlery on the right side.
Beautiful tableware can make your breakfast time feel that bit more special, so you might want to invest in quality pieces to lay your table with. Here at Burleigh, all of our tableware is crafted and decorated by hand to produce only the highest-quality pottery. Featuring intricate patterns, our breakfast sets are perfect for making your morning meal that bit more special.
How to serve breakfast in bed
If you want to treat someone for a special occasion, why not serve them breakfast in bed? When doing so, try to keep the menu fairly small, as you'll be carrying and serving everything on a tray or side table. One or two dishes would be perfect. Cereal, granola, toast, porridge, pancakes, and pastries are all great breakfast in bed ideas as they're easy to transport and eat in bed.
You can serve these alongside a glass of juice and a teacup or coffee cup filled with your loved one's favourite hot drink. When serving beverages in bed, we'd recommend filling the glass or cup no more than three-quarters of the way to prevent spilling as you walk.
Special occasion breakfast ideas
When you're making and serving breakfast for a special occasion, you might also want to add a few finishing festive touches such as seasonal food, flavourings, and decorations that tie the whole theme together. Below, you'll find ideas for:
- Christmas breakfast
- Birthday breakfast
- Valentine's Day breakfast
- Mother's Day breakfast
- Father's Day breakfast
- Easter breakfast
If you're serving up a special Christmas breakfast this year, you might be looking for some ideas of what to prepare. We'd recommend sticking to light dishes to save room for dinner. For a Christmas morning breakfast, choose festive flavours such as porridge or pastries with cinnamon fillings, or muffins with cranberries and nuts. You could also serve up a Christmas French toast made from slices of Italian panettone or pandoro instead of bread.
Since Christmas morning can be a busy one, you could consider setting out a Christmas breakfast buffet. Place your breakfast items on serving dishes to allow the whole family to help themselves.
You can serve your Christmas day breakfast with a selection of juices and a pot of tea or coffee. To add an extra festive touch, why not try one of our seven best coffee add-ins for an extra dose of flavour. Cinnamon, ginger, and Irish cream would be perfect for sprucing up your Christmas morning brew.
You can add an extra festive touch to your breakfast time by choosing Christmas themed tableware and decorations. Traditional red and green can look lovely on your breakfast table, but why not mix things up by choosing non-traditional hues such as blue or pink? You can match these with a festive garland trimmed with co-ordinating baubles along the centre of your Christmas breakfast table.
A few candles and fairy lights dotted around your table and some traditional holiday music will bring the festive magic to your Christmas breakfast time.
A birthday is always a cause for celebration, and what better way to treat your loved one than with a surprise birthday breakfast as soon as they wake up? If you're looking for some ideas, you could set your table with all of their favourite breakfast foods. An English or American breakfast tends to be popular for birthdays. You can then add a few special finishing touches such as balloons and their birthday gifts and cards.
Alternatively, you could bring birthday breakfast to them by serving their morning meal on the coffee table in your living room, or by making them a delicious breakfast in bed. This way, they can fully relax while they're eating. They're bound to appreciate the work you've put in to make their special day luxurious.
Valentine's Day breakfast
14th February is the most romantic day of the year, so why not make it feel extra special by surprising your significant other with a homemade Valentine's Day breakfast?
Because of their slight heart shape and deep red colour, strawberries can make a romantic accompaniment to your loved one's favourite breakfast dishes. You can serve them with homemade pancakes, pastries, muffins, or a bowl of cereal to help celebrate the occasion.
If your loved one is a coffee drinker, you could use a homemade heart stencil to sprinkle a dusting of cocoa powder, cinnamon, or nutmeg onto their morning brew. Alternatively, you could try your hand at some latté art to add an extra professional touch to your Valentine's breakfast.
To make your morning breakfast time feel all the more romantic, a few of your loved one's favourite flowers in a vase, glass bottle, or jug can make a romantic centrepiece on your Valentine's Day breakfast table. You can scatter a few flower petals around your breakfast dishes to create a sense of occasion.
If you're serving a Valentine's Day breakfast in bed, keep your decoration minimal by scattering petals around your breakfast tray. This will still give you plenty of room to serve up your delicious creations.
Mother's Day breakfast
Show your mum how much you appreciate her this Mother's Day by preparing a special breakfast just for her. Creating something homemade is sure to show her just how much you care, so consider making all of her favourite breakfast foods. Toast, pancakes, muffins, and pastries are bound to be a hit, especially is you serve them with some fruity preserves to sweeten up your Mother's Day breakfast time.
Present your dishes alongside some of your mum's favourite flowers organised in a vase or jug to add a more personal touch to your Mother's Day breakfast.
To let Mum sleep in a bit later than usual, you can prepare and cook a delicious brunch, such as eggs benedict or cream cheese bagels. Our hot smoked salmon and roasted tomato benedict would be perfect for a Mother's Day brunch.
Alternatively, you can let her spend a few extra moments in bed on her special day by bringing her breakfast up to her room. For a Mother's Day breakfast in bed, you can easily add a few extra special seasonal touches without overloading your tray. For example, you can lay a single flower across the breakfast tray and prop her card or a handwritten note up against a glass or teapot.
Father's Day breakfast
This Father's Day, why not treat your dad to a delicious homemade breakfast? A full English would be the ideal way for your dad to start the day. If you're looking for a lighter option, homemade granola with berries and nuts, or a breakfast bagel with avocado and bacon is sure to hit the spot. Serve them alongside his favourite tea or coffee for the ultimate Father's Day breakfast.
Alternatively, you can serve Dad a luxurious Father's Day breakfast in bed by bringing all his favourite foods to him on a tray. Consider adding a handwritten note or card to thank him for everything he does. You could also bring along his favourite magazine or newspaper so he can enjoy a leisurely read while he eats.
Start your Easter Sunday the right way with a homemade Easter breakfast for the whole family. You can serve up seasonal breakfast treats such as toasted hot cross buns with butter, boiled eggs in egg cups, and chocolate pancakes.
Pastel tones are ideal for Easter time, so look for place settings in pale hues, such as those in our Blue Asiatic Pheasants, Pink Asiatic Pheasants collections or our Blue Felicity range. Their delicate floral patterns will add to the spring theme of your breakfast.
Consider serving up foods in baskets lined with napkins to add a seasonal Easter touch to your table. You can then disperse a few painted eggs between your Easter breakfast place setting. To add an extra touch of springtime beauty to your table, place seasonal flowers such as daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths in patterned jugs that complement your tableware.
Whatever the occasion, you can start your morning with a special homemade breakfast that's prepared and served with love.
If you're looking for beautiful tableware for your breakfast place settings, we have a stunning range of dinner plates, side plates, bowls, coffee cups, teacups and saucers, and more that would be perfect for the occasion. All Burleigh pottery has been crafted and printed by hand at our home in Middleport, Stoke-on-Trent, England. This ensures that all of our timeless designs are made to the highest possible standard to make any occasion feel special.