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A Victorian Breakfast

January 22, 2011

Everyone knows I love anything Victorian, and I also adore reading about their daily life.

And there’s no better place to uncover the nitty -gritty of Victorian life than the The Cat’s Meat Shop.

     So what did most Victorians eat for breakfast?  Hope you enjoy finding out as much as I did,


……from George Sala’s Twice Round the Clock (1859):- It is nine o’clock, and London has breakfasted. Some unconsidered tens of thousands have, it is true, already enjoyed with what appetite they might their pre-prandial meal; the upper fifty thousand, again, have not yet left their luxurious couches, and will not breakfast till ten, eleven o’clock, noon; nay, there shall be sundry listless, languid members of fast military clubs, dwellers among the tents of Jermyn Street, and the high-priced second floors of Little Ryder Street, St. James’s, upon whom one, two, and three o’clock in the afternoon shall be but as dawn, and whose broiled bones and devilled kidneys shall scarcely be laid on the damask breakfast-cloth before Sol is red in the western horizon.

….. bread, bacon and eggs were staples of the Victorian breakfast…..Coffee houses in which a man may breakfast well for from 1s. 6d. to 2s., and get a good dinner for 4s. 6d. exclusive of wine, are to be met with in almost every street; and dining-rooms with charges for a single dinner at from 1s. 6d. to 2s. are to be found in all parts of the town, but in the vicinity of the Mansion House literally abound.” Mogg’s Guide to London, 1844).

How about the truly poor? …..The tea or breakfast is mostly a pint of tea or coffee, and three to four slices of bread and butter. I worked for one sweater who almost starved the men; the smallest eater there would not have had enough if he had got three times as much. They had only three thin slices of bread and butter, not sufficient for a child, and the tea was both weak and bad.

The poor, of course, would have no cooking facility beyond an open fire-place. They could fry/toast small things, or buy street food (anything from muffins to fried fish) or take things home from the baker’s.

You can read the entire post here-  The Cat’s Meat Shop: What did the Victorians have for breakfast?.

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