This blog post is about a topic close to my heart - food! Specifically, British food. I’m here to debunk the myths, spread some truths and share the joys of British cuisine!
British food often gets a bad rap. Especially when compared to some of our fine and fancy European neighbours (France, Italy - I’m looking at you!). But I feel that this is an outdated stereotype.
Thanks in part to recent popularity of celebrity British chefs like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, the UK has seen a boom in its food scene with pubs cooking hearty, traditional British dishes, pop-up food trucks selling tasty finger food and empowered cooks at home are getting creative and using seasonal, fresh ingredients. British food can be delicious and satisfying and it’s never been better!
'Tell me more!’ I hear you ask. I will. Here are our top 10 must-try-foods for you to enjoy on your next visit to the UK…
F I S H A N D C H I P S
Perhaps the most famous and widely loved of all British foods. Fish and chips consists of battered cod or haddock (white fish) that’s deep fried and served alongside thick-cut chips. Best eaten with lots of malt vinegar, salt and a portion of mushy peas.
Pro tip - buy your fish and chips from a takeaway fish and chip shop, not from a restaurant. Eat them whilst sitting on the beach for that 100% authentic British seaside experience.
E N G L I S H B R E A K F A S T
No trip to the UK is complete with a 'Full English', or a full Irish/Scottish/Welsh, depending on where you are in the British Isles. The king of breakfasts! It’s as heavy as it is delicious and usually includes bacon and/or sausages, eggs, baked beans, cooked tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, hash browns and black pudding.
FYI - Contrary to popular belief outside of the UK, nobody actually eats this every day! It’s a once-a-week thing, normally on the weekend and eaten for brunch at around 10 or 11am.
B A N G E R S A N D M A S H
For the ultimate British comfort food, look no further than bangers and mash - sausage, mashed potatoes and gravy. British sausages are called bangers because in the past, they had a habit of bursting open when cooking. BANG!
P I E
As a nation, the Brits are pretty crazy about pies. A pie, if you’re wondering, is a baked dish that consists of a filling that’s enclosed in or covered by pastry. It can be savoury or sweet. Be it steak and ale, chicken and mushroom, fish pie or vegetarian this is basically Britain on a plate.
C R E A M T E A
Keep calm and drink tea! The most British of institutions. A cream tea is a form of afternoon tea, consisting of tea taken with a combination of scones, clotted cream, and jam (as seen in the photo above). Visit one of the many cosy and cute tearooms for a quintessentially British experience.
S U N D A Y R O A S T
Possibly the greatest meal of the week. Everybody’s favourite family tradition, the Sunday Roast. This is eaten throughout the year on Sunday’s, come rain or shine. Traditionally, comprising of beef, potatoes, vegetables, Yorkshire pudding (see that big thing in the picture) and lots of gravy! Mmmmmm...
C O T T A G E / S H E P H E R D ' S P I E
This is a midweek classic. Warming, filling and guaranteed to satisfy a crowd. The difference between the two is, Cottage Pie uses minced beef while Shepard’s uses lamb. Vegan alternatives are just as tasty!
C O T T A G E / S H E P H E R D ' S P I E
The Cornish pasty is known and loved throughout Great Britain. It’s a pastry crust that comes with a variety of fillings – similar to an Argentinian empanada – and perfect for a quick bite or lunch on the move.
Fun fact: It originated in the southwest region of Cornwall, where miners who were unable to return to the surface during their break, could still enjoy a filling lunch. With their hands often dirty from a morning's work, they would hold onto the tick exterior crust, keeping the rest of it clean!
C U R R Y
Okay, so this is not, by definition, British food. It is however an adopted and very much loved modern British dish. The UK is blessed with many of its population having Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi roots and you can find curry houses in towns and villages across the UK. With so many exciting aromas, exotic spices and colourful appearance, it’s not hard to see why this cuisine caught the imagination and hearts of British people. Try a Tikka Masala, the most popular curry in the UK.
Fun fact: the first Indian restaurant opened in London in 1810!
A P P L E C R U M B L E & S T I C K Y T O F F E E
P U D D I N G
Let's finish this list on a sweet note. With so many mouth-watering desserts to choose from, it’s hard to pick. But here are two British faves that are filled with warmth and a taste explosion for the mouth. Crumble is baked apple, covered in a sweet crumbly topping and best eaten with custard. Sticky toffee pudding is a moist cake drowned in a hot, gooey caramel sauce. Puddings don’t get better than this.
So that's it. I hope this has got you hungry and excited for trying some of these dishes on your next visit to the UK. Enjoy!