One of the things that I was worried about going to England was that the food wouldn’t be very good. In fact, I was worried that it would be bland and inedible, the word “cardboard” pops into my head. You see, that is what I have always been told back in the land of my birth, California. And the really crazy thing is, I believed it! I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by almost all the dishes that I had during our visit to this beautiful country last month.
Let’s start with breakfast, I mean it is the most important meal of the day right? Also, Zoë and I are people who need to eat as soon as we wake up or we get
extremely a tiny bit cranky. So that makes breakfast as important to Chad as it is to us (for some reason he doesn’t want to deal with two cranky females, who knows why…).
All of the hotels that we stayed in England offered free breakfasts and despite the jet lag that we all felt, we were able to take advantage of them most of the time. Like I said, breakfast is extremely important.
The traditional English breakfast usually includes eggs, sausages, bacon, beans, a tomato, and fried bread, with a possibility of black or white pudding, according to this article. The hotels had breakfast buffets though (be still my beating heart!!!) and so there were many other options to stack up my plate royally. I was able to feast on freshly fried eggs over-easy, Cumberland sausages that were juicy without being greasy, greek yogurt with perfectly ripened fruit, and the list goes on and on. Mostly I just ate a ton of sausage with an egg and some fruit for breakfast. Oh, and I cannot forget about the tea… I ordered more than one pot for myself most mornings. I had to combat the jet lag somehow, right!? I will love PG Tips for life!
Zoë and I were often by ourselves during the day while Chad was off working, so often for lunch we would have the lunch deal from Marks and Spencers. A fresh sandwich with a drink and a bag of crisps (potato chips) for £3.50 is a pretty good deal. Some of the sandwich choices are quite yummy as well, my favorite was the egg salad sandwich.
When Z and I did venture out for lunch, we would go to a nearby pub, or to a Nando’s. Nando’s is a chain restaurant that serves Peri-Peri chicken with varying degree’s of spicy heat. I never actually ordered the chicken because, well, I am not a huge grilled chicken fan. I always ordered the Portobello and halloumi burger. Halloumi is a mixture of goat and sheep cheese and is usually pan-fried to a crispy salty, savory filet of deliciousness. This is coming from a person that dislikes cheese, and I could not get enough of the stuff while we were in England.
Besides the halloumi, the reason that we went to Nando’s was that they had an extensive and inexpensive kids menu. With options like vegetarian chicken fingers and corn on the cob, Zoë was in lunch heaven! Not only that but she was able to color the menu. Good times!
When we ate at the pubs, which were EVERYWHERE, our dish of choice was the Bangers and Mash. Yep, that’s right, I would have sausage for breakfast and lunch! They were that good! The bangers were always served with mashed potatoes, gravy, and mushy peas. The mushy peas were the one of the only English standards that I did not like my whole time in England. The green pile of tasteless mush was something I could not salt enough to make edible. I tried them on numerous occasions, but just did not like them. At one pub, Chad had a foot long chili dog for £1.99 and it included french fries, onions rings, and a BEER!!! That was quite a deal, and most of the pubs had a few really inexpensive and tasty items on the menu to choose from like this.
One last thing about the pubs, for those like me who are not huge fans of beer, they all had a cider on draft and wine choices. I was in heaven with all the tasty ciders that were so easily available! And with the meal deals, you could choose beer or cider. My kind of places!
I have a new favorite activity every day at about 3:00 p.m. now… Afternoon Tea! Here in Thailand unfortunately it really does just consist of tea (sad face), but in England.. oh my! What delectable treats that I enjoyed, it makes sense that I gained a few pounds while were there. Between the scones with whipped butter, cream puffs, finger sandwiches (with the crust cut off), and a couple of pots of tea, I was a happy and well-fed lady. I got hooked on afternoon tea when we went for my moms birthday in Santa Rosa, California. I have a feeling that my addiction will continue no matter where we travel, and I am okay with that!
In many ways, the restaurants in England reminded me of the ones in America. There were so many choices of international food that you could really eat in a different country every night if you wanted. Dinner was always a difficult choice because there were just so many choices!
In Bedford, we went to a Turkish food restaurant, called Nazar Turkish Restaurant. Their food was so tasty and savory. We went twice and each time we couldn’t wait to eat to take pictures! The lamb and chicken were delectable. The humus was creamy and rich. The pita was perfectly baked. If you are in Bedford, you really should try Nazar’s.
Of all the dinners that we had in England, my least favorite (besides the mushy peas that is) was the fish and chips. I know, I know, it almost seems sacrilege to say that proper British fish and chips are not that tasty, but they weren’t. I only had them a few times, but each time they were really greasy and tasteless. It was a little disappointing, but at least there were plenty of other mouth-watering food to choose from.
A fellow blogger, Four Kids, One Mom Travel London seemed to have read my mind this week and just published a post with money-saving tips for eating out in London! Make sure to check it out to help you get great deals!
Now it’s your turn! What is your opinion of the food in England? Or of British food in general? Are you addicted to afternoon tea like me? Maybe we could start a support group, who knows?!
** Disclaimer- None of the restaurants that I linked to in this post knew that I would be writing about them and did not ask me to review them. All of these opinions are my own and I know that some of you will not agree with them. That helps to make the world an exciting and wonderful place, different opinions. For more legal information, check out my Disclaimer page.**
photo credit: edwardkimuk via photopin cc