Lessons in the "england" Category

Should cafes in the UK have toilets in them?

Today, let’s talk about whether cafes in the UK should have toilets in them. Well, should they?

I discovered that this is actually a wonderful topic to debate. Yes, really! After all, we all need to spend a penny.

I was intrigued to read about a recent court case in Hull, England. The court debated whether a bakery with a cafe in should provide toilets or not. The bakery in question is predominantly a takeaway, but does provide some seats for customers. Therefore it argued it should not need to provide a toilet.

The outcome could flush many cafes and takeaways down the pan, as a legal ruling now says that coffee shops and fast food outlets with fewer than 10 seats must now provide toilets for their customers.

Leicester City win Premier League

In what has been described as one of the most astonishing triumphs in British football history Leicester City have beaten the odds of 5000-1 to win this year’s Premier League football tournament. It is a fairytale ending for the Foxes.

Leicester City won it without kicking a ball, after Tottenham Hotspur failed to beat Chelsea in a decisive game on Monday night at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea fought back from 0-2 down to draw 2-2, thus ending Spurs’ title bid.

Leicester City became the first new English champions in four decades to win the title. Last night’s result means Leicester cannot be caught by their nearest rivals, even though there are two games still to go. This follows the Foxes clinching a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Celebrating May Day in Britain

May Day traditions in Britain include Morris dancing, the crowning of the May Queen and Maypole dancing.

Morris dancers normally perform on May Day. These are men wearing folk costumes and bell pads on their shins. They use sticks, swords and handkerchiefs that maybe wielded by the dancers during their dance.

The May Queen is a girl who must ride or walk at the front of a parade for May Day celebrations. She wears a white gown to symbolise purity and usually wears a tiara or crown. She is generally crowned by flowers and makes a speech ahead of any dancing taking place.

St. George’s Day

Who is the patron saint of England? It is St. George. English people celebrate St. George’s Day every year on April 23rd.

It has to be said though that unlike the Scottish and Irish, who celebrate their patron saints in style and by drinking alcohol, the English really do not celebrate their day! In recent years efforts have been made to increase the day’s importance, but it actually lacks serious effort by the English.

Back in the 60s, when I was a boy at primary school, in class we used to play St. George and the Dragon. This was done in the form of a Mummers play, as it was known. The story being that St. George would kill the dragon then rescue the damsel in distress. It is a fairytale. By the 12th century the legendary story had become widespread.

The top places to visit in the UK

Today, let’s talk about the top places to visit in the UK. London probably tops the list. The capital city offers visitors Buckingham Palace, Oxford Street and the London Eye. London is huge! It offers tourists fabulous pubs, theatres and sports venues.

Outside of London, where to go and what to see? Probably the second most visited city is Edinburgh in Scotland. It is popular around New Year’s Eve and during the summer when it hosts the Edinburgh Festival.

Category: Tourism / United Kingdom / Places to Visit

The top 10 places to visit in Great Britain

Today, let’s talk about the top 10 places to visit in Great Britain. London probably tops the list. The capital city offers visitors Buckingham Palace, Oxford Street, The London Eye and the Houses of Parliament. West End attractions include Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square.

Many tourists can experience going on a red London bus or riding in a black London taxi. Some try a journey on the London Underground. London is huge! It offers visitors some fabulous pubs, theatres and sports venues.

Category: Great Britain / Places to Visit / Top 10

The Mysterious English Crop Circles

Summertime in South West England sees strange things happening in the farmers’ fields. Mysterious crop circles suddenly appear. No one can explain them. Are they a hoax or are aliens leaving their mark on the English countryside? Maybe it is down to Mother Nature creating these crop circles with various wind patterns?

Whatever the answer no one has come up with the right one yet! One theory is there are a group of crop-circle makers who like to create these elaborate images in the wheat fields. Either way, the result intrigues most English people who find the subject fascinating to discuss.

Of course, if you happen to be a farmer in Wiltshire whose wheat field suddenly has this strange image in it then this can be a problem, as every crop circle costs the farmer money due to flattened wheat. Charging visitors to see them can make up some of the losses.

Category: Mysteries / England / Crop Circles

Great British Desserts

Today let’s look at some great British desserts. Traditional favourites are apple pie, apple (and blackberry) crumble and rhubarb crumble. All are served with custard or fresh cream. A similarly popular pie is lemon meringue pie. This tasty pastry tart is filled with thick lemon sauce and is topped with meringue.

Sponge puddings are very popular in Britain. Traditionally steamed, these days most are microwaveable. They include; treacle sponge pudding with custard, chocolate sponge with chocolate sauce and sticky toffee pudding. Spotted dick pudding is another favourite dessert. However, this is made with suet, currants and raisins. It’s served with either custard, a sprinkling of sugar or golden syrup.

A popular summer dish is summer pudding that’s made with sliced white bread and summer fruits. Another dessert to try is bread and butter pudding. It’s made with stale buttered bread, milk, eggs and raisins. Other old favourites include; a jam rolly-poly, baked custard, custard tarts, cheesecake, yogurt and fruit fool e.g. gooseberry or raspberry fool.

Category: Great Britain / Food / Desserts

J’adore Blackpool, Chuck: YouTube lures the French to the British seaside resort

British seaside resort Blackpool is hoping to attract a throng of French visitors after relaunching itself as a romantic and sophisticated holiday destination. Tourism chiefs have harnessed the power of YouTube with a new 90-second film that’s artfully shot. Its images include the town’s famous tower, trams and fairground. It features the dulcet tones of a pretty French girl Valerie in a chic Parisian style art deco cafe in Blackpool.

The mini drama, entitled ‘Blackpool - J’aime la Tour’, (I love the tower) aims to put the resort on the map as greater numbers of French tourists are predicted to visit the UK this year on the back of a strong euro. The promotional video shows the French girl’s fear of leaving Blackpool – the town she has fallen in love with. The film uses stylish flashbacks of Valerie enjoying the resorts attractions with her Lancastrian boyfriend before she orders a Lancashire hotpot* in French in a cafe in Stanley Park, Blackpool.

Category: Leisure / Holidays in UK / Blackpool

Great British dishes!

Food is always a good talking point in any conversation. So today, let’s talk about some Great British food dishes. Britain has some fabulous mouth watering choices. So what are they?

Well, let’s start with one of the most popular – freshly bought fish and chips from the fish and chip shop. In England, cod is the favourite fish in the south; haddock in the north. The chips are sprinkled with salt and vinegar. Northerners like mushy peas with theirs.

Another British dish is Steak and Kidney Pudding or Pie. The former is made with suet, the latter with pastry. Both are filled with succulent cut-up pieces of British beef and ox kidney. They are delicious with potatoes and English vegetables and some Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce.

A similar traditional pub meal is pie and mash. These days pie is made with beef. More than 50 years ago however, Londoners from the East End made this pie with jellied eels, as eels were then cheaper than beef.