Three-day "Supersize Me" in London


The goal is to only eat traditional English food over a three-day week-end in London. Not Scottish, not Welsh, Not Irish: English!

Note: The infos below were contributed by members from different travel forums (VirtualTourist, TripAdvisor, and LonelyPlanet.)





The UK was the first country in the world to be industrialized and lacks the peasant tradition of cooking found in other areas of the planet

"bangers and mash" = Bangers (sausages) and Mash (mashed/creamed potatoes) with onion gravy.

Pease pudding: "Sometimes known as pease pottage or pease porridge, is a term of British origin regarding a savory pudding dish made of boiled legumes, which mainly consists of split yellow or Carlin peas, water, salt, and spices, often cooked with a bacon or ham joint. (In Middle English, "Pease" was treated as a mass noun, similar to "oatmeal", and the singular "pea" and plural "peas" arose by back-formation.)"

Ploughman's lunch: ("Unfortunately for those who think of the ploughman's lunch as a traditional British food, it appears to have arisen during a cheese marketing campaign in the 1960s"...) "cold meal originating in the United Kingdom, commonly served in pubs. Its core components are cheese, pickle and bread. It is traditionally eaten with beer. The dish can also include such items as boiled eggs, ham and pickled onions. As its name suggests, it is more commonly consumed during the lunchtime period."

Bubble and squeak: "Bubble and squeak is a traditional English dish made with the shallow-fried leftover vegetables from a roast dinner. The main ingredients are potato and cabbage, but carrots, peas, brussels sprouts, and other vegetables can be added. The dish is so named because it makes bubbling and squeaking sounds during the cooking process"

Pork pie

Cornish pasties

Meat and potato pie

Cauliflower cheese.

Tripe, cow heel, pigs trotters, liver and kidneys are other 'traditional' fayre.

Jellied eels: Tubby Issacs

Tripe and onions

Pork pies

Scotch eggs

Cheese: Cheddar, Leicester, etc.

Melton Mowbray pies

Fruit cake

Spotted dick and custard: "British steamed suet pudding containing dried fruit (usually currants or raisins) commonly served with custard"

"Toad in the hole is a traditional English dish[1] consisting of sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter, usually served with vegetables and onion gravy."

Real ale


A "Full English" is a breakfast that many hotels and cafes serve up to around 11am. This consists of Bacon, Sausage, Baked Beans, Eggs, Black Pudding, Hash Browns, Mushrooms and tomatoes plus toast and coffee/tea.

Actually, a 'full English breakfast' cannot possibly contain hash browns!

An English/Scottish/Welsh/ Breakfast can be found in many outlets including most grades of hotel and supermarket cafes. Likewise traditional English afternoon tea with dainty sandwiches, little cakes, scones, cream and jam. But you could end up paying £20 + for it in some places.

Quintessential English breakfast: Omelette Arnold Bennett (named after the author famous for his novels about the 'five towns' encompassing the potteries around Stoke-on-Trent in the Midlands). This is a beguiling concoction featuring smoked haddock, cheese and parsley that is usually served for breakfast (although I imagine that it would make a good lunch with a salad) - so for that reason, it would probably be best executed by a hotel rather than a restaurant.

The Breakfast Club at 33 d'Arblay Street, W1F 8EU.

A classic English caff for breakfast



My favorite gastro-pub is in Belgravia, the Thomas Cubitt (reservations recommended). Thomas Cubitt 44 Elizabeth Street London, SW1W 9PA Tel. +44 (0) 20 7730

Queen's Head and artichoke in Albany Street, near Regents Park. It is not exclusively British, there are occasional French influences but there are certainly plenty of British options like Welsh steak.


Canteen 2 Crispin Place, Spitalfields, London E1 6DW

The Porcupine : The Porcupine 48 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0BS

West End Kitchen 5 Panton Street, just off Leicester Square

Stockpot 18 Old Compton Street:  closed a few months ago, though the one on Panton Street, right opposite the West End Kitchen, is apparently still going The Stockpot, 38 Panton Street London SW1Y 4EA ("You will probably be disapointed. Great value for money homestyle cooking but nothing adventurous - jelly and ice cream for dessert").

