Post Meal Habits…


Postprandial – definition: happening or done after a meal

-post-prandial-The etiquette of meal times has changed drastically in modern times. Many households have meals balanced on laps while watching TV or plates are taken to separate rooms. The latter mostly for teenagers, I believe. Obviously, some families still enjoy meals at the dining table but unfortunately it is not common practice. I think we miss out on real connections with other family members when the dining table is abandoned.

When our story is set in a particular era, details such as meal etiquette enable us to create the right atmosphere. Let’s take the 18th century as an example.

It was customary for gentlemen and ladies to dress formally for dinner, primarily because it was an opportunity to meet a partner. The host and hostess were first to be seated and the closer you sat to them the more honored a guest you were perceived as. Meals were usually two courses plus a dessert although upper class diners could see up to 25 dishes from which they chose two or three.

Once the meal was finished, the gentlemen would stand and wait for the ladies to exit the dining room. Leaving them to smoke cigars and drink such beverages as brandy and cognac. At this time the dishes and  tablecloth would be removed. The ladies gathered in the drawing room to exchange conversation and wait for the men to rejoin them for the evenings entertainment.

This sort of evening meal is not really practical now-a-days, with children’s activities, working parents and our frantic lifestyles but once in a while wouldn’t it be fun?

Have you discovered a ‘lost’ etiquette while researching an era?

8 thoughts on “Post Meal Habits…

  1. We always eat at the table, and did so when the three children lived at home. I was so thrilled to see my baby granddaughter now sits with her parents. In Cyprus the families are huge, and they all gather around large tables on Sundays. It is a joy to see families having fun together. I move back to UK next week, and will hopefully have a few family gatherings around a Sunday meal. They certainly knew how to enjoy a meal in the past.

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      1. My son lives in Vancouver, and we went last year. Lovely country. We are returning for several reasons, a very sick mother, widowed in Oct, and a baby granddaughter are two reasons. Also, it will be easier to fly out to Canada to see our son. If we didn’t have ties to the UK we would seriously consider Canada.

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      2. I understand your reasons. I left all my family in UK…needed a better future for our kids and it was a bonus having an excellent way of life come with it.
        Miss ‘home’ of course.

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