Sunday, 2 August 2015


In the best regulated circles the meals were:

Breakfast, which was a meal in itself, porridge, cereal, bacon, eggs, sausage, kidneys  followed by toast and marmalade.....a meal to set you up for the day. The sideboard would be set with a chafing trays which kept the dishes hot and you served yourself, although in the best circles the butler would serve tea or coffee to you.

Luncheon was a slightly lighter meal, often if you were catering to a shooting party it would be casserole beef or something similar with vegetables and followed by a pudding.

Afternoon tea - to bridge the gap between Luncheon and Dinner, delicate triangular sandwiches with the crusts cut off, often cucumber or smoked salmon, and then cakes, scones etc.

Supper was a meal usually taken around 7pm and not such a formal meal, posh sausage and mash, shepherds pie and the like, followed by a dessert of some description, steamed sponge, fruit crumble. This was often referred to as a kitchen supper as it was eaten round the table in the kitchen.

If you were having dinner you would not serve supper.

Dinner was not served until 9pm, Often 4 - 7 courses. soup or something like oysters, prawns. next you would have a fish course, dover sole, salmon, plaice. The main course could be any type of meat, beef wellington, if salmon was not served at the fish course, salmon en croute, roast beef, roast poultry, lamb, pork, pheasant, guinea fowl, veal or venison with several vegetables, roast potato's, yorkshire puddings and all the accoutrement's that go with the various dishes. Often then there would be a ' palate cleanser' water ice, gratina, Then you get to dessert, the sky is the limit with these, nothing simple, very elaborate. The meal would then end possible at almost midnight with cheese, fruit platter and port. The ladies would withdraw to the drawing room to gossip over coffee whilst the men 'passed the port' round the table smoked cigars and many a business deal was settled at this point. The men would then join the ladies for coffee and less important chat.

 As a child we had our main meal in the evening at around 6pm so it was 'supper' and I have continued this throughout my marriage apart from the occasional Sunday when we might eat at lunchtime.

Working as I did for 'upper class' families, the breakfast, luncheon and supper was mostly the norm, but Friday or Saturday night, birthdays, celebrations, business functions etc, it was dinner at 9pm. It could well be 3 or 4am before we got to bed, and it all started again the next day.


  1. How interesting and amazing to learn of the meals and the foods served at each. Ta for the enlightening post!

    For my whole life, it's been breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert (either just after dinner as DH's family did it or before bedtime as my family did it). When I was school age, I usually had an after school snack to tide me over until dinner (aka supper) time.


  2. If you ever run out of things to post on please consider something on working for an 'upper class' family' - I bet you have some stories to tell and it sounds like very long work days.

    I don't suppose in this day and age it matters what we call our meals does it? My dear husband who grew up on a farm always calls the evening meal 'supper' and I don't think he'll ever change. We know what is meant when we are back in Suffolk and invited for tea or for dinner/supper here in the Mid-west USA.

    Take care.

  3. I just found it so difficult to have a meal at 7pm or later as they do in France. Since we retire early, hard to have a full meal late in the evening. Sounds like a lot of work too, ana


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