Quintessentially British: Afternoon Tea, Indian Cuisine, and the Pub

One of the reasons I love visiting the United Kingdom is that I no longer go there just purely for tourism, but to visit old friends and experience the best parts of their culture. Being only an hour and a half from Lille, in mid-November, my roommate and I took advantage of a Eurostar deal and booked tickets for a quick weekend getaway to London. Our weekend away was much too short, but so quintessentially British! We had afternoon tea, strolled along the River Thames, indulged in fine Indian cuisine, and drank at one too many pubs.

Afternoon Tea:

I never really drank tea on a regular basis until I started living with Brits last year, but now I crave a cup of Tetley’s English tea almost every afternoon. In the UK, afternoon tea is an essential part of the day– almost like French apéro (let’s be honest–us Americans don’t have nearly enough civility or class to classify our after-school-snack into an official mealtime tradition.) What originated as a custom amongst the upperclass Englishmen and women in the 19th century, afternoon tea is a essentially a light meal eaten between 4 pm and 6 pm. Usually this consists of tea, finger sandwiches, scones, pastries, or other desserts, and the concept is so quintessentially British. One can reserve afternoon tea in most restaurants or tea rooms, and prices typically range from anywhere from £16 to £65, depending on where you go. (If you want the best of the best in London, try Claridge’s!)

 

Strolling along the River Thames:

Again and again, I find myself on the South Bank every time I come to London. With such a clear day and an early sunset, my roommate and I walked to Millennium Bridge and then rode the London Eye; I’m so glad I did because the views really were spectacular.

12240865_10205161215302383_4695348506793055245_o

12239921_10205161215822396_667408650517948652_n

12118998_10205161211942299_5799362071277667671_n

12249830_10205161216422411_2965716544605408153_n

From there, we continued our walk to Westminster and further into the business district, until we found our mates at their local pub.

English Pubs:

Just as I love French cafés, I adore English pubs. They are just so cozy, welcoming, and relaxing. The atmosphere (politely) says, “Come have a seat, get comfortable, and stay awhile.” There is usually a blazing fire, comfortable furniture, and well-dressed individuals. It is quite a nice change from the American bar full of dude-bros, Miller lite bottles, and country music. No weekend in the UK is complete without at least a few hours spent at a local English pub!

12274680_10153187672026611_5856857730776575542_n

Photo taken by my friend MT

12219362_10205161213742344_2727528794615180280_n

Photo taken by my friend JL

Indian Cuisine:

Most would argue that no trip to the UK is complete without fish and chips, but I beg to differ. Just as good, authentic Mexican food outside Mexico can only be found in the USA, good, authentic Indian food outside India can only be found in the UK. Our group enjoyed a loud and rambunctious meal at an Indian Restaurant in White Chapel (with a BYOB policy!).

10429400_10205161213062327_9001207506961727417_n.jpg

Photo taken by JL

Finally, although Sunday mornings are quiet in London, I still enjoyed a leisurely stroll in Piccadilly Circus and at Trafalgar’s Square.

12249642_10205161216542414_2341230559622797443_n

12122507_10205161216862422_4336338062706702624_n

Small girl, Big city.

It took me a bit longer to fall in love with London than it did for me to fall in love with Paris, but I feel like my love for London and the British is here to stay.

What is your favourite part of British culture?

Bisous,

Dana

5 thoughts on “Quintessentially British: Afternoon Tea, Indian Cuisine, and the Pub

Let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s