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England Food and Drink

England has shed its reputation as a culinary no man's land. Cooking has become cool, and the flurry of excellent restaurants up in the capital and beyond is the proof in the pudding. The use of local, seasonal ingredients has spread throughout the country from gastropubs in Yorkshire to fish restaurants in Cornwall.

Of course, for every locally sourced partridge dish there is a plate of over-boiled vegetables and bland meat, but the range of acceptable options outside of formal fine-dining has widened considerably. With a little research, you can eat very well indeed. London and the larger cities offer every type of ethnic food imaginable, with Asian food such as Indian, Chinese and Thai being particularly popular and value for money.

Where drink is concerned, both craft beer and gin have enjoyed remarkable renaissance in recent years, and English wine is growing in stature. Meanwhile, the English taste for real ale is as unquenchable as ever.

Specialities

Sunday roast: Beef, lamb, pork or chicken, served with roast potatoes, veg, gravy and other accompaniments.
Cream tea: Scones, jam, butter, clotted or double cream and, of course, tea.
Spotted dick: Suet pudding with currants and raisins.
Bakewell pudding: Pastry base covered with jam, almond filling and topped with icing.
Cheese: Popular kinds include Cheddar, Wensleydale, Lancashire and Stilton.
Fish and chips: Battered and deep fried fish with chipped potatoes. Still widely found.
Curry: The English have a passion for Indian and Bangladeshi food. In fact chicken tikka masala is considered the national dish.
Full English breakfast: Commonly a combination of bacon, sausage, egg, beans, mushrooms, black pudding, tomato and toast.
Lancashire hotpot: A lamb and onion stew, slow-cooked and topped with sliced potatoes.
Cornish pasty: Crusted pastry filled with meat and vegetables. An iconic snack in the West Country.

Tipping

A service charge (usually 10-12.5%) might be included in the prices stated on the menu, but it is more likely to be added to the bill at the end. This is technically an optional charge. Where service is not included, a tip of at least 10% is expected.

Drinking age

18.

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