TRAVEL TIP: English food

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We are constantly asked what we eat in England – the English food shall be nothing eatable. Honestly, this is pure nonsense! Well, it may have been the case in the 1990s. But today, at least in the south of England, you have to make an effort to find bad food. The menus are consistently very varied and exciting. We thought about giving you some ideas about what to eat here – simply from what we have chosen or from menus from visited restaurants. Add a little food photography – but read for yourself!

Starters:

The appetizers are often the most interesting dishes on the menu. For reasons of hunger you never really need them, because the main dishes are always very extensive and decent portions. But the appetizers are just too exciting and delicious not to take them. How good that you can usually have them as a main course.

Goats Cheese (goat cheese), here baked as a brie with a chutney and bread on a salad

Goats Cheese (goat cheese), here baked as a brie with a chutney and bread on a salad

Fish Cakes with a spicy sauce for dipping plus chips

Fish Cakes with a spicy sauce for dipping plus chips

Our discovery from this year: Humus with a chutney on toast bread - original!

Our discovery from this year: Humus with a chutney on toast bread – original!

Other exciting appetizers are

  • BREAD BASKET with Olive Oil, Balsamic & Home-made Hummus
  • CHOWDER OF CORNISH SEAFOOD laced with cream, served with a fresh brown or white roll
  • WEST COUNTRY CRAB CAKES WITH MARIE ROSE SAUCE Made with West Country crab meat & flavoured with wholegrain mustard. The crab cakes are topped with a creamy marie rose sauce & served with a lime wedge
  • HONEY SMOKED MACKEREL & TOASTED PATE Tregida Cornish smoke house mackerel fillets mixed with cream cheese, & lime juice. Served on toasted sliced baguette with a mixed leaf salad
  • BREADED WEST COUNTRY WHITEBAIT FILLETS WITH A CHILLI SAUCE Shallow fried & served with a lightly spiced dipping sauce. Served with a salad garnish
  • HUNTSMAN PAT’ with Red Onion Chutney and Toast
  • CREAMY GARLIC MUSHROOMS with a crispy garlic roll
  • GOATS CHEESE BRUSCHETTA Red Onion, Beetroot & Goats Cheese served on a Rosemary infused Bruschetta
  • GARLIC & CHILLI TIGER PRAWNS with Crusty Bread

Mains:

Of course, meat is very popular with the main dishes, and lamb is also popular. Fish can be obtained mainly near the coast and in Cornwall at very fair prices and mostly excellent quality in the restaurant, also rather “unusual” species and not always only “nature” prepared.

Pork medallions on blood sausage rings and a creamy sauce with rosemary etc. as well as vegetables and new potatoes (each came extral)

Pork medallions on blood sausage rings and a creamy sauce with rosemary etc. as well as vegetables and new potatoes (each came extral)

Gnocchi with Wild Garlic, Spinach, Tomatoes, Parmesan and Asparagus

Gnocchi with Wild Garlic, Spinach, Tomatoes, Parmesan and Asparagus

Pork fillet fried in the pan on a Scotch Egg with black pudding on finely sliced ham with braised onions with shallot chips and a red wine sauce (Scotch Egg: egg in a minced meat coat / facitent; Black Pudding: Blood Sausage / Blunzen)

Pork fillet fried in the pan on a Scotch Egg with black pudding on finely sliced ham with braised onions with shallot chips and a red wine sauce (Scotch Egg: egg in a minced meat coat / facitent; Black Pudding: Blood Sausage / Blunzen)

Scallops with blood sausage (!) and elaborate dressing

Scallops with blood sausage (!) and elaborate dressing

Fish Dishes

In the case of fish, there is often a rich selection of daily offers on the Black Board ( Black Board). That’s what .B.

