Advert for White's Restaurant
Printer: Milton Press
Medium: Print on paper
The trend for dining out in restaurants and hotels only really began in the last decade of the 19th century. Before this time, respectable middle- and upper-class women did not eat in public in male company unless they were travelling. By and large, women ate in tea rooms, and some of the larger department stores in London had opened cafés, but it was not until the 1880s that men and women dined together.
Hence, many restaurants like White’s advertised a separate Ladies Rooms. While men and women could dine in the same venue, they were separated and served different food. Women were offered lighter snacks, such as cakes and sandwiches, with tea or chocolate; gentlemen were served meat and vegetables with wine.