Do you eat at the table every evening? Or do you have it on your lap in front of the telly more often than not? We may all have good intentions to eat at the table every night, but how many of us actually do it?
It’s dinner time. The table is set, complete with placements, napkins, flowers and a candle. That’s how I do dinner in my household.
However, according to sofa firm DFS, more than half of us choose to eat our evening meal on the sofa, off our laps. It’s cosy, but I’m not sure it encourages us to eat together and talk through our daily problems.
In an ideal world I imagine we’d all like to share dinner with loved ones at a table on a regular basis. But I wonder what – if anything – is holding us back from making this a way of life? Is it a cultural shift or a practical consumer issue relating to our living space and eating habits?
Dining tables are a luxury
How many people really have room for a dining table these days? I live in a pretty space-confined flat, but my Indian wood table is my pride and joy.
Perhaps people consider a table a luxury piece of furniture? After all, it’s a lot of money to spend if you’re not going to use it everyday. Or maybe it’s the fact that we’re getting used to a microwave-dinner and take-away lifestyle. If you’ve not prepared the meal from scratch, it can feel a bit over-the-top to sit at the table and sup on your microwave-feast!
Eat together, stay together
There are a few reasons I like to sit at the table – the main one being that it’s a sacred time of day to enjoy food and talk to the important people in your life. In addition to this, it’s practical and hygienic.
Growing up, my mum would always insist on eating at the table. Even if the meal was a takeaway (which was a rare treat), the meal was a formal occasion and one to be enjoyed together. If there were too many of us to eat in one go, we’d have two sittings – youngest first, older ones second!
The Big Lunch
Communities across the UK are celebrating the idea of eating together with The Big Lunch scheme – a day to encourage local communities to eat together and take on community issues together. Having skimmed through some photos on The Big Lunch gallery, the reliable table seems to be a reoccurring theme, and one that represents people coming together to enjoy food.
I think The Big Lunch is a powerful concept and one that should be adopted (on a smaller scale of course) within our daily lives. Would you enjoy spending more meal times around the table? Or are you happy to wind-down in front of the telly?