The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

English Meals – customs

Category: Customs + Festivals

The English usually have 4 meals a day: breakfast, lunch, tea (5 o’clock), and dinner. Breakfast can be a full “English breakfast” of corn flakes with milk and sugar, or bacon and eggs, toast and marmalade, tea or coffee. Some people, however, have just a cup of tea or coffee with a toast. This is usually called a “continental breakfast”.

At midday everything is stopped for lunch. Most offices and small shops are closed for an hour and the city pavements are full of people on their way to cafes, coffee bars, restaurants. Factory and plant workers usually eat in their canteens.

The English like what they call “good plain food”. Usually they like steak, roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, and fish and chips.

Afternoon tea is taken at about 5 o’clock, but it can hardly be called a meal. It is a cup of tea and a cake or biscuits. At the weekends afternoon tea is a special occasion.

Friends and visitors are often invited to have a chat over a cup of tea.

Dinner is the most substantial meal of the whole day. It is usually eaten at 7 o’clock.

The first course may be soup (though the English don’t like it very much).

The main course will often be fish or meat, perhaps the traditional roast beef of old England, and a lot of vegetables.

The, next course will be something sweet and often baked, such as a fruit pie. Last of all there may be cheese, often with biscuits.

It is common knowledge that the English are very fond of tea. They like to have “a nice cup of tea” 6 or 8 times a day, sometimes even more.

On Christmas Day a roast turkey is traditionally cooked for dinner. It is usually followed by Christmas pudding.

« ||| »

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.