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British meals

Breakfast (usually eaten between about 7:30 and 9:00). Many British people eat toast with butter or margarine and jam (often strawberry, raspberry, apricot or blackcurrant jam), marmalade or Marmite (a dark brown spread made from yeast). Melon, grapefruit or fruit cocktail are popular. Others eat a bowl of cereal;
e.g. cornflakes or muesli with milk, or porridge (a mixture of oats, hot milk and sugar). Traditional English breakfast (also known as a cooked breakfast or a fry-up) is a cooked meal which may contain food such as sausages, bacon, kippers (herring - a type of fish - which has been covered in salt and smoked), black pudding, scrambled or fried or poached egg, mushrooms, fried tomatoes, baked beans, hash browns and toast. People sometimes eat a boiled egg, dipping (dunking) strips of toast (soldiers) into the egg yolk.
Continental breakfast is a small meal and is not cooked; for example, a bread roll or croissant with cheese or ham and a cup of coffee. The most common drinks at this time of day are orange juice or a cup of breakfast tea. Many people have a tea-break at about 11:00 in the morning (elevenses).
Brunch is a meal eaten in the late morning instead of both breakfast and lunch.


Lunch (sometimes called more formally luncheon) is the meal eaten in the middle of the day (usually between about 12:30 and 2:00). Many people eat a sandwich (also known as a butty or sarnie). Some people have a simple meal such as cheese and biscuits or soup and bread.
Ploughman's lunch is a traditional lunch for farmers: a bread roll, Cheddar cheese, Branston pickle and salad, perhaps with a pork pie. It is also traditional for people to go to a pub with some friends for a pub lunch and a drink.
Sunday roast is a traditional meal eaten by a family at Sunday lunchtime; for example, roast beef with roast potatoes, parsnips, peas, Brussels sprouts, green beans, Yorkshire pudding, bread sauce and gravy. Mint sauce or redcurrant jelly is often eaten with lamb, apple sauce with pork, and horseradish sauce (a type of mustard) with beef, cranberry sauce with turkey. Stuffing may be eaten with chicken or turkey.


Tea-time is a small meal eaten in the late afternoon (usually between about 3:30 and 5:00). People may drink tea, and often eat biscuits (American English: cookies), cakes or savoury foods such as sandwiches, crumpets or tea-cakes. Occasionally people may have a full afternoon tea or a cream tea: this includes a scone with jam and cream (usually either whipped cream or thick clotted cream) as well as a selection of sandwiches and cakes.
High tea is a light meal eaten in the early evening (for example, 6 o'clock) served with a pot of tea; this is popular in north England and Scotland.


Supper is the most common name for the meal eaten in the evening (usually between 7:00 and 8:30). Dinner is another common name for supper, but sometimes it is also used to refer to lunch, especially when this is the main meal of the day. A dinner party is a formal evening meal to which guests have been invited. A common type of cooked meal in Britain is meat and two veg. This is a meat dish served together on the same plate with two types of vegetable, one of which is often a type of potato. It is common to eat a dessert (also known as a pudding, or informally as afters) after the main dish.


It is increasingly popular for British people get a takeaway or go to a restaurant instead of cooking at home, and often this is used as a chance to try different types of food. Most towns have an Indian restaurant, serving foods such as curry and chicken tikka masala. Chinese restaurants are also very common; popular dishes include sweet and sour pork and aromatic duck. Many people like Italian pizza and pasta dishes. Fast food restaurants often serve beefburgers or fried chicken.
Fish and chips shops are still popular, especially in towns by the coast. There is an old tradition of eating fish on Friday. British people enjoy eating snacks between meals. These include sweets (American English: candy) and crisps (American English: chips).