An Englishmen’s meal
Four meals a day are served traditionally in Britain: breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner.
In many countries breakfast is a snack rather than a meal but the English breakfast eaten at about 8 o’clock in the morning, is a full meal, much bigger than on the Continent.
Some people begin with a plateful of porridge but more often cornflakes with milk and sugar. Then at least one substantial course, such as kippers or bacon and eggs. The meal is “washed down” with tea or coffee.
Most British people now have such a full breakfast only on Sunday mornings. On weekday it’s usually a quick meal: just cornflakes, toast and tea.
English lunch, which is usually eaten at 1 o’clock, is based on plain, simply-cooked food. It starts with soup or fruit juice. English people sometimes say that soup fills them up without leaving sufficient room for the more important course which consists of meat, poultry or fish accompanied by plenty of vegetables.
Apple-pie is a favorite sweet, and English puddings of which there are very many, are an excellent ending to a meal, especially in winter.
Tea, the third meal of the day, is taken between 4 and 5 o’clock, especially when staying in a hotel when a pot of tea with a jug of milk and a bowl of sugar are brought in. biscuits are handed round.
At the weekends afternoon tea is a very sociable time. Friends and visitors are often present.
Some people like to have the so-called “high tea” which is a mixture of tea and supper – for example, meat, cheese and fruit may be added to bread and butter, pastries and tea.
Dinner is the most substantial meal of the day. The usual time is about 7 o’clock and all the members of the family sit down together. The first course might be soup. Then the second course comes: fish or meat, perhaps the traditional roast beef of old England. Then the dessert is served: some kind of sweet. Some people in the towns and nearly all country people have dinner in the middle of the day instead of lunch. They have tea a little later, between 5 and 6 o’clock, when they might have a light mean – an omelet, or sausages of fried fish and chips or whatever they can afford.
Then before going to bed, they may have a light snack or supper – e. g. a cup of hot milk with a sandwich or buiscuit.
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