People don’t usually visit the UK Capital for the food. Whilst there are many Michelin Star restaurants and beautiful brunch hangouts, the UK is not necessarily best known for its cuisine. Many of the restaurants in London provide world-class European and Asian cuisines that are a product of the cities openness to other cultures. With the broad variety of world-class chefs moving to the city and many areas of London famed for their mouthwatering menus, the uninitiated guest at the Park Grand Paddington Court may be surprised to find that the UK actually holds many culinary secrets.
With so many foodstuffs, it’s easy for the British born to slip under the radar amidst the glittering neon of China Town and the bustling curry houses of Brick Lane. This is why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best foods you can find in the UK that are actually from the UK. Whether meals or ingredients native to Scotland, Ireland, Wales or England, London is undoubtedly one of the best places to find all of them. Below are just a selection of what the city could offer your tastebuds.
The temperamental weather of the UK has its benefits. Farming in England has always produced some of the freshest meat and vegetables in the world and the fruits of the labour can be found in the classic Sunday Roast. At many London pubs and restaurants, you’ll find the sumptuous roast dinner usually consisting of beef, lamb or chicken alongside vegetables, roasted (best in duck fat) potatoes and hearty dollops of gravy.
Fish and Chips
British but not by birth, Fish and Chips were first presented in the Victorian era by Portuguese Jewish immigrants. With fried fish being mentioned as far back as 1839, the sumptuous fish, chips and mushy peas can be found in pretty much every town, city and borough in the UK. Usually comprising of battered or fried cod or haddock alongside thick-cut chips, this dish is the perfect comfort food.
Named after the Queen, Victoria sponge cake is a British sandwich cake made of two slices of sponge, often dusted with icing sugar, alongside a centre slathering of cream and jam. Going almost too well with a nice cup of tea or coffee, Victoria Sponge can be found as part of our cafe and dining hall afternoon tea menus at the Park Grand accommodation in Paddington London.
Earl Grey Tea
Continuing the English obsession with hot drinks, Earl Grey is a black tea infused with the oil from bergamot orange rinds. With a history dating back to the 1830s’, the tea was popular amongst the 19th-century aristocracy and brings a slight citrusy edge to the classic tea taste. Still warming and comforting, earl grey is a must-try for West London tearoom visitors and guests at restaurants and hotels near Paddington Station.
Originating in Scotland, the scone or bannock as their known to the Scottish is a round sweetened cake that is usually rough in external texture but soft and crumbly on the inside. These cakes are often spread with jam or clotted cream, and go perfectly with a cup of tea. It is for this reason that they became popular with the upper classes of London, and can often be found paired with pots of tea and coffee on London hotel deal special offer afternoon tea menus.
Born in the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire, Bakewell pudding or tart as it is now known has become a familiar confectionary staple in the UK with Bakewell tarts commonly found in bakeries and supermarkets, these very English mixes of pastry, icing sugar and forest fruits is the perfect lunchtime dessert, and easily found at shops across London.
Whilst it was popular all across Europe in the 16th century, Soda farl is particularly associated with Ireland. Made from flour, buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda, a soda farl is a unique form of quick bread that has a salty taste and is perfect alongside an English fry up.
Welsh Rarebit is a Welsh meal that is traditionally eaten on St David’s Day, a Welsh celebration of national identity that takes place on the 1st of March. This meal consists of toast and hot melted sauce usually containing various cheeses. This sumptuous meal also comes with a range of accoutrements such as salads or potatoes.
Haggis is a Scottish meal often eaten on Burns Night or St Andrew’s Day. Made from sheep heart, liver and lung, minced onion, oatmeal and suet, Haggis might sound unappealing to many, but is a true delicacy for those who are brave enough to try it, especially with its rich savoury taste and nutty texture. You can find haggis served on special occasions at a variety of Burns night celebrating restaurants and dining halls in London.
Though the name wasn’t used until the mid 19th century, Cottage Pie has been a known dish since the late 18th century due to its use of potatoes as an affordable food source for the poor. Shepherd’s Pie is still popular to this day and consists of a baked mixture of carrots, peas onions and minced meat, all packed into a gravy-soaked casing of mashed potato. A hearty winter dinner, Shepherd’s pie is a well-known family favourite and is served in a variety of high-quality pubs around London.
Eton Mess originates from the London School of Eton College when it was served as a dessert during cricket matches against Harrow School. Eton Mess is a sumptuous pudding made from meringue, forest fruits and whipped cream and with its traditional British background, is still a staple of restaurant dessert menus and sweet tooth cuisine in the country.
A must for any London visitor, the English Breakfast comes in a variety of combinations, but often utilises several key ingredients. With mushrooms, hash browns, sausages, egg and bacon all fried up together and served with toast or fried bread, the English breakfast is a staple of classic London greasy spoon cafes as well as more upmarket hotel breakfasts.