Dinner, supper or tea? New study reveals what the country calls their evening meal

Dinner, supper and tea - the evening meal is know as various different things across the UK. But now a new study reveals the most popular term.

Published 2nd Feb 2020
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

An evening meal has different meanings across the UK, with half of people calling it 'dinner', and almost as many describing it as 'tea', according to a new study.

Only one in twenty people refer to the last meal of the day as supper, according to research by hotel chain Travelodge.

The term 'tea' is more prevalent in the North, while 'dinner' is more commonly used in the South, the research suggested.

The hotel chain surveyed guests at its 200 restaurants and found that one in five people think tea refers to a cup of tea, while a similar number said it was a light meal in the afternoon.

Shakila Ahmed, of Travelodge, said restaurant staff regularly debate whether an evening meal should be called dinner or tea.

"Opinion is clearly divided across the country - but dinner is growing in popularity," she said.

The average family eat their evening meal at 7pm, with a similar number insisting adults eat at the same time as their children, said the report.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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