Death of the dining room: family dinners are a thing of the past as almost 60% of families eat at different times

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  • When was the last time you sat at the table and ate a meal with your family? If you can't remember then you're not alone as a new survey reveals that, while most homes still have a dining room, almost 60% of families don't use it and eat alone

    When was the last time you and your family sat down together for a meal in the dining room?

    It’s OK, we won’t judge you at Housetohome (honest!) but, if like us, you can’t quite remember, then you’re among a growing number of Brits who have deserted the dining room in favour of a solo ready meal for one *sniff*.

    According to a new study by Lloyds Bank Home Insurance, 59% of people now eat at a different time to the rest of their family, despite nine in 10 homeowners living with a partner and 54% of them with children.

    According to the survey of 2,000 people, the changing face of British households means that, while two thirds of homes still have a separate dining room, six out of 10 homeowners prefer to entertain guests in the kitchen.

    The reoport also concluded that the kitchen is now the most valuable room in the house with the typical British kitchen housing, on average, almost £5,000 worth of fixtures, fittings and gadgets.

    And of those households who do sit down to eat with their families, a massive 83% now dine in the living room in front of the TV. The poor old dining room barely gets a look in.

    Longer working hours, shift work and the increasing prevalance of tablets and smartphones are all playing a part in alienating families as they would rather spend time with friends on social media than talk with people in the same room.

    House historian Melanie Backe-Hansen, who was involved in compiling the report, said: ‘It is fascinating to see modern life
    taking its toll on how we use our homes.

    ‘Although nowadays living spaces in the home are less defined than they were in the
    Victorian period, and far more multifunctional, it seems the tradition of
    families sitting down to eat together may be impacted by longer working
    hours, more hectic social lives and the growing influence of technology.’

    So the next time you’re settling down on the sofa to watch Countryfile with your Sunday roast balanced on your knees, spare a thought for your lonely dining room and tweet the rest of the family to meet you in there…

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