The English proverb says: every cook praises his own broth. One can not say English cookery is bad, but there is not a lot of variety in it in comparison with European cuisine. The English are very particular about their meals. The usual meals in England are breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner.
Breakfast time is between seven and nine a.m. A traditional English breakfast is a very big meal. It consists of juice, porridge, a rasher or two of bacon and eggs, toast, butter, jam or marmalade, tea or coffee. Marmalade is made from oranges and jam is made from other fruit. Many people like to begin with porridge with milk or cream and sugar, but no good Scotsman ever puts sugar on it, because Scotland is the home of porridge. For a change you can have sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, cold ham or perhaps fish.
But nowadays in spite of the fact that the English strictly keep to their meals many people just have cereal with milk and sugar or toast with jam or honey.
The two substantial meals of the day are lunch and dinner. Lunch is usually taken at one o'clock. For many people lunch is a quick meal. Office workers usually go to a cafe at this time. They take fish, poultry or cold meat (beef, mutton, veal and ham), boiled or fried potatoes and all sorts of salad. They may have a mutton chop or steak and chips, followed by biscuits and a cup of coffee. Some people like a glass of light beer with lunch. Pubs also serve good, cheap food. School children can have a hot meal at school. Some of them just bring a snack from home.
Tea is very popular among the English; it may almost be called their national drink. Tea is welcome in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. The English like it strong and fresh made. The English put one tea-spoonful of tea for each person. Tea means two things. It is a drink and a meal. Some people have afternoon tea, so called «high tea» with sandwiches, tomatoes and salad, a tin of apricots, pears or pineapples and cakes, and, of course a cup of tea. That is what they call good tea. It is a substantial meal.
Cream teas are also popular. Many visitors, who come to Britain, find English instant coffee disgusting. Dinner time is generally between six and eight p.m. The evening meal is the biggest and the main meal of the day. Very often the whole family eats together. They begin with soup, followed by fish, roast chicken, potatoes and vegetables, fruit and coffee.
On Sundays many families have a traditional lunch consisting of roast chicken, lamb or beef with salads, vegetables and gravy.
The British enjoy tasting delicious food from other countries, for example, French, Italian, Indian and Chinese food. Modern people are so busy that they do not have a lot of time for cooking themselves. So, the British buy the food at the restaurant and bring it home already prepared to eat. So we can conclude that take-away meals are rather popular among the population. Eating has become rather international in Britain lately.