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‘Dining out’, or ‘eating out’, are phrases people use in Britain when they eat in a restaurant or a pub. Eating out is more popular in Britain today than it has ever been. In 2006, for the first time ever, British people spent more on eating out in restaurants and pubs than on cooking for themselves. It seems that many British people are becoming increasingly interested in how good their food tastes, and also how healthy it is.
英国人下馆子或去酒吧吃东西会用到dining out, eating out这两个短语。现在的英国人比以往任何时候都要喜欢出去吃。2006年,英国人去餐馆吃饭的次数首次高于自己下厨的次数。看来多数英国人越来越注重食物的口味和健康程度了。

However, eating out can also be expensive. Restaurants are normally more expensive than pubs, though many pubs serve very good, simple food. As we Brits do not dine out every night of the week, eating in a restaurant is often seen as a special occasion. When going on a first date and wanting to impress him or her, or if celebrating (an) anniversary or a birthday, then many people like to go to a restaurant to eat, people often eat in a restaurant before going to the cinema or the theatre.

As in all cultures, there are many rules of etiquette surrounding food and eating, and nowhere is this more pronounced than when eating in a smart restaurant! People are almost always expected to eat with a knife and fork and these should be held in the correct hand and used in the correct way! It is also impolite to have your elbows on the dining table when you are eating.

There are many such ‘unspoken’ rules – they are normally only important when eating in a very posh restaurant, and vary slightly from restaurant to restaurant and place to place. A recent nationwide survey of 2,231 people showed that there was a divide in manners between the north and south of Britain – the ‘worst’ manners were in Scotland and the north-east, and the ‘best’ in Wales and the south-east! However, this survey was almost certainly conducted by someone in the south-east, so it may not be entirely impartial!

Naturally, restaurants vary greatly in quality, and price. However, almost all British cities have a vast range of food and culinary styles to choose from as well as traditional British food, and all from the very cheap to the very expensive – French, Italian, Indian, Greek, Thai, Japanese and many, many more. In fact, when asked what their favourite food is, more British people say an Indian curry than any other dish!

As well as dining in a restaurant, when people are too tired to cook after work they often get a ‘take-away’. This means that they order from a take-away (or take-out) restaurant by phone, and then go to collect it and take it home to eat. Many take-out restaurants also deliver to your house (if you are especially tired, or lazy!). Whilst you can normally find a take-out restaurant for almost any cuisine, the most popular are pizza (Italian), Indian and Chinese – and all you have to do is open the door, pay and eat!

Glossary 生词

etiquette (n.) - a set of rules or customs for behaving correctly and properly in social situations

pronounced (adj.) - very obvious

posh (adj.) - (informal) something that is expensive or of high quality

nationwide (adj.) - existing in all parts of a country

impartial (adj.) - not influenced by one particular person or group

culinary (adj.) - connected with food and the way of cooking it