English women don’t devote so much time to cooking as women on the Continent do, and they often use tinned food. Still they are very fond of making cakes, puddings and innumerable cups of tea.
Early in the morning, while they are still in bed, the English like to have their first cup of tea with a biscuit. Later on they have breakfast, which is a more substantial meal than on the Continent. Some people eat porridge or corn-flakes with hot or cold milk to begin with. Then the main course is served. It generally consists of eggs and bacon, sausages with tomatoes, and a few slices of toast and butter. Coffee and tea are the most popular drinks at breakfast.
Lunch is usually a lighter meal in England than on the Continent. Many children have their midday meal at school, and most working people, having no time to go back home for lunch, have just a snack at a self-service restaurant or a coffee bar. Fish and chips, cheese, salads, omelettes are among the most typical dishes.
The English drink no wine during their meals because wine in England isn’t as cheap as it’s in Italy. They generally have milk, lemonade, fruit-juice or beer instead.
At about five o’clock, most people have afternoon tea. The English are great tea-drinkers: they have tea at any time of the day: early in the morning, at breakfast, after lunch, in the afternoon, after supper and again before going to bed. They generally drink tea with milk and not with lemon as we do in Italy. Since they are very fond of sweet things they always have cakes and biscuits with their tea.
Dinner is the biggest meal of the day. It generally consists of three main courses: soup, meat or fish with vegetables, and dessert.
The English don’t eat as much bread during their meals as we do. They have sliced bread instead of rolls and usually spread butter on it.
Source: R. Colle – I. Vay, L’esame di inglese, Lattes, an old Italian book 1974.