The Punch Tavern 99 Fleet Stree

Square Pie - Spitalfields 16 Horner Square

Lennies 6 Calvert Avenue

Rules 35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden (quite expensive and requires booking; "Rules is overpriced")

Ship's Tavern : We had some drinks downstairs and then went upstairs to a nice dining area for some typical English fare. I had fish and chips. Huge portions. Located in the Holborn section of London about 200 steps from the Holborn Tube Station.

Porters, in Covent Garden, a much lower-cost version of Rules.

"Carvery" pubs or restaurants: Flat rate charge and you take a plate along to be served with one or a combination of roast meats and then help-yourself to vegetables and accompaniments. These tend to be more towards the suburbs though so there may not be one close to your hotel.

Another casual favorite, and great atmosphere too is the Anchor Bankside. Some say its touristy, but I say its a great time, traditional English fare, and perfect atmosphere. 34 Park Street, London SE1 9EF Tel: (020) 7407 1577 Nearest tube station: London Bridge (548 yards)

Simpsons in the Strand always used to be the quintessential place to have roast beef and all the trimmings, also other roasts

Bingham hotel for modern British cuisine: If you want an absolutely excellent meal and do not mind travelling down to Richmond (it is not too far), you might try the Bingham hotel, which serves modern British cuisine. Not cheap but well worth it, one of the best meals I have ever had.

The Regency Cafe, Regency Street (not to be confused with Regent Street) should be near the top of the list for anyone looking for a tradional caff. Take careful note of the opening hours, though. It's not open Sunday or in the evenings.

Try one of the St Johns for breakfast, lunch or dinner. (breakfast not at St. John itself). Slightly more pricey, and a bit more... experimental, but definitely still based on British Classics. And their puddings are to die for.

Dinner by Heston

Battersea Pie Station serves good English home made pies. It is in Covent garden.

Harwood Arms in Fulham. I am a great fan of the Pot Kiln, in Berkshire, which is a bit of a trek for you, but the Harwood Arms brings rural Berkshire to the city. You don't say when you're visiting, but game is the real attraction. Luckily, venison is in season year round ("Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated"

Bangers and mash

Mother Mash West End + City (Leadenhall Market)

The S&M restaurants, which were really good, have gone out of business.

Pie and mash

Manze's 74 Chapel Market, N1 9ER Islington; another in Peckham; 87 Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 4TW



Meat pies

Square Pie Company: several outlets across London and at several of the markets

Greggs chain of bakers

Goddards Pie Shop 22 King William Walk SE10 9HU Greenwich

Fish and seafood

Loch Fyne chain of restaurants. As the name suggests, much of the produce is sourced form Loch Fyne in Scotland and it is consistently good.

Get some seafood and / or jellied eels. My tip for this is Tubby Isaccs stall in Goulston Street E1 (near Aldgate tube).

Beef and oyster pie

Beef and oyster pie: What WAS typically English - and particularly Londoner - until well into the 20th century were oysters which were harvested from oyster beds along the Thames estuary. For centuries they were considered the protein source of the poor that was used to 'bulk' out other more classy meat, and they've only achieved celebrity status in the last century. For that reason, beef and oyster pie used to be a staple of London life.


Most pubs will have food

Pub Chandos : 60 Chandos Place London WC2N 4HG

The Punch

The Wetherspoons chain Decent enough food and not too expensive


Per Jamie Oliver: The Shepherdess Café, 221 City Road, Shoreditch EC1V 1JN



Start with a full English Breakfast, and have a Sunday roast dinner - beef/lamb/pork/chicken or Turkey with roast potatoes, mashed (creamed) potatoes, a selection of vegetables, gravy and maybe Yorkshire puddings, finished with apple pie and custard or a steamed pudding and custard


And don't forget afternoon tea, preferably at the Ritz, on Piccadilly.

Any of the big hotels do afternoon tea, but my favourite place is The Wolseley The rest of its menu is more Mittel European, with American influences, but it does a mean afternoon tea which combines style and substance. A lot of substance. Have an early lunch and a late dinner. And I mean a late dinner. Like post-theatre late.

Afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches, cakes, pastries and a pot of tea.


I think at some point though, you have to find a supermarket and just go mad on biscuits. Jammy Dodgers, rich tea, digestives, garibaldi/nice/marie, chocolate hobnobs (the king of biscuits), custard creams, shortbread, gingerbread... I could go on.


The Café In The Crypt at St Martin in the Fields 8 Saint Martin's Place WC2N 4JH: Fun little lunch eating above a couple of ladies from the 17th century. We just had some soup and a drink on a rainy London day. More like a canteen and serves up food like lasagne so not typically British.

