15 February 2017
Where to begin with an offering of the ten classic British traditions all expats should experience?
1. The pub
Let’s start in the pub - the best times often do. Expats who have just moved to the UK may be surprised at how popular the pub is to their British colleagues but it’s a good place to socialise and make new friends.
Most British people don’t need to be asked twice to go to the pub and there are a wide range available, from trendy drinking bars to ‘olde worlde’ pubs. It’s popular to go to the pub after work, particularly on a Friday night where workers of all ranks will mingle and exchange banter with colleagues before dispersing for the weekend.
However, expats will soon find that the pub is often the central point for lots of weekend activities and many pubs offer excellent food as well. They are also a great place to meet before heading off somewhere and a great way to relax, for example after a day’s walking in the hills.
Expats heading to the UK may believe that the food is going to be awful and, to be fair, in years gone by this might have been the case, but that was a hangover from the days of rationing and things are different now.
For instance, most big cities will have restaurants for just about every type of cuisine available and there is a network of food delivery firms as well, so expats don’t have to head out to visit pubs and restaurants to enjoy good food and can simply order online or by phone and enjoy the food at home.
Speaking of food, it is worth mentioning classic dishes such as trifle, which is a famous British dessert which consists of several layers including cream, custard, sponge cake and fruits such as strawberries. Trifles are served chilled.
Expats can also try Eton Mess, which consists of meringue, cream and strawberries which are mixed together in a big gloopy mess. There’s also the traditional dessert of jam roly-poly, which is usually served warm with custard and bread and butter pudding. We would also recommend the excellent sticky toffee pudding and Spotted Dick - which is a real dish and not a way for Brits to embarrass their expat friends and colleagues!