The Tradition of Sunday Brunch

When you think of the weekends, several things come to mind… sleeping late, time with family and friends, running errands, Saturday nights out and Sunday brunch. Whether it is just the family, a gathering with girlfriends, a holiday celebration or an after-church meal, Sunday brunches have been a staple tradition for decades. But where did the concept come from?

 

The word brunch can be traced back to Guy Beringer, a British author who wrote an article for Hunter’s Weekly in 1895 to make the case for a lighter fare meal on Sundays versus the heavy meals that had become a tradition in the UK. He claimed the meal should be one to enjoy with friends and sweep away the worries of the week.

 

There is debate how the meal itself came about. Some historians credit the English hunting tradition of large pre-hunt breakfasts, while others feel it was due to Catholics who would fast before Mass and then eat a large lunch after church.

 

A year after Beringer coined the word brunch, the concept made its way to the US and over time went from being a luxury event for the elite, including celebrities, to a popular post-WWII tradition that replaced going to church, and finally today, to a more informal, buffet experience for relaxation and time to catch up with friends. Read this short history for a more detailed look at brunches through the decades.

 

No matter how you eat brunch, one thing we believe is… do it alfresco style! Outdoor dining has been shown to benefit digestion and overall health. It slows down the meal, lowers stress levels and improves concentration. Spending time outside has been shown to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and rates of type II diabetes, strokes and asthma.

 

 

The Francis House in Napa Valley

 

 

A client of ours who makes amazing breakfasts and brunches is The Francis House. Located in Calistoga, CA, the hidden gem of Napa Valley, this small, seven room luxury inn delights guests with delicious seasonal meals outdoors amidst a wine country setting. We asked owner and chef Dina Dwyer to share with us some of her favorite dishes for breakfast service. Using fresh ingredients, many grown in her own garden, here are her favorites.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread Topped with Fresh Ricotta, Berries, Pickled Ginger, Slivered Toasted Almonds and Mint

Ham and Eggs Omlet

Ham and Gruyére Cheese and Egg Galette

Dutch Babies

Dutch Babies with Vanilla Bean Maple Syrup, Blueberries and Caramelized Pears

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