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United Kingdom - Food and Drink

  • Proper English Breakfast
  • Victoria Sponge Cake
  • Pudding
  • Stew
  • Strawberries and Cream


When thinking about Britain, traditional comfort food comes to mind, rather than world-class cuisine.  The world views the British as a meat and potatoes culture, which they were for a long time, however, the food culture in Britain is changing and it is a very exciting time.  Michelin star restaurants are popping up throughout the nation and TV chefs are entertaining international audiences.  There is a new emphasis on local and fresh foods, and in Britain’s larger cities, every type of ethic food is available.  As one kingdom made up of four distinct countries, it is not surprising that each country has their own specialties that should not be missed.


Popular dishes in Wales include:

Welsh rarebit: Originating in the 18th century, this is the Welsh version of cheese on toast.  This tasty sandwich contains Welsh cheese, ale and mustard mixed together and served on toast.

Glamorgan Sausage: These vegetarian sausages are on many menus in Wales.  They are made with Caerphilly cheese and leeks and coated in breadcrumbs.

Welsh Cakes: These cakes are small in size, but incredibly tasty.  Baked on a griddle, they are flavoured with spice and dried fruit and traditionally served warm with sprinkled sugar.

Drinks: Cider is very popular in Wales, as are beer brands like Purple Moose, Brains and Felinfoel.  The Welsh answer to single malt whisky is Penderyn and Merlyn is a popular cream liqueur. 


Popular dishes in Northern Ireland include:

Champ: This is the definition of comfort food that consists of mashed potatoes made with butter, warm milk and spring onions.

Irish Stew: This is a staple of many Irish households and contains lamb meat, potatoes, carrots and onions.  The Ulster version uses steak pieces instead of lamb.

Lough Neagh Eel: This dish is made up of fried pieces of eel cooked in a white wine onion sauce.  It can also be smoked and served as a starter.  Traditionally, in Northern Ireland, this dish is eaten on Halloween.

Drinks: Naturally, Guinness is a popular drink in Northern Ireland as is Bushmills Irish whiskey from County Antrim.


Popular dishes in Scotland include:

Scotch Pie: A favourite snack food amongst the Scots, Scotch pies are often eaten at sporting events like soccer matches because their double crust makes them easy to hold.  They are small and savoury pies filled with minced meat.

Haggis: This is Scotland’s national dish and is a savoury pudding.  Ingredients include minced offal of a sheep, pig or cow mixed with suet, onions, oatmeal, spices and seasonings.  Often considered not for the faint of heart because it was traditionally boiled in a sheep’s stomach, today haggis is usually cooked in a synthetic casing.

Fish and chips: This is Scotland’s most favourite takeaway meal.  Usually it is battered cod or haddock that gets deep-fried and served with chips.

Drinks: Scotland’s national drink is whisky as it has been produced in the country for centuries.  Tennants is a popular lager, and Irn-Bru, a ginger-coloured soft drink is available everywhere.


Popular dishes in England include:

Ploughman’s Lunch: This is a dish found in many pubs across England.  It is made up of cheese, gherkins, and pickled onions served with delicious fresh bread.

Sunday Roast: This is a staple in many English (and British) homes.  It is usually roast beef served with roast potatoes, various vegetables and Yorkshire pudding.

Toad-in-the-hole: This meal consists of sausage that has been cooked in Yorkshire pudding batter.  It is then served with gravy.

Drinks: Bitters and lagers are the most popular beers in England, and cider is a favourite amongst many people.  Gin is often the choice spirit, and Pimms, a gin-based drink made with lemonade, fruit, cucumber and mint is often prepared in the summer.  Tea is considered the nation’s drink, however it is popular throughout the UK.


Things to know:

A service charge of between 10-15% may be added to bills in restaurants.  If this is the case, a further tip is not necessary.  However, if no service charge has been added, than a tip for good service is appreciated.


Drinking age:

People aged 16 and 17 can drink beer, wine or cider with a meal if an adult accompanies them.  They cannot buy alcohol until they are 18.


United Kingdom Travel Information

At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to United Kingdom.

Learn about the history and culture of United Kingdom, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about United Kingdom's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering United Kingdom for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our United Kingdom tours today!


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