The Full English
The traditional English breakfast, or “Full English” – mainstay of almost every B&B and hotel – usually kicks off with a choice of cereals, followed by a plate of eggs, sausage, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms – all of which (particularly if you’re in the north) may well be fried – plus baked beans, toast (or sometimes fried bread) and tea or coffee. Travellers in northern England may also be offered black pudding, a sausage made from pork fat, onions, oatmeal and congealed blood.
The Sunday roast
Heartiest meal of the week used to be – and for many families still is – the Sunday roast; the tradition is continued every Sunday lunchtime in pubs and restaurants across England. Expect a choice of roast beef, lamb, pork or chicken, carved from the joint, and accompanied by boiled vegetables, Yorkshire pudding (though purists say this should only be served with roast beef), roast potatoes, gravy and a sauce on the side (horseradish for beef, mint for lamb, apple for pork or bread sauce for chicken). Wash it down with a pint or two of ale and say hello to a long, lazy Sunday afternoon.
Some other specialities
Bubble-and-squeak – fried potato and cabbage (and sometimes other veg).
Chip butty – a chip sandwich.
Crumble – an oven-baked dessert of stewed fruit with a crunchy topping made from butter, flour and sugar.
Faggots – offal meatballs.
Mushy peas – boiled marrowfat peas reduced almost to a paste, served alongside fish and chips.
Piccalilli – a mustard pickle.
Ploughman’s lunch – a plate of crusty bread, cheese, pickle and salad.
Shepherd’s pie – an oven-baked dish of minced lamb topped with mashed potato. A “cottage pie” is the same thing made with minced beef.
Spotted dick – a dessert of suet pudding with currants or sultanas.
Toad-in-the-hole – sausages baked in Yorkshire pudding.
Yorkshire pudding – baked batter, usually served to accompany a traditional Sunday roast.