How to Nom Like a Brit!
I think one of the things I struggled with (and most people struggle with) when moving to London was adapting to day to day living. Which is obvious I guess. But when you move, you try to push that concern to one side so that your enthusiasm for the big move isn’t dampened by your anxiety for how it could fail.
I think what really helps to ease the transition is discovering what it is that you like about your new home. It really isn’t that hard (unless you’re determined not to find anything you’ll like). I’m not saying that I’m a fully fledged Anglophile just yet, but putting emphasis on what you enjoy about living in London can certainly help in adjusting to staying here.
Off the top of my head, my personal list of favourite things about staying in London probably amount to all the clichés that I’ve discovered are truisms. I mean the kind of things you read about books or see in movies and then come over here and you discover that it’s just the way you pictured it in your head. Like bangers and mash.
Bangers and Mash – Stay at Home Noms
It really does sound like the simplest meal ever, doesn’t it? And it is. It really is. But it’s also super tasty. And when you combine ‘simple cooking’ with ‘super tasty’ you get what is officially the top recipe on The Lazy Person’s List of cooking. That’s me! Honestly, it really doesn’t get much better than this. Get some bangers (sausages if you’re new to this English thing), potatoes, baked beans (you could try gravy if you wanted but I did say this was for lazy people) and bread. Fry up the sausages, mash the potatoes and cook them, put the baked beans into a pot, get them hot, toast the bread. Now, arguably speaking, that’s more of sentence than it is a recipe. But, like I said, simple and tasty.
And if you’re the lazy sort of person and if it’s been a particularly trying day at the office, you could do far worse than stopping at your local Tesco’s on your way home from work, picking up the necessary ingredients and heading home for some of the best comfort food on the planet.
Cream Tea – Posh Noms
While on the topic of ‘things you may not have tried but absolutely have to’ after moving to London,I thought I’d discuss that most English of things: Tea and Scones. Specifically, Tea and Scones, and where you’re should go for the best in London. If you want to show off that you know a bit, call it a Devonshire Tea instead of just Tea and Scones (Or Cornish Tea).
Cream Tea is another common name for this popular practice. Tea and Scones is the kind of thing that’s become so ingrained in the British culture that you could go to any tea room across Britain and be offered a proper English Tea with Scones. It’s also popular outside of Great Britain and you could go as far as South Africa and be able to be served a Cream Tea.
Here then, the best places in London to get a proper Cream Tea
The Ritz – First of all, we’re talking about one of the oldest and most recognized hotels in the world. The Ritz isn’t so much a hotel as it is an institution. And much the same could be said of their Tea’s, with five sittings a day, from 11h30 to 7h30.
The English Tea Room, Brown’s Hotel – None more English a Tea Room than this, this place comes with specially wood panelled rooms and a pianist offering some music, all for that classic, olde worlde feel (sorry, they’ve done the same at the Ritz. Pianists really do add to that high tea feel, I guess). When you ask for your tea and scones, it’s brought to you fresh and warm.
The Mandeville Hotel – This place about as traditional as they come. How traditional? When they serve the tea, it’s brought in blue china cups for the men and pink floral cups for the women. That’s how traditional, and yet The Mandeville offers something a little extra as well: The Reform Social Grill at the Mandeville offers the Great British Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea which comes complete with a seasonal Bellini – and if you don’t think that tea goes well with a glass or two of Prosecco – well, you haven’t lived yet! Personally, I like to call this Tea with a Twist…
The Savoy – Much like the Ritz, the Savoy is another London hotel that’s pretty much an institution. Again like the Ritz, you’ll have someone tinkling the ivories just to give the setting some ambience.
And lastly, because I have a major sweet-tooth, go to The Metropolitan. All the other places I’ve mentioned have a fine selection of cakes and savoury treats but I saw picture of what the Metropolitan had to offer and that was enough for me to call ahead and make a booking.
Of course, I’d in no way seek to influence your choice for a stunning afternoon tea in London… Check out Afternoon Tea. It’s a great way to find a top tea venue in your new neighbourhood.