Posted by: marymarthatours | March 10, 2010

Great Food in Great Britain


Who says British cuisine is uninspired, overcooked, and tasteless? They haven’t eaten in the same hotels, restaurants, and pubs that we have. In fact, eating out in Britain and trying regional dishes and cuisine is one of our favorite travel experiences.

Here are some of Martha’s favorites:

  • Ploughman’s lunch, usually includes cheese, salad, pickle and homemade bread, but can vary from pub to pub
  • Steak and Kidney pie and Fish pie
  • Kippers and kedgeree, a great way to have fish for breakfast
  • Stilton cheese
  • Potato-leek soup
  • Caramel shortbread bars (also called Millionaire’s Shortbread), shortbread, a thick layer of caramel, and a chocolate topping — no need to say more
  • Bitter, a golden-brown draft ale with a hoppy flavor

Mary’s list includes:

  • Haggis, prepared differently everywhere in Scotland but usually served with tatties and neeps (mashed potatoes and mashed rutabaga)
  • Salmon
  • Leeks in any form, one of the national emblems of Wales
  • Puddings, especially Bread & Butter Pudding, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Treacle Tart
  • Shepherd’s pie and Cornish pasties
  • Brandy snaps, discovered in Aberdeen, Scotland
  • Single-malt whisky, especially those from the Spey-side region


Treacle Tart with ice cream in a Brandy Snap bowl — Heavenly

Some of our favorite places to eat

  • Pubs for lunch, reasonable prices and very British. An example is the Crown and Trumpet in Broadway in the Cotswolds where, in 1999, Mary had a fabulous lunch of carrot & cardamom soup, brioche, and treacle tart and Martha had beef-ale pie and delicious fresh peas. This July you can have lunch there too if you’re on our Herb Tour.
  • Small restaurants. We wouldn’t go to Bath without stopping for a meal at Tilley’s Bistro, where the small-plate menu means you can try lots of items and share.
  • Small hotels. We love the Three Ways Hotel in Mickelton in the Cotswolds, where our 2010 Herb Tour will stay. All the food is wonderful there, but you MUST MUST MUST save room for the puddings. Their desserts are so well-known that people book well in advance for their Pudding Club evenings.

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The Crown & Trumpet, Broadway; Tilley’s Bistro, Bath; and the Three Ways Hotel, Mickelton

Our Recipes

Most beef in Britain is cooked more than we prefer, but if it comes with Yorkshire Pudding, we’re likely to order it anyway. Yorkshire Pudding is like a popover, made with flour, milk, egg, and the pan drippings from a beef roast. It can be made in a square pan or in muffin tins. It is a wonderful accompaniment to a meal. Mary has a no-fail recipe which she would be happy to send along to anyone who can afford the roast beef to go with it. Just send her a request through our contact us page, and she’ll send it off to you. Or, for a great English soup for your own pub lunch, send a note to Martha asking for her ale-leek-cheddar soup recipe.

Crown and Trumpet, Broadway –

Tilley’s Bistro, Bath –

Three Ways Hotel, Mickelton –



  1. Of course the Brits have imported Indian Cuisine. Here’s a yummy one for Martha to try:

    Cod steaks in a spicy sauce
    Dry fish steaks with paper toweling. Rub steaks with a mix of cayenne, tumeric and salt (equal parts). Set aside for 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, heat 4TB oil over medium heat and add in 1 tsp fennel seeds and 1tsp black mustard seeds. Add in 2 finely chopped onions and 2 cloves chopped garlic. Fry awhile and add 2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp cumin seed and 1 large can chopped tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover and turn to low to simmer for 15 minutes.

    Now heat some oil in a frying pan over a medium flame. Put in fish steaks and brown on both sides (do not cook through). Put the steaks in a baking dish. Pour over the spicy sauce and bake at 35o degrees for 15 minutes or until the fish is flaky and done.

    The mustard seeds give this recipe a marvelous pop. Lovely with basmati rice, chopped cilantro and an ale!

  2. This is a really nice book, if you can find a copy (used).
    National Trust Book of Long Walks in England, Scotland, and Wales, by Adam Nicolson

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