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Updated: Apr 19, 2021


If you were a wealthy young British gentleman in 1895, what meal would you turn to for solace, after a long Saturday night of debauchery around the streets of high-society London? If you can imagine a big hearty breakfast at nine in the morning, you’re a braver person than most. You certainly are more courageous than Guy Beringer, who wrote ‘Brunch: A Plea’ in 1895. He described the meaning of brunch as a way to soften the difficult Sunday morning. You could have more time to sleep and relax on a day off in an increasingly difficult and busy week.

And so the meal that “sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week” is now incredibly popular after spreading to the USA in the 1910s and gathering fans among a similarly wealthy crowd in New York. During the 1930’s the trend grew as hollywood stars on rain journeys stopped for mid-morning meals in Chicago, and enjoyed ‘brunch’.

Popular late nineties TV-show Sex and the City saw the glamorous four stars having many a Sunday brunch session. They more or less did what Beringer envisioned more than 100 years before; chatted about the previous night’s fun.

Bottomless brunch and business benefits

Brunch started as a way to spend time instead of going to church, as well as a solution to Sunday morning hangovers. Now it’s a social event found all over the world; Singapore sports some incredibly exotic and high-end brunches. In L.A, brunch is more of a networking opportunity for the fast-moving business culture, and in Dubai, it’s a major part of the expat culture, where people from all over the city can come together. You can find all sorts of unique brunch spots in Dubai on a Sunday morning, and they are often described as ‘bottomless brunches’.

This is the newest addition to the trend, with mimosas, cocktails and other drinks endlessly served for a specified period (two hours perhaps). A change that Beringer would have appreciated. The connection of alcohol and brunch comes from the idea of getting over a Saturday night hangover with yet more drinking. The modern brunch is very much a child of this tradition, and you could argue it’s been taken a step further. The ‘hair of the dog’ attitude has been amplified, and many would say improved.

Although it’s rare to find beer and whisky like Beringer recommended, mimosas, bucks fizz and ‘champagne orange’ are very popular at modern brunch spots. Cold fizzy champagne and fresh orange juice is a great pairing for an early meal. The mimosa seems to have appeared in the 1930s in Paris (invented supposedly by Frank Meier), but only really took off when it appeared in an article in The Sydney Morning Herald in 1961. It was said that the British royal family loved the drink, and was their favourite.

Not every brunch is a boozy one, however, and many business people use brunch as a great opportunity to not waste time with both breakfast and lunch but instead have one large mid-morning meal where everyone can come together and communicate. Brunch is an efficient meal as well as a delicious one.

Brunch in Barcelona

In Barcelona, brunch is taking off quickly as both mimosa-lovers and networking businessmen get on board with the idea.. There are lots of new brunch restaurants opening up, like Terminal 42, where the much-loved Spanish passion and cultural flair are brought to this well-established tradition..

“Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling,” Beringer wrote. “It makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings”. In the beginning, brunch was a time for friends to chat and share their stories about the last night’s partying. It still serves that function, although, with added networking opportunities, and some unique spins from around the world.

Check out some brunch recipes you can try at home here, or come to Terminal 42 and see what a fun and tasty brunch in Barcelona is like.

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