England

England is Queen Mary and Joe Strummer, Shakespeare and James Bond shaken up with a bit of Gothic and a slice of cucumber 

 

I was lucky, that’s for sure. My visits to my British neighbours were splendid: it didn’t rain, the English were warm and funny and I ate very well. England is an exciting island, full of contrasts, neither severe nor delirious, it is a cultural cocktail without equal.

How about sifting through the clichés rather than the must-haves of England? 

 
England is so famous that it is useless to make a list of what there is to see during the travel there. A good guide will take care of it with some history lessons in bonus. How about making a list of what to expect when you land on Windsor land instead?

England is full of clichés, and not all of them are true, as a good traveller might expect.

Hello England, my name is Christine, i’m french, nice to meet you ! 

 

In England, the weather is hateful 

 
Mm-hmm. Rain and grey clouds are less stubborn than in the North of France. The weather is changeable and completely unpredictable. The rain can make way for a radiant sun and the temperatures are not Siberian, far from it. 
 

The English are like the weather, cold and gray 

 
Not at all, they are not all strapped in dark overcoats, their heads stuck in their collars, their eyes at ground level. The eccentricity is visible everywhere: blue hair, piercing, fluorescent make-up, in England everything is possible, even walking in pyjamas in the street. Our dear neighbours are smiling and helpful and no more distant than Parisians or Berliners. 
 

English gastronomy is boiled, breaded or jellied 

 
English cuisine has a bad reputation and deserves to be reconsidered. The boiled leg of lamb served with a mint sauce is not as bad as you might think.
Food across the Channel is tasty and rich in many influences inherited from the British colonies. In London you can eat Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Polish, French, Korean, etc.
Albion is neither perfidious nor insipid and has more than 700 different cheeses, all very good. Skip the industrial Cheddar and discover the cheeeeeese at the dairyman, it is worthy of many French celebrities.
Sus to preconceived notions about local dishes! Here it simmers in the casserole and sizzles on the grill. English breakfast is excellent, magpies, welch rarebit or kedgeree are delectable specialties.
As for baking, if the English still love jelly, there are many other sweets: scones, pudding, candied fruit cakes, flapjack, Victoria’s spongecake, etc. It’s very tasty and you can devour it with whipped cream or custard and a cup of earl grey.
Apart from the typical specialties of the country, British cuisine is neither old-fashioned nor insipid. It is generous, comforting and nourishing. Charismatic chefs such as Jamie Oliver have been proving this for a long time. 
 

The English countryside can be divided into two camps: sad and poor or green and bucolic 

 
The countryside in England is green, gently rolling, often foggy. In Kent, the famous Garden of England, there is a myriad of castles, cottages and hamlets. The pubs are warm and lively and the daily specials meals served are hearty and famous. The impoverishment of the country is not a myth, some regions hit by terrible economic recessions are not always so happy. But is it worse than in France or Spain? England does not cut itself into pie slices, the countryside is in turn cheerful and dumb, as everywhere. 
 

The English are snobbish and arrogant 

 
The cliché is stale, false caricature. The English are rather reserved. You don’t tell your life story to the first person you meet on the street. They will present a smooth facade made of restraint and distance so as not to make the stranger feel uncomfortable. It’s a form of politeness. Obviously, the City or the rush hour in the tube, are not the ideal place to meet people, it is better to go to the pub. That’s where they’re relaxed, sometimes bawling and know how to let loose over a pint of beer. 
 

The British are alcoholics

Vast subject. In England, they drink less alcohol than in France if we believe the studies. It is especially the way of drinking that is of interest. English men and women are very used to going through the pub on their way home from work. It’s a place where they chill out, relax, play cards, chat… over a glass of beer. It’s a very important place in the english culture, young and old meet their friends, slump on the soft sofas in a warm atmosphere with the scent of waxed wood and bunches of dried hops. This is where they de-stress from their day’s work or study. It’s also the cheapest place to go out. In England, for hobbies, you have to be able to afford it. So the pub is the best place to get out of the house and have a social life. So a lot of things happen front of an alcoholic drink, then addiction and abuse are not far away.

Thanks England, bye, see you soon !

Angleterre

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Next travel: Let's discover Ireland!

Only just to see one of the most beautiful libraries there, taste the famous dark beer, visit haunted castles, let’s go! But there are many other things to discover!