Is the British food really as bad as they say?

Jane Swingle
January 31, 2016

Somehow the month is gone.  Did someone steal my January?  This week will mark my one-month-iversary in London.  I’ve explored museums, seen ancient ruins aplenty, and wandered around churches older than the United States.  You know, “cultural stuff.”  I saw Stonehenge this weekend, which is incredible.  However, I also have plenty of other memorable experiences that are a little less intellectual, you might say, but equally enjoyable.  I’m talking about food.  As promised, some words about what I’ve eaten while abroad…

Gastronomy is certainly a vital part of culture, and eating new foods is one of the big perks of traveling.  As a foodie (some may call me picky; I’d call it “having standards”), I consider meals fun opportunities to try new cafes, restaurants, or markets.  Luckily for my taste buds (but not for my bank account), London is a food lover’s dream.  I’ll admit I was wary about British food before arriving, expecting it to be dull, meaty, beany, and/or mushy.  While some of it definitely is that, I’ve pleasantly found loads of fresh, colorful food to please my every whim.  Craving uniquely stuffed ravioli drizzled with balsamic?  London has it.  Want some adventurous coconut curry?  Of course you’ll find it.  Sweet tooth?  Let me introduce you to macarons, gelato, and tarts.  This diversity of cuisine comes with living in any huge metropolis, and I love it.  For those of you who share my love of mealtimes, I'll include some of the yummy pictures chronicling my month of eating in London so far.  Grab a snack; you’ll want one.

Grain Store.

A cool restarant in an old grain warehouse.  Creative dishes rotating seasonally. 

Beetroot and parmesan ravioli topped with fried breadcrumbs and sage, pecorino, and balsamic drizzle.  


Brasserie Zedel.

French brasserie tucked downstairs in a grand marble room in Piccadilly Circus. Worth it for the food and the atmosphere. 

Artichokes and roasted veggies in a garlic-lemon sauce with olives and mashed potatoes.


Brasserie Zedel.

Creamy dark chocolate gelato.


Hummus Bros.

A fantastic version of fresh, fast food.  Hummus is the base. You pick your toppings and dig in.  

Hummus bowl with tomatos, tahini, feta, pickles, and chili powder.  Plus warm pita.  


WokIt. (in Borough Market)

The wok masters fry up your selection of noodles/rice and mix-ins.  Delish and fun.  

Sizzling sweet potato and buckwheat noodles with veggies, tofu, egg, and teriyaki tamari sauce.



Authentic italian food in a place that felt totally italian.  

Cacio e pepe made with homemade pasta.


The Mae Deli.

Cute cafe started by one of my favorite cookbook authors, Ella Woodward. 

Chocolate-y, peanut butter-y treats for the vegan dessert enthusiasts among us.


Boston Tea Party.

Small chain of British restaurants with breakfast, brunch, and lunch bites (and divine chèvre). Plus, it makes efforts toward sustainability.

Beetroot and goat cheese salad with pecans.


Chez Antoinette.

A positively adorable French tartinerie in Covent Garden. It took me right back to my days in Nantes.

An assortment of tartines.  MIne was the chevre tartine on top of salad.


Chez Antoinette.

We had to follow up our tartines with tarts. Duh.



One of four restaurants owned by Yotam Ottolenghi, author of fantastic veggie-based cookbooks. 

Assortment of tempting desserts.



Chain of asian restaurants serving up delish, quick stir-fry, curry, ramen, and more.

Veggie ramen.


Pizza East (Shoreditch).

A super hip pizza restaurant filled with super hip people.  

Veggie pizza on pillowy crust.


Half Cup.

A lil coffee shop near my residence.

Smashed avocado and chili on toast topped with scrambled egg and rocket.  Side of butternut squash and chickpea salad.


Ok.  I'll stop now.  I could keep going, but I suggest you go make yourself something to eat.

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Jane Swingle

<p>I am Jane from Janesville, Wisconsin. &nbsp;I study communications and French at the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota, but I like to spend as much time as possible studying abroad. &nbsp;One day, you&#39;ll probably find me living in Paris. &nbsp;If you can&#39;t find me there, you must not have searched all the boulangeries.</p>

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