It's official – brunch is Hexham's favourite post-pandemic meal of the week.

A huge 71% preferred a savoury Full English to sweet pancakes and pain au chocolat.

More than half (53%) of the town eat brunch several times each week, and four in ten eat brunch more often now than 18 months ago.

According to new research, it's all because of lockdown.

Brunch has seen a massive popularity boost post-pandemic, with 13% admitting they treat themselves to brunch daily, which rises to 28% amongst 18-24 year olds.

The OnePoll survey was carried out by the Wellington Hotel pub in Riding Mill, marking the launch of its festive brunch menu this weekend.

51% of respondents believed brunch added something special to the day, and 48% said it made them feel happy.

Celebrity psychologist Emma Kenny explained the concept of brunch has many positive emotional benefits.

Kenny stated: "Self-care is a big part of positive mental health and wellbeing and, when we treat ourselves to delicious food, we automatically give ourselves a message that we are deserving and entitled to this self-nurture. This seems to be particularly true this festive season, as most of us feel like we have celebrations to make up for after last year.”

Brunch is also a popular, and often romantic, way to catch up with family, friends and loved ones, as well as a superb way to celebrate. Almost 29% said they most enjoy eating brunch with their partner.

Kenny added: “As we enter the festive season, if this year has taught us anything, it’s that simple pleasures bring us the most joy. From the first sip of a carefully poured craft ale, a warming gingerbread hot chocolate, the sound of the roaring fire, the smell of maple bacon and French toast, to just being together with those we care about most – they’re all little pleasures of life that we can enjoy in our local."

The festive brunch menu is now available at the Wellington Hotel every Saturday and Sunday from 9.30am until 11.15am until January 2.