Posted on August 15, 2019

Let’s Do Brunch: The Story Behind the Meal

It’s Sunday morning. The night before was one for the ages, and you’re feeling the pain. What you need right now is something salty, something filling, something that will make this headache go away.

You open one blurry eye to read the clock on your phone. It’s too early for lunch but too late for breakfast. That means it’s brunch time!

A staple of any well-rounded weekend, brunch is a combination of lunch and breakfast. It is meant for a long, leisurely feast with a few friends, usually with a couple of mimosas or Bloody Marys, recounting Saturday night’s escapades together.

But did you know that it was created as a cure for the common hangover?

The Origins of Brunch

According to this Gothamist piece, the term brunch was first proposed by English writer Guy Beringer’s essay, “Brunch: A Plea.” Published in Hunter’s Weekly in 1895, Beringer makes the argument that a meal is a remedy for the next day hangover, and a great way to share tall tales of Saturday night hijinks:

Instead of England’s early Sunday dinner, a post church ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, why not a new meal, served around noon, that starts with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures before moving along to the heavier fare? By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, and it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Brunch Hits the U.S.

However, it wasn’t until the 1930s until it became a serious meal in the United States. When someone of stature, such as a movie star or a businessperson, needed to do business on both coasts, they would often stop between trains in Chicago. On their Sunday stopover, they would travel to the Ambassador Hotel’s famed Pump Room and have a spot of brunch before continuing to the other side of the country.

As fewer and fewer Americans headed to church on Sundays after World War II, that’s when it hit its stride. Sundays became a day to relax and do nothing, and brunch became the meal of choice. By the 1960s, a formal Sunday lunch disappeared into the more casual affair it is today.

Brunching at the Beaumont

Here at the Beaumont, we take brunch seriously. Our brunch menu features the best of breakfast and lunch. We use the freshest ingredients of the season, many coming straight from our own garden. So, why don’t you come on by and sit for a spell on our patio? We’d love to have you!