Great Britain may be making headlines these days with its penchant for fine dining decked out with Michelin Stars, but let's not forget where it all started. These dishes have stood the test of time, continuing to comfort with the familiar flavours of perfected recipes. 

Capable of warming souls to the core at first bite or invoking memories of dinner tables past, they're the tasty traditional dishes put forth to represent entire nations. Locals love them and every holiday-maker crossing the border must try them. Here's just a taste of Great Britain's traditional fare.  


Breakfast: Full English Breakfast

The full English breakfast is the mother of all early morning eats. This brimming plate comes complete with bacon, fried, poached or scrambled eggs, grilled tomato, fried mushrooms, toast with butter, sausage and baked beans. Serious breakfast aficionados will also opt for the black pudding. 

Lunch: Fish n' Chips

Chicken Tikka may have taken over as the most popular dish in England for now, but true traditionalists will never stop loving good ol' fish n' chips. It's nearly impossible to find an English menu that doesn't offer some version of it. It's as simple as battered fish fried to a crisp, golden brown accompanied by thick cut chips (with vinegar, mind you). Throw in some mushy peas on the side and what's not to love?  

Dinner: Steak and Ale Pie

British pubs take their traditional fare pretty seriously. Particularly the pies, which is why it's the best place to tuck into a Steak and Ale pie, oozing with rich gravy. Acceptable variations come with mushrooms, but generally speaking it's all about the beef. Large, tender chunks that just give way to your fork when you dig in for another delicious bite.   


Breakfast: Full Scottish Breakfast

Scotland offers its own tasty start to the day with its take on the full breakfast.  Another gut buster of a plate, it's filled with bacon, eggs, link or Lorne sausage, baked beans, grilled tomato, mushrooms and toast with butter. It's not Scottish, though, until you add Scottish style black pudding and a tattie (potato) scone. 

Lunch: Cullen Skink

On a chilly Scottish day, there's nothing more comforting than a wee bowl of Cullen Skink. This hearty dish is a creamy soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions. Some say it's similar to a chowder, but it has a much more smoky flavour and is traditionally served with bread.

Dinner: Haggis, Neeps & Tatties

Haggis is the national dish of Scotland. Along with shortbread and whisky, it's ingrained in the Scottish identity. Like burgers in America and fish n' chips in England, haggis features on nearly every restaurant menu in the country. It comes in many forms – deep fried to fine dining – but it's almost always accompanied by neeps and tatties (parsnips and potatoes).


Breakfast: Eggs and Cockles

When it comes to the first meal of the day in Wales, you won't find the usual full breakfast suspects. The Welsh prefer cockles in the morning. As with most traditional dishes, everyone has their recipe but popular versions consist of sautéed cockle meat and leeks spooned over laverbread accompanied with eggs and bacon. 

Lunch: Welsh Rarebit

If you love cheese on toast, you'll love Welsh Rarebit! No one really knows where the name came from, but this traditional Welsh dish takes the humble recipe to new, delicious heights. Think along the lines of a luxurious, velvety cheese sauce spiced with mustard, spread over a thick slice of bread and toasted until bubbly and golden.

Dinner: Cawl

Cawl is the national dish of Wales. It's a traditional stew that features potatoes, swedes, carrots and other seasonal veggies. As far as the meat goes, you have your choice. Traditional variations used salted bacon or beef, but more modern takes have adopted lamb and leeks. No matter how you try it, it's a hearty dinner guaranteed to satiate any appetite.  

Words: Carlie Tucker

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