Sunday Tasmanian - - Letters -

FRIENDS from overseas tell me that in Bri­tain, it is be­com­ing the trend for res­tau­rants to al­low pa­trons to have a ta­ble only for an hour and a half.

The im­pli­ca­tions are too hor­ri­ble to con­tem­plate. We al­ready live in a world where reg­u­lar fam­ily meals are a thing of the past and we are sur­rounded by a take­away food cul­ture.

There is a dif­fer­ence be­tween eat­ing and din­ing. Din­ing is a cel­e­bra­tion; it is leisure, food, wine, com­pany, con­ver­sa­tion and fel­low­ship. It cre­ates com­mu­nity and of­fers friend­ship, com­fort and sup­port and strength­ens re­la­tion­ships. It’s civil­is­ing. The fa­mous long French lunch is tes­ti­mony to this. And be­cause those things are im­por­tant, they re­quire time. Let’s hope this anti-so­cial trend does not catch on in Aus­tralia.

Phillip Turn­bull Cor­nelian Bay

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