windermere brunch The Origins of Brunch & Why We Love It in the UK blog image

The Origins of Brunch & Why We Love It in the UK

Brunch in the Lake District is a great pleasure, a nice lazy morning before heading out for brunch and then a walk in the fells or a sail on Windermere is something we all love to do, but it did get us thinking about the origins of this meal and why it is so popular.

Brunch in the Lake District

Brunch is one of those things that seems to have been around forever but is actually a relatively new invention – if you consider the late 1800s as being recent!  Just like the name sounds, it is a combination of breakfast and lunch and is a popular meal to share with friends.

The Origins of Brunch

Back in 1895, there was an article in Hunter’s Weekly that spoke about ‘brunch’ as an alternative to the heavy after-church Sunday meals.  The author, Guy Beringer, spoke about a ‘cheerful, sociable and inciting’ meal between friends or family that put everyone in a good mood with themselves and others and cleared away the ‘cobwebs’ of the week.

It wasn’t actually here in the UK that brunch really took off – it was in the US in the 1930s.  Hollywood stars making transcontinental train tips took to pausing in Chicago for a late morning meal.  Hotels jumped into the gap to offer this as restaurants were closed on Sundays at this time.  Plus, church attendance fell after World War II and this new social event let people have a lie in.

Growing Trend

Restaurants soon realised that they were missing out and started to offer a range of tasty food and also signature morning cocktails.  This was the birth of the Bloody Marys, Bellini’s and Mimosas.

Another reason the trend took off was that it became the time when everyone could eat as a family.  By the 1950s, women were entering the American workforce, and this meant that Sunday was the only day that everyone was at home to eat together.  Added to this was the desire to eat out and people began to enjoy going out for brunch and the stigma of drinking during the day also declined.

The Modern Brunch is Born

By the 1980s, brunch had become something more familiar to modern diners.  TV shows also played a part in the popularity with Eggs Benedict becoming the most famous brunch dish which was invented in New York City alongside local favourites such as Nova lox and smoked sturgeon.

We British are also more likely to indulge in brunch out than for a weekday breakfast.  But we don’t always want just the traditional bacon and eggs – while these remain popular, people want to have something different or unusual. The Urban Food House in Bowness on Windermere has a delicious and extensive Brunch Menu suitable for all the family and it is available every day of the week!

Brunching Together

While the need for a bite to eat is still the most popular reason for brunch, the social side of things is a close second.  Enjoying time together with friends or family is a popular reason to have brunch, whether at home or meeting up at a local restaurant like The Urban Food House. With or without cocktails, Brunch is a meal that is showing no signs of disappearing any time soon!