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What’s on the Great British menu?

29th June 2017 Print

Us Brits are big on food. 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…

Our favourites

Food is a very personal thing, so determining the nation’s favourite dishes is difficult. Here’s an overall picture of the meals topping the British menu.

The Spruce states that our top ten 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

- Beer

A survey commissioned by Welsh Lamb and reported by The Express also discovered a British classic was our ultimate favourite, with roast dinners and shepherd’s pie taking the top spot. Italian food came a close second, with us Brits favouring spaghetti bolognese and pasta. Indian, Chinese and Thai cuisine followed. 

Dining as a family

Research into the eating habits of British families has found that fewer than ever are now eating together. When they do, they often eat in front of the TV. 20% of British families only sit down to dinner once or twice a week, and one in five have family meals in front of the television.

60% of parents answering the survey regularly served up ready meals and were thankful of the convenience they offered.  

Importance of family dinners

According to, the following can all be considered benefits of dining as a family:

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

Families can become healthier by eating healthier. By eating together, a family has a greater chance of eating fruit and veg – making them healthier overall.

It provides a time to chat. 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.

Money can be saved against eating out. 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.

The death of the dinner party?

Are dinner parties dying a death? According to the Telegraph, the formal-style dinner parties of the 80s and 90s have disappeared.  

In the past, dinner parties meant everyone eating the same meal — largely traditional classics like prawn cocktail and fondue. Now menus will be more flexible to incorporate dietary requirements, with diet-conscious salads, meat and grains and locally-sourced ingredients.

Tips for hosting a dinner party

Despite dining becoming more informal, Brits still like to get together with their friends and family. 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.