We are constantly asked what we eat in England as English food is considered to be inedible. Honestly, this is pure nonsense! 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. We have added a little food photography – but read for yourself!
The appetizers are often the most interesting dishes on the menu. If you are hungry, you never really need them, because the main dishes are always very extensive and decent portions. The appetizers are just too exciting and delicious not to have them. It’s good that they are also available for you to have as a main course.
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
Of course, meat is very popular as a main dish, and lamb is also a popular choice. Fish can be obtained mainly near the coast and in Cornwall at very fair prices and is mostly excellent quality in restaurants.
In the case of fish, there is often a varied selection of daily offers on the blackboard. These are for example:
- 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
In the case of meat, there is everything from chicken, pork, beef and, of course, lamb in every conceivable form. Sometimes venison, duck, rabbit or guinea fowl are available. Don’t worry: the legendary mint sauce (even Asterix and Obelix were served wild boar with mint sauce in Britain!) has been offered to us two or three times in over a hundred restaurant visits. It could be added on request. Horseradish sauce is worth a try.
- All kinds of Burgers
- 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 Shepherd’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
Don’t forget Sunday roast or Sunday carvery which is common everywhere on Sundays. This is a roast in gravy with vegetables and potatoes of all kinds, and a usually very tough and tasteless Yorkshire pudding. Be aware that on Sundays there is often nothing else, especially at noon!
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 Snack:
If you are looking for a slightly more savoury snack in between, cucumber sandwiches are recommended – for example in a very nice tea room.
There is a very popular snack or lunch, especially in the west of southern England called Ploughman or The Ploughman’s Lunch. TThat’s bread with ham and cheese, lots of salad and a great chutney.
We were inspired by it, because you don’t always want to go out for food. As good as an Indian take-away usually is, it doesn’t have to be too often. Better to be cosy in the cottage with unexpectedly good, varied and not at all soft bread. (You must not take the plastic-packed bread from the kilometre-long filled aisle in the supermarket, try 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 like this. Of course, this is only a tiny selection, but it should make you want to come here –or just go out for a good meal with this kind of food.
Especially with private landlords in B&Bs you always get an excellent, rich and above all homemade breakfast. Many even have a small menu from which you can choose what you want. This makes it easy, but often you are only asked if you want “Full English”. This is the main course of the morning and consists of:
- Fried eggs
- Fried ham or bacon
- Grilled tomatoes
- Sausages which were often selected by the host with a lot of love and only after intensive tests. They are usually incomparably good.
- Baked beans
- Fried mushrooms
Smaller regional variations are absolutely common, but this is the classic “Full English Breakfast”. When breakfast is served, 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 is much more in keeping with British than continental tastes. So, take a little care if you have never tasted it before! Breakfast itself starts with the question of what you want. There is “Full” or only “partial.” 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 are available everywhere and are a good alternative. You also need to decide whether you want tea (usually “English Breakfast Tea”) or prefer coffee (usually served in a thermos jug with a pump). After ordering, you first start by helping yourself to cereals and yoghurts etc. at the established buffet table. There are often (fresh) fruits available. This is almost the first course. You can also help yourself to orange juice. The drinks and toast (classic white or brown from whole grains) are served to your table. Butter and jam are provided. Please note something very important: English “marmalade” is ONLY citrus jam, i.e., made from oranges or grapefruit. Sweet jams made from strawberries, cherries, etc. are called “jam”. Actually, both variants are always at the table. Then your ordered breakfast comes from the kitchen – in large portions, so you should make sure you have enough space in your stomach for it! If you are still not full, they will be happy to give you more toast afterwards.
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