27August, '13

Dining Around the World – Part 8: the United Kingdom

 

In the UK, tradition reigns supreme

UK Restaurants
 
We didn’t get a chance to have tea with the queen, but here’s what we enjoyed about the UK’s cuisine and dining: cultured, varied and mixed cuisines. Since the UK (not to be confused with Great Britain which refers to the island minus Ireland) is a melting pot of cultures, races and ethnicities, its food is just as diverse. You’ll have fun navigating your way through the extensive subways exploring the different restaurants around UK.
 
From exotic Indian restaurants to light eateries and bakeries to five-star posh diners, you’ll find something to suit everyone here. Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian, options are open. So are pubs… till late in the night. People say that the best way to experience the UK is to visit its pubs where you’ll find the locals having a good time.
 
Speaking of pubs, when you’re serving wine, remember the rule: white before red, light before heavy, young before old. Hold the white by the stem and the red by cupping the glass. The general tip rate is 10% and it is common to leave tips in cash.
 
“Manners maketh man”. There are dining etiquettes (and lots of them) here but generally, if you can hold a fork and knife properly and respect the people around you, you should be at ease at any meal. The people of United Kingdom are modest and humble so they value respect. Manners are taught from a very early age and it isn’t unusual to see children asking for permission before leaving the dining table.
 
There are usually four meals: breakfast, lunch, the famous tea time and dinner. You should slice all your food into small portions before forking it to eat. Even bread. We also learnt that you shouldn’t bring up the topic of fox-hunting! Apparently, it is a controversial topic that can spark flames. There are also some very interesting contrasts with the rest of the world. While an American may choose to add ketchup or mayonnaise to their chips (fries), a Brit will reach for the salt cellar, vinegar and possibly even some ketchup. A V sign made with palm towards the viewer can signify either “V for victory” or the “peace” sign of the 1960′s. Done backwards, with the palm facing inwards, this gesture takes a very rude meaning indeed.
 
We were also surprised to know that well-dressing (yes, you read it right – dressing up a water well) is an event to celebrate in the UK. Who knew? Now that we’re done enjoying the royal customs and well decorations of the UK, we head off to the coastal area to get a fresh breeze and maybe even some seasoned prawns.

 
Until our next adventure in

Sweden

good bye!