  • Traditional Cod & Chips served with Homemade Mushy Peas
  • Salmon Fillet with a Cream Cheese & Dill Crust, New Potatoes & Vegetables
  • Homemade Fish Pie served with Season Greens
  • Smoked haddock, leaks, baby potatoes, mornay sauce
  • Fresh local mussels steamed in white wine with shallots and cream, served with fresh bread
  • Fresh Cornish white crab meat baked in a thermidor sauce, topped with melted cheese, served with vegetables and new potatoes
  • Local Trout (10 – 12oz), served with a choice of chips, Jacket Potato or New Potatoes & either Side Salad or Vegetable of the Day
  • Whole Tail Scampi, served with a choice of Chips, Jacket Potato or New Potatoes & either Side Salad or Vegetable of the Day
  • Breaded Plaice, served with a choice of Chips, Jacket Potato or New Potatoes & either Side Salad or Vegetable of the Day
  • Hake, salmon, prawns and smoked haddock in a creamy leek sauce topped mash potato and mature cheddar
  • Grilled Smoked Haddock with spring onion & Cheddar mash potato, lightly poached free range egg, roasted vine cherry tomatoes and wholegrain mustard sauce

Meat

In the case of meat, there is everything from chicken, pork, beef and, of course, lamb in every conceivable form. Sometimes deer, duck, rabbit or guinea fowl (Guinea Fowl). And don’t worry: the legendary mint sauce (yes, Asterix and Obelix were served with the British in mint sauce cooked wild light) has just met us two or three times in over a hundred restaurant visits. It could be added on request. The Merrettich sauce (Horseradish) is very worth tasting. By the way: If “minced meat” is offered in the restaurant, then this is not meat in mint, but simply minced meat / fasced! :-)

  • Burgers in all kinds
  • Cold Honey Roast Ham served with a Duck Egg & Chips
  • Steak & Ale Pie served with Gravy, Veg & Chips or New Potatoes
  • Steak & Stilton Pie, succulent juicy shredded beef cooked to perfection with a creamy stilton sauce with carrots and onions.
  • Pulled Pork, Fennel & Sage Pie – The pork is slow cooked until it falls apart before being prepared with finely chopped fennel, onion & sage. It is then encased in pastry & baked.
  • Trio of Local Sausages, served with a caramelised Onion Gravy, Mash & Vegetable of the day
  • Slow Roasted Belly of Pork served with crushed potatoes & vegetables
  • Lamb Shephard’s Pie
  • Lamb Hot Pot served with Creamy Mash Potatoes
  • Lambs liver and crispy bacon in a rich onion sauce, served with vegetables and new potatoes
  • Lamb Loin Chops served with Minted New Potatoes & Veg
  • Slow cooked lamb with chick peas and Moroccan spices
  • Roasted breast of duck with a red wine and plum sauce, on a bed of red cabbage, with Anna potatoes
  • Local Venison Pie – Exmoor Venison, Diced and Cooked in a Rich Red Wine Gravy with Onion and Juniper berries and topped with Short Crust Pastry
  • Chicken a la Provencale, served with green beans, carrots and provencale sauce
  • Sautéed strips of chicken breast with cashew nuts, mixed bell peppers and a grain mustard sauce, served with seasonal vegetables and new potatoes
  • Free range sliced chicken breast in a cream, cider, mushrooms, onion & apple sauce
  • Pan Fried Breast Guinea Fowl with roasted Provencal vegetables, chargrilled sweet potatoes, <basil & wild garlic pesto and grilled marinated halloumi
  • Surf and turf fillet steak, topped with crayfish tails, served with garlic and tarragon cream sauce, hand cut chips and crushed peas
  • Rump Steak, served with garlic butter, chips & onion rings
  • Prime 8oz Sirloin & Fillet Steaks, aged for 21 days served with baked Balsamic Tomato, Mushroom Compote & French Fries

Not to mention sunday roast or Sunday carvery, a roast in gravy (dark sauce) with vegetables and potatoes of all kinds, and an usually very tough and tasteless Yorkshire pudding. Attention: Often on Sundays there is nothing else, especially at noon!

