Fish and Chips – or Spotted Dick? Great British Food

The joy of a culinary tour of the UK is, of course, the chance to try some great British food. These days that might mean a Michelin-starred meal in a top restaurant, or a generous helping of steak and kidney pie in a country pub; a Melton Mowbray pork pie from a deli, or clotted cream and freshly baked scones in a tea room. The choice – and quality – has never been better.

What makes British food so exciting is its variety. There are the traditional dishes, of course, which often have a long history and strong geographical links. Just think of haggis in Scotland, Welsh laver bread, Cornish pasties, and English food such as shepherd’s pie, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding – and yes, spotted dick. As well as fish and chips, which are still a favourite all over Britain.

Curry – The National Dish

But there are also foods that have been brought here by immigrant communities and become so popular that they are now part of the culinary landscape. Curry, for instance, could certainly be considered a British food. Not only is it widely available, it is frequently voted the nation’s favourite dish. The term curry, of course, is used to cover a wide variety of Indian and Pakistani dishes which have been adapted over the years to suit British tastes. Birmingham, frequently acclaimed as the curry capital of Britain, is the home of the balti, a curry cooked rapidly in a cast iron pot which some claim was invented in the city. Then there’s Italian food – no self-respecting British town would be without its pizzeria or Italian restaurant, while French cuisine has influenced many of the top chefs in Britain.

Michelin Stars and Pie and Mash

London, as you might expect, is the best place to experience the diversity of foods in Britain. The city has an extraordinary choice of restaurants which range from Gordon Ramsay’s Chelsea establishment - which serves French cuisine and has 3 Michelin stars - to Japanese, Polish, Caribbean and Jewish eateries. You’ll also find traditional pie and mash shops, once a London working class favourite, and top hotels serving elegant afternoon tea – with champagne if you wish.

Gourmet Food Producers

However, although the capital has the greatest number of restaurants, that doesn’t mean you won’t find great British Food. Ludlow, for instance, is a favourite destination with gourmets; Edinburgh has a clutch of highly rated restaurants, and villages in Worcestershire and Wiltshire serve award-winning English pub food. And your culinary tour of the UK wouldn’t be complete without visiting some of the excellent food producers who make products like artisan cheeses in the heart of the countryside.

Traditional English Food

Traditional Welsh Food