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English breakfasts and afternoon teas - it's a cultural thing...

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English Breakfasts and Afternoon Teas

The quintessential British gastronomic experience!

English breakfastBREAKFASTS

"To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day."
W. Somerset Maugham

Perhaps the most telling evidence of the pervasiveness of American culture throughout the world is the fact that in most hotels outside the UK the traditional English hearty meal that starts the day is known as the American Breakfast.

Personally, I prefer the continental approach, but you will still get a full English Breakfast served to you in most UK hotels. Usually, this will consist of fried bacon and egg, mushrooms, sausage, grilled tomatoes, fried bread and, especially in the north, black pudding (blood sausage). It was also traditional to serve grilled kippers (salty, oak-smoked herrings), but this is more rarely found nowadays. These dishes will be accompanied with white toast, butter and marmalade (Frank Cooper Vintage Oxford or the original Keiller Dundee Marmalade are best) and of course, tea with milk.

 Len Thorne's Swansea Market Traditional Welsh Breakfast If you're in Wales, look out for Laverbread, a dark concoction made from seaweed which is often served with bacon, grilled tomatoes and buttered toast. It has been called an acquired taste.

Danger poison warning signWarning: Coffee

This may be a good time to warn you about coffee in Great Britain. If you are an afficionado and particularly partial to good italian espresso (see, I'm already showing my prejudices) YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED in the UK. If you like the US style of weaker filter coffee you may survive, but for the most part abandon all hope of hotels producing the real deal. Starbucks are creeping in, but apart from a few small cafe outposts in the wilderness waging a lonely campaign that's about as good as it gets.


AFTERNOON TEA

Tea at the Peninsula , Hong Kong

This quintessentially British tradition is alive and thriving throughout the world (the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong does it especially well) and nowhere more so than in England, where it began.

The tea is usually black tea from India or Sri Lanka, with milk or perhaps a slice of lemon. Earl Grey is a particular favourite. Politely small sandwiches with the crusts removed, usually filled with cucumber, cream cheese or salmon paste are followed by a selection of freshly-baked cakes and/or scones with butter, jam and clotted cream (a heart-stopping speciality of the west of England). Welsh Tea Bread or Barra Brith is a sweetish bread containing dried mixed fruit.

So. as you see, food in England needn't be so bad!

Here are our other English food pages:

Food in England and Wales: look out for these traditional specialities!

Traditional English Food Specialities: look out for them!

And here are some recipes for English and Welsh food specialities.

Food in England: The Giant British Cookbook

I refer to Helen Gaffney's informative website on British cooking several times, it's definitely worth a visit.

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Our other England and Wales pages:

Travel to England - it's much more than a pub-crawl!

When to travel to England and Wales for your UK tour

Tour Routes in England and Wales

Events, calendar, holidays and useful facts for your tour of England and Wales

Food in England and Wales: look out for these traditional specialities!

Traditional English Food Specialities: British favourites

Daily Newspapers in England (Great Britain)

Brief History Timelines of England and the UK

English Weights and Measures and their equivalents

Clothing and Shoe Size equivalents

Book your sightseeing tours or day-trips in the UK online

Book your hotel in the UK online

Hire a Limousine in London, England

Residential telephone directory England, Business too!

More interesting, fast facts about England

TRAVEL TO ENGLAND WITH US: PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS

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