It has come to my attention (quite dangerously) that London will be hosting its annual Chocolate Week this week, so I thought this week’s Postcard would be the perfect opportunity to give you the essential guide to eating your way through London.
English cuisine has some unmistakeable traditions, such as Sunday roasts with Yorkshire puddings, full English breakfasts of eggs, bacon, sausages and beans, as well as fish and chips served with mushy peas. The English palette is not for everyone though. Most dishes rely heavily on starchy carbs and potatoes, which can often leave you lamenting the creation of a food baby inside you.
A contentious issue for me, which always makes its way into conversations with the English people I meet, is the difference in taste of British chocolate compared to back home. Cadburys in England seems to taste so much more sickly sweet, while in Australia it’s a lot more creamier. Most British people will stick to the argument that it’s the anti-melting agent in Australian Cadburys which affects the taste, but don’t listen to them – they’re just jealous.
One thing which England does very well is quick, cheap, convenient ready meals such as sandwiches and punnets of fresh fruit which hasty people on a deadline for lunch can pick up in a matter of seconds. Entire franchises have opened to cater for this market, and in true British style, they all have their place in the societal hierarchy – from the upmarket stores like Pret A Manger and Eat, to the cheaper and more lowbrow Greggs.
Walk around the streets of London for long enough and you’re bound to find numerous stores lining the pavements all selling one very popular product which Londoners can’t seem to get enough of: frozen yoghurt. This delicious treat is best enjoyed with friends, and will always make your tastebuds say thank you.
If you ever find yourself in London, do yourself a favour and take yourself to a pub for some classic pub grub (particularly if you’re on the receiving end of a nasty hangover). You’ll find typical meals like bangers and mash, steak and kidney pie, gammon and eggs, and curries, which the English have adopted as a traditional meal. Wash it down with a beer and you’ll be feeling like a Pom in no time.
I was recently introduced to a particular favourite of many Brits – the bacon sarnie. Simple, timeless, and surprisingly tasty, throw some bacon in between two pieces of bread and people will be smiling instantly.
Another British indulgence is the fabulous drink of Pimm’s. Often served when the sun is shining, this gin-based drink is mixed with lemonade or ginger ale and adorned with loads of chopped fruit, particularly apples, cucumbers, oranges, lemons, strawberries and mint.
My personal favourite within the English repertoire is undoubtedly afternoon tea. Finger sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, delectable little sweet treats and a never-ending pot of steaming hot tea are the way to my heart. Tea is a quintessential British staple, which will often be enjoyed at numerous points throughout the day, frequently with a cheeky digestive biscuit or two. Or three. Let’s be honest.