Classic British Cuisine to Try When You’re In The UK

One of the most exciting aspects of visiting a new country is trying some of the local foods on offer. It is criminal to visit Italy and not enjoy some handmade pasta, or not to try tacos in Mexico, burgers in the USA or Dim Sum in China, you get the drift.

If you are heading to the UK then you are going to be in for a culinary treat regardless of where you go. If you are flying in then you’ll find the best prices on flights to London on justfly.com, and London is of course the best place to base yourself in the UK. You may be surprised at the wide range of classic British meals which you can find there, many know that the country is famed for fish and chips but beyond that there are so many great and hearty British meals and desserts to try, and we have put together some of the meals which you can’t leave before you have tried.

Toad in the Hole

The creatively named toad-in-the-hole is a filling and hearty meal which has traditional British sausages which have been cooked into a large Yorkshire pudding and bathed in gravy. To the uninitiated amongst you a Yorkshire pudding is usually a small side dish which is made using baked batter and resembles a dumpling in form. In this dish however the Yorkshire pudding is supersized and then filled up with tasty pork sausages.

Scotch Egg

Another great dish which you can find throughout the country in delis and bakeries is the Scotch Egg, a perfect snack. This snack is made using a hard boiled egg which is then coated in sausage-meat and a soft breadcrumbs.

Sunday Roast

The quintessential meal for a Sunday afternoon with the family is the Sunday Roast, a tradition which dates back centuries and which you’ll still find on dinner tables throughout the country every Sunday. This is simply a piece of meat which has been roasted, usually pork or beef, which is then served with vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, turnip and carrots, accompanied by roasted potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and lashings of meat gravy. The perfect way to spend your Sunday afternoon.

Scones

Anyone familiar with the regal tradition of high tea will have heard about the scones which accompany the tea and these are another delicious snack which are perfect with a hot drink. Scones are made using flour, salt, butter, sugar, salt and eggs which are mixed together and baked in the oven to form fluffy and dense cakes which melt in the mouth. You can get many varieties of scones which have been filled with fruits such as raisins and cranberries. A cup of tea wouldn’t be the same without them.

Steak and Ale Pie

You will find a huge range of pies wherever you go in the UK and each county or city will have their own versions. The classic pie option however is the steak and ale pie, a perfect dish to warm you up in the cold UK climate. The pie is made with soft, flaky pastry which is filled with steak pieces which have been slow cooked in gravy and a rich ale sauce, normally made using Guinness. Additional touches can be found such as carrots and cheese, and this is one of those dishes which you’ll only find in the UK, a real classic which you have to try.

Eton Mess

This refreshingly named dish is a dessert which you will find throughout the country, and whilst it does look like a mess, it tastes absolutely delicious. The Eton Mess is also a very simple dish which features just 4 ingredients, double cream, fresh British strawberries, meringue pieces and some fresh mint. As you can imagine, the dish is made by whipping up all of the ingredients and then serving it just as it comes, totally messy and absolutely gorgeous.

Shepherd’s Pie

Another dish which will warm you up on those cold nights – noticing a theme here? Is the British classic Shepherd’s Pie. Unlike most pies this one doesn’t use pastry and instead is topped with soft and creamy mash potatoes. Made using minced lamb with gravy and vegetables, this combination is cooked off and placed in an oven proof dish. The mash potato is then layered on top of the meat and it is cooked in a hot oven so that the mash becomes crispy on top, soft underneath. Cheese is added to the top of the pie at the end of cooking and the mixture of flavors and textures is simply glorious.

Naturally you should also ensure that you try fish and chips during your time in the UK, but as you can see there is plenty more than just that to try out.

Great Long Weekend Ideas

When it comes to holiday ideas throughout the year, there are a lot of choices depending what you want out of your short time off. While some people take long weekends once or twice a month just for some extra time off, others will take a week off in the winter or other days off here and there where they want to get away from it all and jet set to some foreign place. If this sounds like you and you want to look for a last minute short break, check out these ideas for great getaways.

City Breaks

City breaks are a great way to get out and away from your hometown for awhile, allowing you the options of picking great cities to get away to. While the term ‘city break’ often conjures up images of people jetting off to the likes of Paris, Rome or Barcelona, you can have great city breaks in the UK as well. Cities like London, Edinburgh, York, Chester and Aberdeen are great UK options for city breaks that many people may not think of. You can even consider Belfast or Londonderry for a great unusual city break as well. It doesn’t always have to be on the continent!

Other UK Breaks

Short breaks in and around the UK are plentiful. Whether you want to stay a weekend at a lush manor estate, a spa weekend or just getting into the countryside, the list is endless in Britain. Visit Bath for fantastic shopping, the amazing Thermae Spa and visit the Roman Baths museum before dining out at one of the city’s many trendy restaurants. The scenery is to die for around the city – rolling green hills made greener by all the beige Bath stone the buildings are made from lining the hills and valley around the city itself.

