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Oldrids and Downtown - Household food trends

29th March 2017 Print

We Brits love our grub. We’ve got big opinions on our favourite meals, how they should be eaten and with whom. What’s our attitude to dinner in particular? Oldrids & Downtown, providers of dinner sets, finds out.

Britain’s favourite dinners

Everyone has an opinion on the nation’s favourite dishes, and different surveys tend to reveal different results, so we’ll try and give you an overall picture.

According to the Spruce, Britain’s Top 10 favourite British foods are:

Bacon sandwiches
Roast dinners
A Cup of Tea
Fish and Chips
Yorkshire Pudding
Full English Breakfast
Cornish pasties
Strawberries and cream
Teatime Treat, Crumpets

But when UK diners get free reign on their choice of cuisine what do they choose? As reported by The Express, a survey commissioned by Welsh Lamb discovered that British food still came out on top -  roast dinners and shepherd’s pie are dishes that come out on top.

Second was Italian food, with dishes like spaghetti Bolognese and pasta, followed by Indian cuisine, Chinese and Thai.

The report also found that 56% of Brits are sourcing their food more locally, and paying more attention to where their food comes from.

Family dinners

Research has found that fewer British families than ever are eating together, and those that do so tend to eat in front of the television.

Over 20% of British families only sit down to dinner once or twice a week, and one in five has family meals in front of the television.

Ready meals were also a preference for the 60% of parents answering the survey, as they provided a quick and simple solution when faced with time constraints. 

Why are family dinners important?

There are a number of benefits in sitting down to eat as a family, according to 

Children may eat their vegetables. Research has found that children who eat with their families are more likely to eat fruit and vegetables.

More fruit and vegetables means a healthier family. By eating together, a family has a greater chance of eating fruit and veg – making them healthier overall.

Get time to catch up on your day. Eating dinner together as a family is time well-spent. It gives everyone a chance to catch up on their day and talk and listen to each other’s news.

Save money by cooking dinners. As well as being healthier for you, cooking nourishing family meals is much cheaper than eating out. With a little planning – and a little batch cooking – you can make sure you grab a bargain and prepare nutritious meals.

Dinner parties

What about dining with family and friends? The formal-style dinner parties of the 80s and 90s has disappeared, according to the Telegraph.  

Traditional dinner parties of the past had a focus on everyone eating the same meal, with prawn cocktail and fondue on the menu and wine on the table.

Now menus will be more flexible to incorporate dietary requirements, with diet-conscious salads, meat and grains and locally-sourced ingredients.

Throwing a dinner party

Dining with friends is still popular with Brits, even with the shift to more informal dining. Here are a few tips to hosting a 2017 dinner party.

Go for food you can prepare earlier in the day so you can spend time with guests. Stick something in the slow cooker like a stew or curry that can cook while you enjoy yourself.

Put everything in serving dishes and let guests help themselves. Think big salads, rice dishes, assorted meats and sides.

Don’t be afraid of short cuts. If it’s easier for you to buy the bread and use shop-bought pastry just do it.

Make a playlist to set the mood. Cater to your guests and make it varied and fun – you can even include some songs for a sing along/dance off, depending on the liveliness of your guests.

Relax. If you’re at ease, your guests will feel at ease, and everyone will have a better time for it.