As I stay at home and actually will be working while following the wedding of Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle on my television, I wondered what I could do to make the day a bit more British and festive. The obvious answer would be: get yourself something British to eat and/or to drink. But what is typical British? The Lidl supermarket has not thought about it and has not been so kind to organize a British themed week next week just for me, instead they have Spain and Portugal.
I am not a great cook myself, but once in a while I like to bake something special. However for May 19 I might just buy myself something to make it easy. For anyone who likes to have a British day, or part of the day, here some suggestions. You might do your, sometimes less royalty minded family or friends, a favour. In some countries products might be hard to get.
Nothing better than a full English breakfast. Not really for vegetarians though, although of course – didn’t think about it – there are vegetarian sausages a.o. This breakfast often includes bacon, baked beans, sausages, eggs (fried, poached or scrambled), fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms. And apart from that you could have fried bread or buttered toast with marmelade. Of course this is not everybody’s cup of tea.
Bubble and squeak is made out of leftovers.
Or what about Scottish porridge?
Nowadays sandwiches with some crisps are rather popular as lunch. But there are other possibilities, like Cornish pasties, pork pies or sausage rolls. For bigger eaters there is also the Ploughman’s lunch.
When someone is in need of some good family time. British families still seem to love a Sunday lunch with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.
And you could always try to make Welsh rarebit.
You want a classic chicken salad for lunch? Try coronation chicken. I can tell you it tastes really great.
A Good Friday treat traditionally, but they look delicious: hot cross buns.
The rather popular afternoon tea was introduced only in the 1840 by Anna, The Duchess of Bedford, who always became so hungry around 4pm in the afternoon, that she introduced eating tea, bread and butter and cake around that time. Just for your information, dinner at the time wasn’t served until 8pm. Her habbit turned into a fashionable social event, that still is popular. While nowadays a regular afternoon tea might just exist of some tea and a biscuit or small piece of cake, traditionally it should be served with a selection of sandwiches, scones, and sometimes also cakes and pastries.
Traditional English tea sandwiches are made with cucumber, smoked salmon or savory-sweet ham, but there are many more possibilities. I found a few nice looking recipes.
Scones are of course served with jam and clotted cream.
Sometimes also toast, bread with butter or even muffins are being served. Another afternoon tea delicacy could be crumpets.
A traditional pastry from Lancashire are the Eccles cakes.
Small are also the mincemeat pies, usually eaten at Christmas. As one of my visitors says: the flavour is too strong for spring and summer.
Another tea-time treat are Welsh cakes.
Keep it easy with bangers and mash, which basically is sausages and creamy potatoes with onions and gravy.
Originally from India, or as some sources say even from Glasgow, Scotland. Chicken Tikka Massala is one of the most popular British dishes.
Cottage pie is supposed to be easy and simple and can even be made a day before.
Cullen skink is a Scottish fish soup with smoked haddock, potatoes and onion.
Faggots are Welsh meat balls.
One of the most favourite British recipes is of course fish and chips.
In for something very heavy and scary sounding from Scotland, haggis might be something for you. It takes a while to cook though.
Another classical Indian recipe that has found its way to the British kitchen is kedgeree, a dish with curry, rice, eggs and smoked fish.
Lancashire hotpot is a stew with lamb or mutton and onion with sliced potatoes.
For lunch or dinner: toad in the hole.
Welsh cawl is a traditional soup.
Apple crumble is an all-time favourite of many people.
Bread and butter pudding sounds quite nice.
Summer fruits, so maybe May is a bit too early for a good Eton mess? But it sounds delicious.
The name already sounds good: jam roly-poly.
I am a big fan of sticky toffee pudding, heavy and sweet, but gorgeous. I am not the only one …
Anybody in for a good trifle? I came across lots of great looking combinations.
You could try a Battenberg cake. After all Prince Harry is partly a Battenberg through the mother of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.
The chocolate biscuit cake as Darren McGrady used to make it for the British royals.
The fruit cake as being served at Prince George’s christening and the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
Also the name of the Victoria sponge cake sounds a bit royal.
Harry and Meghan themselves want to have a lemon elderflower cake with buttercream frosting and decorated with fresh flowers for their wedding day. There are lots of recipes online, including this one.
If you want to have a nice and easy time on the sofa, just watching tv and not eating too much, these typical British snacks might be enough.
- Cadbury chocolate
- Cheddar cheese (do Brits use the cheese as snacks/dessert like us Dutch or the French?)
- Crisps with Worcester sauce flavour, sour cream and union flavour or salt and vinegar flavour.
- Jaffa Cakes
- Stilton cheese
- Scotch eggs
And of course nobody can do without drinks.
- Ginger Beer
- Irn Bru
- and of course Tea, tea, tea. Nothing more British than that. Traditionally strong with lots of milk.
If you search online you will find many more recipes and variations than I have added above. For other non-British royalty inspired recipes, see my earlier post.
A bit of decoration could be fun. I might place my little British flag with Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Catherine on it, in the windowsill to accompany solar Queen Elizabeth waving to the “crowds” outside on the street.
Photos gratefully taken from Pixabay the one of the sticky toffee pudding however is mine.