In those cold, difficult first months of 1947 my mum (Doreen Buckle) wrote in a diary (more details here) and on 22nd January she noted that she went with her brother Jack to the "B.R." for lunch.
At first I thought this was something to do with British Rail (if you read this post you'll understand why) but of course that didn’t get started until the following year.
What she was actually referring to was the British Restaurant.
The British Restaurant or "communal feeding station" had been introduced at the start of WW2 as a way of providing meals for displaced persons after bombing raids and had expanded as a way of providing food for workers.
Restaurant food was not rationed but in order to ensure some degree of fairness there were severe limitations on how much food could be served and what could be charged.
The British Restaurants were organised and run by local councils often utilising the facilities in schools. However they were phased out in 1947 although they were still popular with many people. Remember that in 1947 there was still rationing of petrol, potatoes, bread and just about everything else.
There's an interesting account of a British Restaurant in Burton Latimer (near Kettering in Northamptonshire) on this website.
In many ways the British Restaurant was like school dinners for grown-ups as this wonderful image demonstrates.
There are some memories of British Restaurants at WW2 Talk.