Updated: Dec 28, 2020
Ah British food…
Lamb & Yorkshire pudding – a classic Sunday lunch
At its best, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding (something I really do enjoy). At its typical, fried scampi & chips in a smoky pub, or perhaps a Wimpy Burger (virtually nonexistent these days).
Other regional delicacies include mushy peas, bubble and squeak (fried leftovers from a roast dinner), the less appealing sounding ‘spotted-dick’ (a dessert or pudding), and the iconic fried fish and chips.
The unofficial national dish of England is chicken tikka masala – a dish of distinctly South Asian roots.
All this can be washed down with a warm, flat pint of bitter beer. Yum.
Perfect duck magret (breast) at a reasonable price
Yet in our modern world, I will argue, the United Kingdom in general, and England more specifically has gone through a culinary revolution. It is now genuinely worth a trip just for the food.
I am absolutely serious – every time a trip to England presents itself, I fast for a day or two in order to eat (and drink) as much as possible.
This essay is very much from personal experience, but I do find many fellow travellers have formed a similar opinion. Even my well travelled British friends note the excellent value for quality now available in England.
When I first began travelling to the UK on my own I was only 17 years old. In fact, with my parents blessing I bought a British Rail Pass and travelled all around Great Britain. Food was fine, but expensive for anything refined (not that I had – or have – a particularly refined palate). General food seemed rather stayed; eggs were all fried, burgers just beef and bread, grease was ubiquitous.
A modern take on the classic ‘full English Breakfast’ (hold the mushrooms and don’t eat the beans 😉 )
Pubs were so smoky as to render food tasteless and everything seemed plain.