England is not all about fish and chips or English fry-ups, although those are a couple of my favorite British meals. In the last fifteen years that I have traveled to the United Kingdom, I noticed the food scene changing and it has excited me. I am not only a fan of their changing food scene, but I have an admiration for this country. It has been my most visited place on earth and I have not finished exploring it.
For those who are looking to visit England and wanting a few ideas of where and what to eat, I have compiled several food journals of ‘What I ate in London’ and ‘What I ate in England’ along with links to my other food blogs and reviews. Happy reading and happing eating!
Fine Dining at The Box Tree
The Box Tree Restaurant is an award winning fine dining experience in the heart of Ilkley, which is a small spa town in West Yorkshire, England. The cuisine served has a French base and is seasonal, so the menu creations change season to season. Over the decades The Box Tree has been awarded numerous awards from the Best Restaurant in Yorkshire, Two and Three Star Rosettes, as well as two Michelin Stars in 1977.
When I had dined at The Box Tree, they had one Michelin Star but it was lost shortly after I had visited. The Box Tree is still a prestigious award winning restaurant; in 2019-2020 they were awarded Hardens UK Top 100 Restaurants, AA Notable Wine Lists, Three AA Rosettes and several other fine gastronomy awards.
Everything at The Box Tree Restaurant was perfect, so very perfect- The cuisine, the presentation, plus the wonderful and knowledgeable servers. This is what a dining experience is all about and why stars, rosettes and awards are given. Thank you Box Tree for putting a Raspberry Soufflé smile on this Yorkshire visitor’s face. I will see you again when I find my way back to West Yorkshire. Cheers!
For my complete review and blog, please visit The Box Tree Restaurant – An Award Winning Dining Experience | Ilkley, West Yorkshire, England
Fish and Chip’s at Bizzie Lizzie
Bizzie Lizzie’s is a family favorite, both my British and American family have approved of this takeaway in Skipton, which is small market town in West Yorkshire. I have come to this location a few times and it is a tasty chippy. The fish is a large fresh filet, battered and deep fried to a golden perfection.
They even offer scraps here, which on my first visit I was not sure of. Scraps are the little bits of fried batter that remain after cooking. They sit in the glass case to add as an extra layer of crunch to your fish & chips, it was crazy good!
If you are visiting London as part of your England trip, check out my journals filled with recommendations and reviews of places to eat in London Town.
Meat pie, Mash & Mushy Peas in Liverpool
The meat pie is a very popular British dish and you can find it on the menu at many pubs throughout England. I had this one at a local pub while visiting Liverpool, home of The Beatles! I have eaten my share of these tasty pies throughout the UK as well as my own country. It is a savory pie made with cuts of meat, onion, spices, potato and sometimes ale. It is delicious!
Often it is served with potatoes, in this case I had mashed, and a side of gravy. If you are lucky, you may get a side of mushy peas with your meat pie- delicious!
Fish Pie & Fresh Chicken Pate in Woodstock
During my visit to Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, I stopped into a local pub for lunch. Pub food is some of the best food while visiting England because that is where you will find great local cooking using fresh ingredients. In this case I could not resist two of my favorites- fish pie plus a plate of fresh chicken pate!
It was a chilly day in Woodstock so the creamy fish pie was flavorful and perfect . It was served with a browned mashed potato crust which was delicious, especially when accompanied with a side of green beans. I’ve had my share of fish pie in England, Scotland and Ireland, and it is a tasty regional dish. Then that fresh chicken pate was incredible, so smooth and flavorful when spread on warm crusty bread. This meal was definitely one of my favorite pub meals, ever!
Irish Coffee in Canterbury
While visiting Canterbury, I quickly stopped inside the Old Weavers House. This restaurant and pub is set inside a timbered house that dates back to 1500 AD. It is along the main shopping street, St. Peter’s Street and is an excellent place to check out if you like old haunts.
Since I could not sit long for a full lunch, I decided on ordering an Irish Coffee instead. That just really sounds like something I would do on a cold day, skip on the food but drink warm alcoholic coffee instead. Cheers!
Sausage Butty in Ilkley
What is a sausage butty? It is what the Brits call a sausage sandwich and I love them. The first time I tried a proper sausage butty was in Wales a decade ago and I started making them back in the States. It is such a simple sandwich but it gets to the point during breakfast time- no eggs, no cheese. It is just a fresh bread roll with lined up or stacked sausages- delicious!
If you looking to try a sausage butty while in England, they are traditionally served during the breakfast time. You can also make them for breakfast if you have a flat with a kitchen, it makes for a tasty quick on the go meal.
Filey Fish & Chips
While visiting any coast in the UK, you can certainly find fresh fish and chips. While we were in Filey, which is off the east coast of England, we stopped by this local chippy along the beach. It was a delicious takeaway of very fresh cod, battered to a crisp golden brown and a proper side of chips.
There are a few chippies in Filey, but this takeaway was what we were in need of. A container of fresh fish and chips while sitting along the sandy shores on a breezy day- perfect!
Cherry & Coconut Flapjack
As a Yank, I was very curious when I found this Rendles Cherry & Coconut Flapjack inside a museum café. My first thoughts were what the heck was a flapjack and it looked delicious! In the United States, a flapjack is a pancake but this was obviously not a pancake. I also love cherry and coconut, so I could not go wrong. Like any good food enthusiast would do, I bought it, ate it and really enjoyed it!
A British flapjack is a sweet bar cookie made simply of oats, butter, golden syrup and a pinch of salt. In this case cherry and coconut were added, which was sweet and delicious. British flapjacks are traditionally served as a snack, tucked in with a lunch sack or a sweet treat served with coffee or tea.
Sausage Roll and Hot Chocolate at Leeds Castle
A couple of snacks I had while strolling the grounds of Leeds Castle. A sausage roll that tasted better than it looked and a cup of Cadbury hot chocolate with colorful marshmallows. Both were quite tasty, especially the sweet hot chocolate as it was great on that chilly English day.
As with a hot dog in America, I always find there is too much bun so I fed the local swans and ducks a lot of the bread. They really enjoyed it probably as much as I liked feeding it to them.
Split Pea Soup
I have eaten my share of split pea soup whilst traveling through England and it has always been great. I have found this flavorful bright green soup in fine dining establishments to local pubs, each bowl was delicious. I know that split pea soup is not everyone’s favorite and maybe you have only tried canned or dehydrated? Step beyond that and try it out freshly made in England!
If you are curious about split pea soup, I would recommend trying it in Britain and not from a can or dehydrated form. A traditional warm bowl of freshly made split pea soup with ham, served with crusty bread is heavenly and no other country does it better than England!
For years while visiting England, I had always found myself inside a Costa Coffee rather than a Starbucks. Not because it tastes better, but because it is different as we do not have this coffee chain back in the States. I do like it though for a quick coffee fix and a nibble.
I will be truthful the reason why I have frequented Costa Coffee here is for their Wi-Fi. I do like to have a pastry here with my cup of black Americano, while getting online to post or check messages when traveling. I have done it many times in many Costa Coffee’s throughout Europe!
For menu information, please visit- Costa Coffee
Now head over to the sequel to this article “What I ate in England – Part 2 – A Food Journal”
Good Food is Good Mood…
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