For a truly unique English food experience you could take the Northern line to Morden and then bus to High Down Prison I kid you not! HM Prison service are now running two highly acclaimed restaurants at High Down and in Cardiff, Wales as part of a restorative justice program.

We recently went to the Paramount at the top of the Centre Point building. It's not cheap but has a spectacular view of London and it does a Sunday roast dinner that is reckoned by reviews I've seen to be good value - 2 courses for £23.50 or 3 for £26.50. We were there for a Saturday evening splurge, and the food was excellent, but not especially British, so the Sunday lunch would be best if it's to fit your theme.

(Not traditional English, but just in case...) Curry Aladin is particularly good.


Fish and chips was in fact food of Jewish people in the East End, but became the national dish. However no longer.

Friday evening is certainly the time to try Fish and chips - traditionally served with mushy peas, and if eating inside white bread and butter and a pot of tea. Sprinkle fish and chips with salt and vinegar. Some of us will accompany this with a pickled onion. Sadly we no longer have fish and chips served in newspaper :-(


Real Ales - plenty of micro breweries and established big names too. Porter (stout) etc.

English dishes in Paris

DONE Au Bombardier 75005

Rose Bakery: 46 rue des Martyrs 75009 and 30 Rue Debelleyme 75003

Le Bal Café 6 Impasse de la Défense 75018: Recently opened English eatery attached to the cultural centre Le Bal. With two ex-Rose Bakery chefs in the kitchen, it's no wonder that top-notch traditional British fare is the order of the day here. Traditional British breakfast and lunch classics, including kippers on toast, Ploughman's lunch and kedgeree [traditional British breakfast from colonial India]

Marcel 1 Villa Léandre 75018: British-inspired fare and selling a selection of imported goodies such as Marmite and golden syrup

Breakfast: pub américain à deux pas de la rue Saint Denis.

Sandwiches et ingrédients : WHSmith rue de Rivoli (au 1er étage; excellent stilton et marmelades à tomber); Marks and Spencer's (100 avenue des Champs-Élysées); Galeries Lafayette Gourmet. Épicerie 5 Cité du Wauxhall 75010 Paris (excellents pies et puddings).

Stuff to do in London

Hiking around London

Seven top walking routes

From London to Mallaig and back

Tips about travelling in the UK by train/bus

  1. Advance tickets can be purchased about 3 months ahead, and are much cheaper than last minute tickets. For instance a one-way London-Glasgow can be had for £30 as advance ticket and goes up to £125 if purchased right before boarding
  2. In addition to train, some routes can be travelled by bus/coach provided by Megabus (cheaper) or National Express (usually a bit more expensive)
  3. Before buying a BritRail, check with the National Rail site that it wouldn't be cheaper to buy individual tickets, and mix between train and bus/coach
  4. The Train Line company ( provides e-mail alerts so you receive an e-mail when a given ticket is available for advance purchase... but experience shows that it's not reliable: I set several alerts for different legs of my travel, but still didn't get alerts when some advance tickets became available.
  5. Therefore, it's a good idea to open the relevant page on the National Rail site, and refresh the page once a day around the time the advance ticket booking window is scheduled to open. Here's an example of the URL for a one-way London - Edinburgh:
  6. Train routes are usually handled by a specific company, but some destinations can be reached through other companies. For instance, you can go from London to Glasgow directly with Virgin Trains (day trains) or First ScotRail (night train), and indirectly through Edinburgh with EastCoast or CrossCountryTrains
  7. Be aware that companies like TheTrainLine or RailEasy charge a fee when buying tickets trough them, while it's free when buying directly from the train company that will actually handle that leg of your travel.
    It's even possible for some routes to buy tickets without a fee from a train company that doesn't even handle that route (eg. Virgin Trains... which relies on TheTrainLine's own system, according to
  8. As an easy way to know which company goes where, a map of the UK train network is available here:
  9. If buying tickets online and collecting them at the station, make sure you bring the bank card that you used to make the purchase and the confirmation number given at that time


Ville, segment




Londres, Oxford




























Aberdeen - Edinburgh




Edinburgh - Newcastle




Mur d'Hadrien : Newcastle - Carlisle, and back




Newcastle - Durham




Durham - York




York - Londres




Londres - Canterbury




Canterbury - Ashford 15km no train




Ashford - Paris




We started in Stirling south of the Highlands (5 days), then went on to Fort William (4 days), then to the Isle of Skye (2 days) and later to the remote Applecross Peninsula (3 days). I would say that this itinerary gave us quite a good overview of the Highlands. You definitely shouldn't miss the Isle of Skye - it's one of the most beautiful places on earth!


