What do the British eat for lunch?

It's a fact that sandwiches are Britain's favourite lunchtime food!


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Five thing's you probably didn't know about sandwiches:

1. The modern-day sandwich was invented in the town of Sandwich in Kent, England.

2. 'Subs' and 'clubs' are also a type of sandwich, but do you know which sandwich is which?

3. Brits eat more than 5 BILLION sandwiches every year!

4. The Hawaiian Islands used to be called the Sandwich Islands.

5. The informal word for a sandwich is a 'sarnie'.


Every country in the world has its own special sandwiches. For example, the French invented the Croque Monsieur (that we also know as a ham and cheese toastie), and the Italians like to snack on tramezzini – small, delicate sandwiches cut in triangles and filled with local meats, salad, and mayonnaise. In England, there is a special sandwich called a Coronation Chicken.



It was invented in the 1930’s to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and includes chicken, spicy mayonnaise and sultanas. This may seem like an unusual combination, but the team here at IQ Global recommend you try this iconic sandwich at least once :).



Sandwiches are also part of an English tradition called ‘afternoon tea’ or ‘high tea’. This tradition was created in 1865 by the 7th Duchess of Bedford. In those times, it was for ladies to meet, eat and drink tea in the afternoon. One of the reasons was so that they could talk about politics and other things that were traditionally ‘male’ topics, plus gossip about their husbands! The phrase ‘tea and sympathy’ comes from the kind of talk ladies would have at high tea.



High tea used to be an event for the upper classes and would take place in the homes of the rich, but these days anyone can enjoy the same tradition. What food is served at High Tea? This photo shows a modern example of the small ‘bite-sized’ sandwiches and a variety of cakes served at high tea when people go to a café or restaurant.



Traditional sandwiches served at high tea are cucumber, smoked salmon and egg salad. The bread should be white and have no crusts (baked edges).



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The tradition of afternoon tea and sandwiches is still popular today and has even featured in popular culture, in films such as Alice in Wonderland. For example, the first time we see the Mad Hatter in this film, he is having a tea party with a hare and a mouse!


There are more types of sandwiches than we could include here but wait! Now that you know a little about sandwiches in the UK, why not test yourself in this fun, engaging quiz on the same topic? Here at IQ Global, we make learning feel like the most natural thing in the world, so our resources are designed to give you lots of new ideas and lots to talk about afterwards. You can find out more about British Cuisine by following our Culture Cooking Show.

Our host Shirley shows you how to make dishes from all over the UK. For all previously recorded webinars on British Culture, you can also click here.


Did you know that we have an English Voice taster at each level, absolutely free? Just sign up to the website to access this amazing free content and try before you buy!

We hope you have enjoyed this blog. As always, you will progress more by reading, listening and practising your English so make sure you check out IQ Global for free resources and our YouTube channel. See you next time!


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