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Is tea time a meal?

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Hi, US here and I was wondering about tea time.  My family eat breakfast (morning), lunch (noonish) and dinner (around 6 pm). When my kids were little there was a mid morning snack and an after school snack. I was wondering about tea time and if it was a full meal or a snack. Also, from novels, dinner in Europe would be late, after 8 pm, is this the norm? 

So, when do you eat?

I'm in Australia.

My family eats breakfast whenever, lunch between 12 and 1, and dinner at about 6pm. Morning and afternoon tea are snacks at about 10 and 3.

My family of origin often used 'tea' as another word for dinner - no difference in the type of meal.


--- Quote from: CakeEater on March 19, 2014, 05:17:35 AM ---My family of origin often used 'tea' as another word for dinner - no difference in the type of meal.

--- End quote ---


I've lived in both Australia and New Zealand and most people I know call it 'tea' rather than 'dinner'.

Breakfast - whenever (or in my case, hardly ever, unless I'm staying in a hotel with a free buffet, lol).

Lunch - anytime between about 11am - 1pm. Most schools seem to have it at about 11.30am.

Tea/Dinner - anytime time between about 5.30pm - 7.00pm.

Snacks - whenever.

ETA:  We call it 'teatime/tea' in our house.

I think my mother used to tell me that "Tea time" came when the posher folk used to have fairly ornate dinners most evenings, but if they had kids the children wouldn't be able to wait/stay up that long, so they'd have "tea" where the children would eat their evening meal at 4 or 5 o'clock, and the parents would drink tea while they'd spend time with their children before they went upstairs with the nanny.

But I don't know how accurate that is.

We call it "teatime" for the evening meal here.


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