A visit to London isn’t complete without sampling a few iconic British dishes. Britain has never been known for its exotic ingredients or powerful flavors. In fact, there is an outdated belief that British food is bland and tasteless. Luckily, with the influence of diverse cultures within the UK, British fare now goes beyond the stereotype of overcooked food that’s beige and unimaginative. So, go on a culinary adventure during your time in London and prove the critics wrong.
Afternoon tea is quintessentially British, and it consists of warm scones served with clotted cream and jam, a selection of cakes and pastries, and sandwiches with varied fillings. A pot of tea naturally accompanies this meal. Afternoon tea was invented by the Duchess of Bedford and was traditionally served around 4pm to get rid of that ‘sinking feeling’ one feels when in between meals. Nowadays you can find an afternoon tea spread fit for a queen all over the city of London, with or without the royal price tag. For an iconic afternoon tea experience, make a reservation at The Ritz.
Full English Breakfast
Many Brits will agree that a Full English can be enjoyed any time of the day, but it is especially appreciated after a merry night out. This hearty meal can completely vary depending on where you choose to enjoy it. However, it will always feature eggs, sausages, bacon, baked beans and toast. Black pudding, tomatoes and mushrooms are common additions. You can enjoy a no-frills fry-up at any old greasy spoon or an equally indulgent but less calorific (probably) breakfast at a trendy cafe or a chic brasserie. Head over to Maria’s Market Cafe at Borough Market for some honest grub or to The Ivy in Kensington for a classier affair.
After the 1970s wave of immigrants from Bangladesh, the London food scene got a lot more interesting. Nowadays you can find a huge mix of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi eateries serving distinctive curries all over London. Visit Brick Lane for a large selection of curry houses, one of the Dishoom restaurants for Indian cuisine at an affordable high street price, or Michelin star restaurant Gymkhana for a seasonal Eating out all the time can end up being incredibly expensive, but it has to be done if you want to sample all London has to offer. To off-set the cost of eating out, forgo costly hotels and rent a room for a week instead. Roomclub.com has plenty of affordable options that can be rented for one week, and rooms can be found all over London.
Fish and Chips
The humble fish and chips is synonymous with England, and it can be found throughout London. As with the British fry-up, fish and chips can be enjoyed in different shapes and sizes. Visit a ubiquitous fish and chip shop for a takeaway meal wrapped in paper, wash it down with a pint at a local pub or go to the Golden Hind for a large selection of freshly battered fish.