West Highlands Line

Glasgow - Mallaig (Mon-Sat): 08:21-13:34

Friends of the West Highland Lines - West Highlands, The West Highland lines - See the sights from the train, A traveller's guide to the West Highland lines



Kyle of Lochalsh Line, Friends of the Kyle Line

K of L 6:22 Inverness 9:41 Edinburgh 13:22

Moving around



TheTrainLine provides e-mail alerts when advance tickets become available. Combining advance tickets and bus/coaches is likely to be cheaper than getting a BritRail, without the convenience of taking any train at the last minute.

Don't use : The trainline charges for a transaction AND for using a credit card which you dont have elsewhere and the tickets are exactly the same. They are just a more expensive way of buying the same thing available elsewhere

I am going to Oxford from Waterloo and the tickets can be as small as £5.00 each way

A beginner's guide to...Train travel in Britain

"The West Highland Line is considered the most scenic railway line in Britain, linking the ports of Mallaig and Oban on the west coast of Scotland to Glasgow.

Passenger services on the line are operated by First ScotRail: three daily return services between Glasgow Queen Street and Mallaig/Oban, and one nightly (except Saturdays) Caledonian Sleeper service between London Euston and Fort William [Fort William = between Glasgow and Mallaig].

During the summer season a steam locomotive-hauled daily return service between Fort William and Mallaig known as "The Jacobite" is operated by West Coast Railways.

Onward ferry connections operated by Caledonian MacBrayne are available from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye, to the small isles of Rùm, Eigg, Muck, and Canna, and to Inverie on the Knoydart peninsula. From Oban ferries sail to the islands of Lismore, Colonsay, Coll, Tiree, Mull, Barra and South Uist."

"The best place to check train times & fares for any train journey in Britain is  This is provided by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) on behalf of all train operators, and it shows train times & fares for all routes and all operators."


Adulte (de 26 ans à 59 ans)

"Rail Rovers" = unlimited train travel for UK citizens

"If you live abroad and plan to visit Britain, the BritRail Pass gives the freedom to travel on all National Rail services. Ask for details from your travel agent before leaving for Britain, or visit the BritRail website."

"If you  live overseas and plan to visit the UK, you can buy a 'BritRail' pass which gives unlimited train travel on all 20+ British train operators for various periods." ("BritRail is a trademarked name of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) of Britain")

Valid 22 days STANDARD        €465

Is it worth buying a BritRail pass?  A pass is only worth it if you're going to make a number of long-distance train trips around Britain, so don't bother with a BritRail pass if all you're going to do is make one long-distance trip, or a number of relatively short trips.

"La compagnie Citylink vous permettra également de pouvoir voyager dans toute l'Écosse à des prix souvent plus intéressant que le train (à partir de £1 pour Glasgow-Edimbourg). Citylink propose aussi une offre explorer pass qui vous donne droit à des voyages en bus illimités sur le réseau Citylink; le prix, £35 pour 3 jours, £59 pour 5 jours et £79 pour 8 jours. Vous pouvez télécharger le réseau routier couvert par cette compagnie sur ce lien Carte Réseau Citylink .

Le train est plutôt pratique pour relier les grandes villes d'Ecosse. Pour les petites villes, le bus ou la voiture sont souvent plus appropriés. Les prix des billets ne sont pas bon marché. En général, vous payerez moins cher un ticket pour un départ après 9h00 du matin. Le train est néanmoins un moyen de transport confortable, plutôt silencieux et surtout qui respecte les horaires.

Pour plus d'informations, allez sur le site

Le BritRail Euro Consecutive Pass est un forfait intéressant pour utiliser le train librement dans tout le Royaume Uni. Vous choisissez entre un pass 2, 4, 8, 15, 22 ou 31 jours. Sachez qu'il faut se procurer ce pass avant de partir. Pour plus d'information, rendez-vous aux boutiques SNCF ou sur"

National Railcards

Discounts for Groups travelling together



See for an excellent summary of the bike arrangements on every train operator.