The Origins of Brunch

The Origins of Brunch

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Brunch has to be the ultimate mealtime combo. Rolling breakfast and lunch into one. Brunch doesn’t discriminate between sweet and savoury. You can enjoy it in a variety of forms and wash it down with tea, coffee or a stronger selection of drinks!

It’s a lovely little portmanteau word (a made up word coined from two others). Brunch conveys in simple terms exactly what it is breakfast and lunch in one.

When you’re working from home it’s the perfect excuse to have a decent meal and break up your day, rather than snacking on the go and always feeling peckish.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Brunch was a relatively modern invention with hipsters and millennials all claiming it as their own. The reality is that it’s been about for a bit. It’s not the product of some bearded sandal wearing foodie’s imagination its way older, with deep seated roots in Victorian England.



One school of thought links brunch’s origination to the most convivial repast to high society and its predilection for lavish hunt breakfasts. Others think it’s to do with religious fasting before chapel on a Sunday and still others attribute Brunch to the musings of English author Guy Beringer, who declared in an essay which appeared in Hunter’s Weekly magazine in 1895 that “Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting…” “It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”

Mightily miffed with mealtime status quo on Sunday’s, Beringer wanted to see a change from the inhibiting routine of breakfast, lunch and dinner. No doubt arising from the fact that he and his fellows frequently suffered from what was referred to at the time as ‘bottle ache’ brought about by the copious quantities of claret and port imbibed during the previous evening’s high jinks. In short, brunch originated as a hangover cure.



Beringer suggested brunch should be served late-morning or early-afternoon spread instead, packed with an array of tempting sweet treats and delicious savoury dishes, all helpfully eased along with a glass or two of champagne.

High society rather liked the idea and it rather took off. America attempted to resist but by the 1930’s they too had fallen into the Brunch trap and as the years progressed global communities began to adopt their own Brunch time favourites Dim Sum hit the spot in China, the Middle East adopted Persian eggs with dates, masala omelettes in India, baked avocadoes defined Mexico’s offering, baked eggs and smoked salmon figure large in France, Ackee and saltfish in Jamaica, Nasi Goreng in Malaysia and eggs benedict in the USA and the full on full fat full English does the job in the UK.

But for obvious reasons we’ve shared dishes about a wee bit and the Brunch menus being served up around the world are now varied and pretty epic. There’s tried and tested classics featuring alongside more exotic cuisine influences.



What’s clear is Brunch performs a useful function. It’s not just a case of helping people recovering from ‘bottle ache’ anymore. It’s a meal that can be enjoyed at your leisure without the pressures of slotting in three meals in your day.

Brunch is perfect if you fancy a chilled morning with eggs benedict, a Farrer’s artisan roasted coffee or a gut busting bottomless brunch washed down with copious quantities of Farrer’s English breakfast tea.

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