London has one of the best food scenes in Europe in my opinion. The choice of cuisines can quite frankly be overwhelming. Just in terms of lunch options you can pop out for sushi, grab a Thai curry from a local food stall, pick up a falafel wrap or even go and eat a Hawaiian poke bowl at a local café.
Now such choice is certainly not a negative thing, but with such a range on offer, one cuisine that seems to be increasingly overlooked, is quite ironically the British.
So in an effort to get British cuisine back on the lunch and dinner menus of Londoners at least once every now and then, here is a quick summary of my ‘must-try’ dishes you shouldn’t leave the UK without tasting.
Fish and Chips: Best eaten by the sea
For me this is a dish that absolutely must be eaten by the sea. Take a train to coastal town Brighton, enjoy a day at this British seaside resort and round off your trip with Fish and Chips at one of Brighton’s many seafood restaurants or as is my personal preference, getting a take away portion and eating it with a little wooden fork sitting on the pebbles and looking out to sea.
Sunday Roast: Try and get yourself an invite to lunch
A true British staple with many British families eating this meal every Sunday lunchtime come rain, snow or indeed 30 degree heatwaves. If you can, then the best recommendation is to make friends with a local and try and get yourself an invite to their nan’s next Sunday lunch. Every family has their own special twist on the Sunday roast, but regardless of small differences expect copious amounts of meat and roast potatoes, at least 5 types of vegetables (veg), gravy and depending on who is cooking then perhaps a Yorkshire pudding, some cranberry or bread sauce. If your luck is out on getting an invite then take a look at Timeout’s top Sunday lunches in London.
British puddings: Endless possibilities
Now if like me, you have a sweet tooth, then you may wish to prioritise working your way through some of Britain’s top puddings. If you are having a meal at your local pub then make sure you save some room for dessert. Try out an apple crumble, treacle tart, bread and butter pudding, bakewell tart or syrup sponge to name but a few. Oh and make sure you have all of these with a generous serving of custard. If funds are short then why not try making a British pudding yourself? My personal favourite and regular go-to British pudding is this super easy apple crumble.
Afternoon tea: A quintessentially British custom
So unfortunately the average Briton generally lacks the time to sit down on a daily basis to a 3 course meal of scones, cucumber sandwiches and Victoria sponge, however with the huge popularity of baking show ‘The Great British Bake Off’ I think it is fair to say that the British as a whole love baking and a chance to indulge in tea and cake as regularly as is possible. London has a plethora of options when it comes to afternoon tea so take your pick.
Comfort food: Perfect for a cold winter’s night
The UK does comfort food very well. That is, food best suited to a cold winter’s evening sat huddled around a kitchen table or by an open fire in your local pub. If you find yourself in need of some comfort then order or try making a shepherd’s pie, ‘toad in the hole’, ‘bubble and squeak’ ‘or steak and ale pie and you will be sure to feel warmer and happier for it.
Still not convinced? Then check out at least one of London’s best British restaurants to taste your way through even more of Britain’s best cuisine.
A post by Amy Tijou, Student Recruitment and Study Abroad Coordinator, LSE