Yes I know, us Brits aren’t really known for our culinary offerings. Our tea, our heritage, our Queen… Yes. Our food? Not so much.
Which is a shame really. Is this bad rep actually justified?
When I mention I live in the UK, plenty comment on the lousy food. However I hardly know anyone that actually visited and still said the same.
OK sure. Having mint sauce smothered on everything or being served a fried Mars bar sounds horrific, but the British kitchen has so much more to offer (and on the note of the fried Mars bar? I have yet to see one myself… as far as I am concerned, they are just an urban myth. At least down here in the South).
So if you are heading to our lovely island next time, be open for the experience and embrace in some British food.
All Day Breakfast
Despite common believe, the ‘all day breakfast’ is not the day to day breakfast for most Brits. In the olden days it was a large breakfast for those hard working minors or labourers heading to the fields for the day. It provided enough energy to keep them going for hours. Nowadays most of us don’t do hard manual labour any more, so having a full fry up before sitting at a desk all day might not be the best idea. Instead it has become something of a weekend treat.
A full English includes eggs (fried, poached or scrambled), a fried mushroom and tomato, bacon, sausages and bakes beans. It might also come with a slice of black pudding (if you like that kinda stuff, I personally don’t). Plus loads of toast and butter, all washed down with a large cuppa.
Whilst this is by no means the healthy breakfast option, it can be a very tasty one. Or greasy, depending on where you go.
My personal favourite is ‘The Step’, a small café / restaurant at the edge of Wood Green, far off any tourists.
Go for lunch at any pub (well any that serves food obviously) and you will find a selection of pub classics. A lot of pubs will have lunch time offers, making it also a fairly cheap lunch option.
Burger and chips (a freshly made burger with nice triple cooked thick cut chips, not to be mistaken with your standard fast food burger and fries)
Sausage and mash: the English sausage is something you need to get used to, it is rather soft, completely different to – for example – a German bratwurst. But combined with a creamy mash and a rich onion gravy, a tasty sausage is a yummy lunch.
Steak and ale pie
Ploughman’s: or Ploughman’s lunch, a cold plate with bread, meat cuts, cheese, apple and pickles
Fish Finger Sani
And it you fancy a healthier option, opt for the Caesar Salad.
If you’ve never had afternoon tea, I highly recommend it, as it really is an experience. You will be served tea (lots of it), along with a large selection of foods, all nicely presented in bite size portions.
The typical afternoon tea consists of a selection of sandwiches, scones, clotted cream and jam and sweet pastries and cakes.
A lot of the posh hotels will offer afternoon tea (I have yet to go and have Afternoon Tea at the Ritz, but believe me, it is on my bucket list), but you can also have it at some of the cheaper bakeries and cafes. So if you are on a budget, you should be able to get Afternoon Tea somewhere around £15 (talking London prices here, might well be that you get it even cheaper somewhere in the countryside).
My favourite Afternoon Tea is the ‘Charles & the Chesterfield Afternoon Tea’ at the Chesterfield Hotel in Mayfair, a Willy Wonka inspired Afternoon Tea with a twist.
But I have also recently tried out the Afternoon Tea at the German Gymnasium near Kings Cross.
Have an Indian Curry
Stop what. Indian Curry as British food? Yes, we do count Chicken Tikka Masala as a traditional British dish. Thanks to the Commonwealth, Indian food has become part of our culture here (and I doubt you will be served a classic Chicken Korma (as we know it here) anywhere in Delhi).
We have a sweet tooth and we love our desserts. So look out for some traditional British dishes (and don’t tell me you didn’t like them, I won’t believe word you say):
Eton Mess (a mix of whipped cream, meringue pieces and strawberries)
Apple crumble with custard
Sticky toffee pudding
So what are your British favourites?
*please note, this is not a sponsored post. Any recommendations made are my own and I did not receive anything for them.