Seattleites love brunch! Not just a special occasion brunch as we all expect on Easter and Mother’s Day, but an every-Sunday brunch. Magazines and restaurant guides are bursting at the seams with descriptions of the best brunch places in town. And what’s there not to love? Sweet waffles and pancakes, loads of bacon (or lox, if you prefer), savory omelets or frittatas, baskets of bagels, muffins, croissants and toppings, fresh fruit, vegetables and salads, and assorted desserts to top off the 2 or 3 hour feast. As brunches are often served buffet style, even the pickiest eater in the world can find something pleasing in all this abundance of food.
Where did the idea of brunch come from?
The origins of the name for this meal are pretty obvious – take “breakfast” and “lunch”, mix them up, cut off the ends and the beginnings, and you get (official term “concatenation”) “brunch”! Just like the name, the items on a brunch menu are a mix of both meals: you get sweet treats that are traditionally served for breakfast with coffee or tea, and heavier fare that you would expect to eat mid-day at lunch. And the timing of the brunch is also the middle ground: typically brunch is served too late for breakfast and too early for lunch, 11 am being the most popular hour!
History sources indicate that the idea of brunch came from England, possibly tracing all the way back to 1895 and pinpointing to a British writer Guy Beringer. Apparently Beringer first used the word “brunch” in his writing “Brunch: A Plea,” that was published in Hunter’s Weekly. The article pleads for a new type of meal that would accommodate the lifestyles of late-night drinkers who had a hard time getting up early on a Sunday morning. What if, the writer proposed, a meal would start later in a day than a usual breakfast, eliminating the need to rise early (when suffering from hangover headaches)? “Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling,” said Beringer. “It makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings.”
He even suggested that instead of coffee and tea, brunch should be served with alcoholic beverages, as the meal begins with tea pastries and continues into an early dinner (again, possibly helping with the hangover headaches). How happy he would be to find out that his idea actually continues to live on today, taking the form of Bloody Marys, Margaritas and Mimosas, drinks that are so popular with modern brunch-goers.
The word “brunch” did not stick right away. In 1986, the English magazine Punch, proclaimed that we not mix up the proper terms: “The combination-meal, when nearer the usual breakfast hour, is ‘brunch,’ and, when nearer luncheon, is ‘blunch.’ Please don’t forget this.”, he said.
We are happy to serve you “brunch” or “blunch”, whatever term you will find more appealing. Guy Beringer would be pleased to find a fully-stocked bar and an elaborate menu of specialty cocktails aboard our Brunch Cruises!