Britain is going through a food renaissance. Where once we were known for stodgy pies and greasy fish and chips, we are increasingly becoming known for excellent local produce and fantastic chefs.
In London and other major cities the variety of food available is staggering. It would be hard to think of a cuisine that you could not lay your hands on in the Capital. Eateries range from very upmarket Michelin starred restaurants to quirky little cafes and food stalls.
Out of the cities, many restaurants and pubs produce excellent quality food, with an increasing emphasis on good, local produce. Even in very remote locations, it is becoming common for pubs and restaurants to serve high quality meals prepared from excellent local food.
With the growing popularity of quality local produce, more and better farmers markets and speciality shops are springing up and are often worth a visit to sample wonderful local meats, cheeses and preserves.
Great British Escapes will give you suggestions of where to eat and tell you about events that are taking place in each location that you are going to visit during your trip. See our example itinerary 'Foodies' England' for some ideas of where you could sample some local delicacies.
Britain’s national drink has got to be Real Ale. In recent years, huge numbers of micro-breweries have opened and many pubs now stock a good range of good quality, often local, beers. The variety available has exploded, so even if you think that beer isn’t your thing, it is well worth a try. A pint of real ale in a country pub after a long walk is a quintessentially British experience!
If you visit Scotland, you shouldn't leave without trying a 'wee dram' of Scottish Whisky. Excellent malts are distilled across Scotland and particularly in Speyside in the North East and on the Isle of Islay. Many distilleries offer Whisky tours and provide an interesting insight into the process as well as plenty of tastings!
A huge variety of wine from all corners of the world is available as standard in most restaurants, pubs and bars. English vineyards are becoming increasingly successful, particularly in the southern counties of Kent and Sussex. Several welcome visitors for tours and tastings but it remains unusual to find English wines in restaurants and bars.
Somerset and Devon are famous for their cider and 'scrumpy'. Local ciders are widely available in this region and are definitely worth a try. They can be very different to the mass produced ciders available more widely. It is also becoming more common for ciders from small British makers to be available in pubs throughout the country.