Vegetarian:

And there is always at least one vegetarian dish on the menu, often several:

  • Vegetable Lasagne served with Garlic Bread & Crunchy Salad
  • Roasted Vegetable & Red Onion Marmalade Tower topped with Goats Cheese dressed with Salad & New Potatoes
  • Stuffed Pepper served on bed of Moroccan style couscous
  • Hearty root vegetable and sweet potato stew, with pearl barley, thyme and roasted garlic, served with homemade bread
  • Stroganoff of mixed mushrooms and bell peppers, served on a bed of rice
  • Bean Chilli – Mixed Beans, Celery, Peppers and Courgette in a Chilli Con Carne Sauce and served on a Bed of Rice
  • Filo Parcel filled with wild mushrooms, butternut squash, beetroots and Brink worth blue cheese, with buttered baby carrots, wilted greens and saffron, white wine & cream sauce

in between:

If you are looking for a slightly more savoury snack in between, the cucumber sandwiches (“cucumber sandwiches”) are recommended – for example in a very nice tea room.

Cucumber sandwich, a classic afternoon snack

Cucumber sandwich, a classic afternoon snack

And then there is a very popular snack or lunch, especially in the west of southern England: the Ploughman (pronounced “Plaumän”). That’s not much different than our cold food: bread with ham and cheese and lots of vegetables – but a mostly great chutney:

A Plaughman - the great specialty in the west of southern England

A Plaughman – the great specialty in the west of southern England

We were inspired by it, because you don’t always want to go out for food. And the Indian take-away – as good as it usually is – doesn’t have to be too often. Better cozy in the cottage the unexpectedly good, varied and not at all soft bread in this country (you must not take the plastic-packed toast bread from the felt kilometer-long aisle row in the supermarket, try the fresh bread sold in the “Bakery” area!)
By the way, there was also a couscous salad from the supermarket, where you can find really ingenious finished products of this kind. This is of course only a tiny selection, but it should make you want to come here – or just go well in this kind of food.

 

Breakfast:

Especially with the private landlords in the B&Bs you always get an excellent, rich and above all homemade breakfast served. Many even have a small menu from which you can choose what you want. Then it is easy anyway, but often you are only asked if you want “Full English”. This is the main course of the morning and consists of

  • Fried egg (“fried eggs”)
  • fried ham or bacon (“ham”)
  • Grilled tomatoes
  • Sausages that were often selected by the host with a lot of love only after intensive tests and are usually incomparably good
  • Fried beans in tomato sauce (“baked beans”)
  • Fried mushrooms (“mushrooms”)

Smaller regional variations are absolutely common, but this is the classic “Full English Breakfast”. When serving, you are usually asked if you want a sauce for it. There is “red sauce” (that’s tomato ketchup!) and “brown sauce”. The latter is the English HP sauce and it hits much more british than continental taste. So take a little care when you don’t know them yet! But breakfast itself starts with the question of what you want. “Full” or only partially – then just say what you like or want to omit. After three days of “Full English” in a row at the latest, one is grateful for lighter alternatives – scrambled eggs on toast is a good and everywhere available variant. It also wants to decide whether you want tea (usually “English Breakfast Tea”) or prefer coffee (usually served in the pump can). After ordering, you first start to use the established buffet or the cereals (cereals etc.) and yoghurts standing at the table. Often there are (fresh) fruits. This is almost the first course. The ready-to-use orange set is also used. Then the drinks and toast bread (classic white or dark from whole grains) are served. Butter and jam are provided. And here please very important: The English “marmalade” is ONLY the citrus jam, i.e. made from oranges or grapefruit. The sweet jams made from strawberries, cherry, etc. are called “jam”. Actually, both variants are always at the table. And then the ordered breakfast comes from the kitchen – in large portions, so you should plan enough space in the stomach for it. If you are still not satisfied, you will be happy to get toast bread after…

A not-full English breakfast: the Baked Beans are missing.

A not-full English breakfast: the Baked Beans are missing.

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