During the first half of the last century, right up until the mid-Sixties, British eating habits were thus…
07:00 – Breakfast. Typically, two fried eggs, one fried slice and a quantity of bacon. And a cup of tea.
11:00 – Elevenses. Usually sandwiches or biscuits. And another cup of tea.
13:00 – Lunch, for upper-class people; a light meal with yet another cup of tea.
13:00 – Dinner, for working-class people; the main (cooked) meal with yet another cup of tea.
16:00 – Afternoon tea. The same as Elevenses – including that cup of tea.
19:00 – Dinner, for upper-class people. The same as Dinner, above – but posher.
19:00 – Tea, for working-class people. The same as Lunch, above.
23:00 – Supper (optional). Generally another cooked meal – typically fish and chips.
Thus it can be seen that the British in those days would eat up to SIX times a day. No wonder they were CHUNKY. It is a wonder they survived.
For the record, for decades now, I have only eaten TWO meals a day; Brunch and evening Dinner – with NO tea (FOUL stuff). And while my chances of working as a runway model are slim – at least I am not FAT.
Anyhay, as the above timetable demonstrates, CLASS dictated many of the eating habits. Furthermore, some workers could not return home for Lunch/Dinner – and thus either took sandwiches with them – or ate in subsidised staff canteens or local sandwich bars.
And also during that time, many upper-class and/or elderly people had their Elevenses and/or Afternoon tea in Tea Rooms.
Long forgotten now, these died out in the mid-Sixties – but were highly popular during the fifty years before.
Based on an upper-class fashion that stretched back centuries, they consisted of elegant rooms, staffed by women in black satin uniforms, called “nippies” (they “nipped” around) that served tea and light refreshments – but rarely COOKED food.
Most were independent, but J. Lyons had a chain of them – including some large ones in London (Lyons Corner Houses).
A few even had music (typically light-operatic instrumentals, played by a trio – or a Music Box; a machine that incorporated a player-piano with a mechanically-played violin). But most were deathly QUIET – which the clientele (being mainly “refined” and/or old people) preferred.
In fact, these places served more as a MEETING place for Hinge & Bracket types. The food and beverages were to a degree, secondary.
And since the food available consisted mostly of sandwiches and cakes, it was necessary to keep them from drying out (the sandwiches) and being covered in flies (the cakes). Which meant they were stored on large plates covered by – NOW do you see where I’m going with this?!
Yes indeed. I cannot avoid thinking of one of THESE…
…every time I see THIS…
All it needs is a KNOB ON TOP!