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By Anna Sarjeant

Unlike the likes of Italy and France, the UK is not famed for its culinary prowess. However, there are plenty of tasty dishes to discover while you're there, and trust us when we say you'll be pleasantly surprised.

1. Bubble and Squeak
What is it?
Simply put, it’s the shallow-fried left-overs from a Sunday roast. But don’t be disheartened; a hearty mix of potato, sprouts, carrots, peas and cabbage makes a surprisingly delicious combination. 

Try it
On a Monday: the day after a Sunday roast. Expect to find it as a side dish to your full English breakfast, or as a complete dish with a poached egg cracked over the top.

Best place to try it  
Anywhere selling a traditional English breakfast. Swing by ‘Caravan’ in Farringdon’s Exmouth Market. They’re renowned for their superb breakfast and brunch.

It's no looker, but it's classic British comfort food. Nom. 

2. Welsh Rarebit
What is it
Yup it sounds fancy but it's really just glorified cheese on toast. What makes it special are the finer touches: melted cheddar cheese, a touch of stout, an egg yolk and a dash of English mustard.    

Try it
Even when the pantry and fridge are seemingly bare, you'll have all the ingredients for this simple but wholly satisfying dish.      

Best place to try it
Madame Fromage in Cardiff's Castle Arcade (not an actual castle, it's just the fancy name) serves some of the best Welsh rarebit your taste buds will ever try.


3. Toad in the Hole
What is it?
Don't worry, no toads are thrown in the sauce pan for this delicious number. Sausage is cooked in a thick, golden and unbelievably delicious batter. Great on the taste-buds, not so much on your arteries.

Try it
The perfect middle of the week dish. Why? Well, because it’s been an entire 48-hours since you last had this more-ish batter (in the form of Yorkshire Puddings on your Sunday roast, but we'll get to that later) and it's highly addictive.

Best place to try it
There’s never a guarantee that T in the H will be on the menu, but you’re looking for traditional English brasseries and upmarket pubs – hidden down quaint country lanes and little-known English towns.


4. Lancashire Hot Pot
What is it?
Good ole fashioned stew. Particularly good in north-west England but maybe we're bias? Expect a lot of potato; stews originate from poorer days – when meat was a luxury and potatoes did a very good job at filling the family up. 

Try it
Full of veggies, meat and potatoes, then baked in a heavy pot for hours on end, it’s warm, rich and always hits the spot. You'll find it called 'scouse' on menus in and around Liverpool, Irish stew in Ireland (funny that) and cawl in Wales. 

Best place to try it
Lancashire. But of course! For Liverpool scouse, drop into Maggie Mays of Liverpool on Bold Street. Their stew is so good, they've even started selling it in Tesco, one of the UK's best-known supermarkets, and the recipe features in cook books.   


5. Fish and Chips Takeaway
What is it?
Just like NZ, except the Brits like to do strange things with the chips. Want to dine like a local? Ask for chips, cheese and gravy (mostly up north). Or if you’re feeling really brave – chips and curry sauce. Expect the curry to be an alarming shade of yellow-brown!

Try it
Whenever you can't be bothered cooking. With takeaways on almost every street, it’s cheap, quick and convenient.

Best place to try it

Eat by the beach - Marshall's The Fryery in Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear has been serving battered chips since the 1930s. Ask them to throw in some free ‘scraps’ AKA crunchy leftover batter.


6. Two Pints of Lager and a Bacon Butty
What is it?
Approx. 1136ml of lager and a bread roll bursting with fried bacon and lashings of tomato ketchup.

Try it
Nothing tastes better than a bacon butty the day after the night before. The lager helps too, sometimes.

Best place to try it
In bed. Better if someone brings it to you. Alternatively, try one of the five Dishoom restaurants dotted across London. Based on old Bombay cafes of yesteryear, it's inherently Indian. However, their bacon butty is made with naan bread (erm, yes please!) and packed with smoked streaky bacon. 

*** Added notes:
A bacon butty absolutely 100% MUST be made with streaky bacon. Only streaky bacon gets as crispy as it should. Limp bacon is a UK no-no. You should also add Ketchup, or scour the condiment tray for 'Daddies' - a variant of HP brown sauce. But why it's called Daddies is anyone's guess.   


7 Words for a Bread Roll in Britain
Good luck ordering a sarnie and getting it right!


8. Roast Dinner
What is it?
The daddy of all British dishes. Perfectly cooked meat, roasted vegetables, a vast array of condiments, gravy and Yorkshire puddings (a kind of battered soufflé made from eggs, flour and milk). We can't stress enough that these puddings aren't sweet, but a golden-delicious batter that's completely savoury.  

Try it
It’d be silly - but also tremendous - to have a Sunday roast on any other day. Traditionally, the meat was left to roast while the family attended Sunday church; ready to eat on their return.  

Best place to try it
In Britain, everyone’s grandma “makes the best Yorkshire Pudding”, but failing that, find a cosy pub. Even better if an outdoor chalkboards declares they make the best roast in Britain. You could also try the Yorkshire Wrap Company, or Leeds-based Market Wraps for a full roast dinner packed into delicious Yorkshire pudding batter wrap.



9. Supermarket Stock-Ups

What is it? 

If you're renting a self-catered cottage or apartment, the local supermarket will be your best friend. They're not hard to find, because there are so many. In fact, it's worth a listicle: 

Main-players: Top-notch grub at great prices. Garlic bread for 89p? You bet. 

Save: Super good value if you're feeling extra thrifty. 
Aldi - try their $8 prize-winning wines voted the best in Europe!
Iceland - mostly frozen goods but great for kid-friendly oven pizzas, chips and wedges (at £1 each!)

Splurge: Go all out and treat yourself to gourmet groceries. 
Marks and Spencer - Famed for its intermittent Dine In for two for £12. Including a main, two sides, dessert and wine (as well as Prosecco). Premium dinners include 21-day matured Sirloin steaks, smoked sea bass and Scottish salmon fillets.

Quick buys: Miniature supermarkets for a quick fix. 
Tesco Express
Sainsbury's Local


After a dairy? Ask for one of these and you'll probably be sent to the nearest milking farm. The usual lingo is a "newsagent". 

Hungry yet? Now you're all set for a good British feed, Click Here for all our UK holiday deals. 


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