A DAY OF CRUMPETS, BANGERS, AND BLOOD PUDDING
In today’s geo-diverse London, you can grab good global eats, including some of the best curry this side of Bangalore. Proving that the English can do more than serve other people’s cuisine, we explore a day’s rundown of “classic” British fare (it’s delish, but not for the calorie conscious).
Full English Breakfast- 8 A.M.
The What: A hearty “fry up” of eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, sausage, bacon, toast, hash browns, and sometimes “black pudding.” Say What? Black pudding, or “blood sausage,” is a very dark patty sausage; grainy in texture, and not as juicy as the name might indicate. Where to find it: For classic eats in an erudite environ, try Simpson’s in the Strand. simpsonsinthestrand.co.uk
Fish & Chips- 1 P.M.
The What: Fried haddock or cod atop a bed of golden, blocky potato chunks (think Jenga pieces). Fixings include vinegar and tartar sauce. They used to wrap this meal-to-go in newspapers, now that’s a rarity. Say What? Try the popular “mushy peas.” Made from the same variety as wasabi, these vibrant canned or freshly made accoutrements are the perfect complement to the crispy fish and fries, making for very quiet eating (i.e., there is no conversation!) Where to Find It: Traditional “Chippies” proliferate all over London. Try Market Place for a fresh take. marketplace-london.com
Afternoon Tea & Crumpets 4 P.M.
The What: For Brits, tea, served with milk and sugar, is the beverage of choice. Say What? A crumpet is an “English muffin” (who knew?), scones are like biscuits, and clotted cream, an essential part of “cream tea” is like sweetened, whipped butter, served with jam. Where to find it: The Ritz, if you want to don your finest; Bea’s of Bloomsbury if you crave American-style sweet treats. theritzlondon.com | beasofbloomsbury.com
Yorkshire Pudding With Roast & Trimmings- 7 P.M.
The What: Hollowed balls of batter (think popovers) traditionally served with a meat (bone-in roast, duck, or pork), roasted potatoes, vegetables, and gravy. Say What? Yorkshire pudds is said to have originated in the Yorkshire region, hence the name. Where to find it: Best place is somebody’s mum’s house on Sunday, but Rules near Covent Garden is also a favorite. rules.co.uk
Sticky Toffee Pudding- 9 P.M.
The What: A steamed sponge cake made with finely chopped dates and topped with toffee sauce, usually served with ice cream or custard. Say What? While not your traditional butterscotch pudding, this is a fine (foine?) dessert, filled to the brim with dense, sticky deliciousness. Where to find it: Though they’re also known for steak, the Hawksmoor has a fabu “drunken” toffee pudding. thehawksmoor.com
Above left: Fish and Chips; above right: Sticky Toffee Pudding