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History of Brunch

03 April 2024


Brunch, a beautiful combination of breakfast and lunch, has captured the hearts of many and become a cherished cultural phenomenon. The emergence of new brunch spots, both in bustling city centres and cosy neighbourhoods, has added to the joy and excitement surrounding this delightful culinary experience. But where did the concept of Brunch begin?

Hunter’s Weekly, 1895

The first recorded use of the word ‘brunch’ was in an article, written by Guy Beringer, in Hunter’s Weekly titled: “Brunch: A Plea.” Beringer used this opportunity to pitch the idea of popularising a lighter late-morning meal as an alternative to the heavier post-Church meal served later on a Sunday. Beringer went on to describe brunch as “…cheerful, sociable and exciting.” From there, the concept grew each decade and right on over to the new millennium.


Brunch was restricted to fancy hotels and became quite the elite affair. It was still quite a small concept at this stage, due to its exclusive following.


Here’s where the less wealthy started catching wind of how convenient and cost-effective brunch could be. Middle-class housewives, businesswomen and bachelors started hosting more late morning/early afternoon meals that combined traditional breakfast foods like eggs and bacon with much-loved lunchtime desserts like doughnuts and baked goods to serve a relaxing family meal.


By the 1940s this meal of leisure time had gained momentum so much so, that the first brunch cookbook was published in the ‘40s. It was an economical alternative to the big Sunday meal, while still being a lot different to the regular weekday breakfast with dishes like bacon, waffles, fruits and jams being added to the menu.


The 1950s was the first decade post-World War II and saw a lot less people attending church on a Sunday morning and, instead, indulging in relaxed brunch with the family. The ‘50s also saw a lot more convenience foods being sold which, in turn, led to brunch being an essential way to enjoy a lovely Sunday meal with even less fuss than in previous decades.

1960s & 70s

This was the rule-breaking era for brunch and paved the way for our more eclectic dishes from both the traditional breakfast and traditional lunch menus. You could serve up scrambled eggs, baked potatoes and waffles! It was the era of “anything goes” for brunch.


The 80s saw brunch going back to its 1920s origins, although with a little less elite access. More everyday restaurants and diners started serving this Sunday meal along with it becoming popular in more upmarket hotels and restaurants again. This popular meal was seeing less lazy Sunday mornings at home and became more of an event.


The 1990s broke the chains of brunch only being served on a Sunday. Due to its popularity, restaurants and diners started serving brunch menus on Saturdays too. Making brunch a whole weekend affair.

New Millennium


The 2000s was the age of globalisation. The global community was starting to become smaller, exposing people to different cuisines. Brunch globalised too, with restaurants all over the world putting a brunch spin on their existing menus. Dim Sum, in particular, became a very popular brunch meal during this time.


While we’ve got the best of all the decades in our brunches now, the rise of social media has made brunch less of a leisurely meal and more of a viral event. Hashtags and extravagant venues and meals have replaced the humble Sunday meal.

Either way, we are all for the momentum that brunch has gained over the last century and how it has evolved. The beauty of being a part of the generations that have access to so much information is that we get to choose how to use it.

So, whether you want to head back to the ‘50s and enjoy an extravagant late breakfast at home or embrace the new millennium and make it a large do, we want to join you! Browse our Product Catalogue to find the best House of York products to make your next brunch a viral affair!   

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