Are you traveling to England or Ireland and you will be hosted by a local family? Tips for food and meals ! 

You are going to Ireland or to England, and you will be hosted by a local host family?
Here are some useful information and advices related to food and meals!

About meals! Generally, there are 3 meals in the UK: 

  • Breakfast: you will generally have cafe or tea, cereals with milk, toast with butter/marmalade. Breakfast is a serious business in the UK: dont hesitate to eat a lot since the lunch will likely be light!

  • Lunch: usually taken around 1pm, this is generally a light meal. A typical lunch would be a sandwich, potato chips, a little cake, a fruit, fruit juice, sweets like candy bars In most homestay, the family will provide you this lunch. If you are a big eater, you should try to take pocket money in order to be able to buy more food.

  • Tea or Dinner: The evening meal is served early, around 5.30 or 6pm. This is the most important meal of the day. Generally speaking, you will eat a main dish followed by a dessert. In most English host families, your dish will already be served when you will sit at the table! If you are home after 6 pm, it is really likely the family will have already eaten. 

Since Britannic consider as impolite to watch their host eating when themselves have already eaten, you will likely eat alone.  Other generalities about food in UK and Ireland:

  • Red meat is not eaten a lot in UK due to its high price. You will more likely eat chicken, turkey, pork or sheep. Meat is usually served with a brown dressing called gravy

  • Generally, vegetables are boiled

  • Bristish and Irish people don´t use a lot of fruits, but they love sweets like puddings, cake, syrup fruits with custard

Usually, there is neither bread nor water at the table. If you want some, you will have to ask to the family.

Expected behaviour!
Here are some information and advices on how to behave during meals in English and Ireland.

  • Your hosts will be pleased if you helped with little household chores, like dressing the table. You also have to make your bed and keep the common places youre using clean!

  • Always be on time, and advise the family if you think you are going to be late for a meal. 

  • If asked about what you are served, be honest but tactful. 

  • Regarding manners, don´t be surprised if you see your hosts loadings their forks or having their hands under the table. British and Irish manners likely are different from the one of your country! 

  • At the end of your meal, put your knife, fork and spoon on your dish, but don´t cross them.

  • Meals are usually taken rather quickly. The family rather gathers in the salon afterward with a cup of tea to do the conversation.

Above all, be open and try to taste everything! Never forget to congratulate your hostess for what she has prepared, she will appreciate it!  Have you other advices to share with us? Don't hesitate to do so!

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