The Med

Without doubt, one of the best getaways for singles, couples and families alike is the Med. With so many islands to choose from spanning from Spain to Turkey, you will be hard pressed to narrow it down to just a couple to pick from. The Mediterranean Sea has some of the most brilliant weather as well as culture and coastline. Favourite locations include the coasts of Italy and Turkey, with many of the Greek islands such as Corfu and Crete attracting hundreds of thousands each year as well.

Something Cultural

If you’re on the hunt for something a bit more adventurous and cultural, why not consider heading to Morocco for your holiday? While it can be scorching hot in the summer months, it can be really lovely in shoulder seasons. If you like hot though, this is your place. Check out the cities of Marrakesh and Fez for a real cultural treat, or head to the north coast to cool down. Chefchaouen, a town known for its masses of blue buildings, is a hot spot for many tourists, especially backpackers. For a real treat though, book a trip into the Sahara with some Berber tribespeople. Viewing the night sky from the sand dunes just can’t be beat anywhere.

Whether you’re sticking with the tried and tested or you want something a bit new this year, there’s something for everyone in this list. From a city break in your own backyard to scaling the rugged Atlas Mountains in Morocco, you can be sure that you will find the perfect idea for you and your friends or family.

5 Things To Do On A Solo Vacation To The UK

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Without doubt, the United Kingdom is one of the most visited countries in the world and for good reason. With so much to see and do spread over a relatively small area, it makes the perfect location to head to if you’re looking to maximise your time on vacation. Regardless of whether you’re going to the UK with a group of friends or by yourself, there will be things to do for everyone. Here we look at the top 5 things to do if you’re heading there alone.

London – All Its Fantastic Sights

London is the capital city of England and has been its historic centre for millennia. As a result, London is absolutely teeming with things to see and do, from small local pubs in the many backstreets, to tours and numerous museums and other attractions. A good piece of information to note is that all the museums in London are free. 100% free. The Natural History Museum and the British Museum are the two best ones for anyone on a visit to London and looking to take in a bit of the history of the land and the country. The Tower of London is ideal for anyone on their own and looking to explore the sordid history of London – with its time as both a historic royal palace as well as a prison, the Tower is the place to see. A quick rundown of other attractions in London include the Dungeon (don’t go alone if you’re easily spooked, though!), Westminster Abbey (tours available) and the palaces of Windsor/Hampton Court. All of these suggestions are great for anyone travelling solo with the exception of the Dungeons.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and is a great place to head to for a bit of history as well as some stunning scenery. The Scots are naturally a very welcoming people and Edinburgh lives up to this reputation well. For the best in sightseeing you can catch one of the hop-on, hop-off buses that takes you around the main sights of the city and drops you off where you like. With castles, great pubs and some fantastic walking routes available as well as museums and a bustling, vibrant nightlife, Edinburgh is great for travellers on their own.

Chester

A small city near the larger metropolis of Manchester, Chester is a beautiful medieval city teeming with charm and character. With its medieval market “rows” – elevated walkways featuring shops and bakeries along its main thoroughfare amid centuries old buildings made of Tudor era wooden beams – its not only exceptionally picturesque, but welcoming as well. Chester also features old city walls and great transport links so if you want to get out of the city, it’s simple and seamless. Popular routes include heading over to the Yorkshire Dales or going into Wales into the Snowdonia National Park.

Snowdonia National Park

Speaking of Snowdonia National Park, this is an absolutely stunning bit of the UK that is perfect for those both in groups or on their own. The tiny mountain town of Betws-y-Coed is situated perfectly to help visitors maximise their time in the park and is one of the main stops on the fantastic Snowdon Link bus – a bus that for £1 takes you through the valleys of the area, past lakes, and to the foot of some of Snowdon’s favourite climbing routes. Snowdon is easily climbed by most, but if you aren’t up for it, you can catch the bus to Llangollen, and pay to go up on the small land train.

Salisbury

Salisbury enjoys excellent connections by train to London and Bath/Bristol. It’s a lovely, welcoming, medieval market city (more like a town!) with an impressive cathedral to visit as well as a bustling market square on Tuesdays and Saturdays as well as numerous pubs and the medieval Poultry Cross – an impressive example of medieval architecture. Be sure to stop for a pint in the Haunch of Venison – a pub so old it’s purported to be made from old ship beams brought up from the coast in the 1200s and used initially as the hostel for the men working on the cathedral at that time. Ask the bar staff for more history, including the story of the hand – you might be surprised at the secrets that lurk within. A great place to hob nob with the locals as well – if they find out you’re on your own and you aren’t local, chances are you’ll be swept up in conversation.

So there you have a couple of top ideas for those who are coming to the UK solo. There are countless other things to do in the UK if you’re travelling alone – the only limitation is your own comfort zone as well as well as those looking for more excitement. The UK is a wonderful and welcoming place for travellers, so pack your bags and grab your wellies – the UK awaits!