What's up guys and gals?! Today we'll be looking at all the yummy things I ate during my vacation in England! Anyone who tells you that England has terrible food, and I was one of these people for a while, is totally wrong, and is definitely going to the wrong places! Here are some of my recommendations!
We left our hotel by the Brands Hatch Circuit after a weekend of racing at the British Touring Car Championship and we headed towards Royal Tunbridge Wells, where we spent the remainder of our vacation. We arrived at our new hotel too early to check in, so we stopped in the neighboring town of Langton Green to grab a spot of lunch at The Hare.
The Hare is a cheery, quaint pub with classic food and a thoroughly welcoming atmosphere. There were freshly cut flowers on every table, a nice change of pace from the battery operated tea lights that seem like such a throwaway!
I had the 8oz Ribeye steak with peppercorn sauce, onion ring, tomato, mushroom, and mashed potatos, which I substituted in for the chips that traditionally come with the meal. It was a blend of classic and simple, but very well balanced flavors. I couldn't finish the whole thing (as is often the case when I go out to eat) but I would definitely order it again!
Here's a nearly make-up free selfie! (Can't go out without my eyebrows!) This is what the real "on-a-vacation" CC looks like! Tired, but very relaxed!
I did something I never do when I go to restaurants, I ordered dessert (or pudding as they say in the UK)! And boy oh boy, am I glad I did! The bread and butter pudding with apricot sauce and clotted cream was heavenly. For my Americans who have never had clotted cream, mostly because we don't use it over here, I can describe it as a slightly sweet butter with the texture of Cool Whip that you've put in the freezer. On a side note, there are two kinds of people in the world; the kind of people who put Cool Whip in the freezer to eat it like ice cream later and liars.
After a fantastically filling meal at the Hare, we traveled back to our hotel, The Royal Wells Hotel, once known as the Royal Mount Ephram Hotel, to check in. The hotel, which the website will tell you "owes its regal title to Queen Victoria, who... later granted the use of her coat of arms, which is proudly displayed at the top of the building..." has just undergone an extraordinary amount of remodeling. It now sports crisp, modern rooms which are nestled behind the great wooden doors that are original to the establishment. We stayed in two different rooms while we were here, and both were equally stunning.
You're going to see a fair amount of poached eggs here, because eggs benedict is one of my go-to dishes at resaurants, the other being a grilled cheese. My theory behind this is, if you can make grilled cheese innovative or a hollandaise that makes me smile, I'm definitely going to come back to your restaurant. (In case you're wondering, I ordered the eggs benedict AT LEAST twice when we were here, it's fantastic!)
The restaurant inside the Royal Wells Hotel had a chic cafe vibe, and we really enjoyed spending our mornings here. There's a cereal and juice bar to the right, just out of shot, which is lovely to sample as you're waiting for your hot meal to arrive.
This is their take on the what has now become an English breakfast staple, avocado toast. The poached egg, avocado and toast went really well together, though the tomato spread underneath was a little overpowering for my taste.
We also had a couple of lunches at the Royal Wells, I ordered a steak and chips with peppercorn sauce and my mom ordered a bacon cheeseburger. Neither of these dishes blew our minds, but they were the perfect comfort foods, which was just what we were looking for.
I also had this lovely apricot and marzipan tart from Patisserie Valerie in Royal Tunbridge Wells, which we picked up as we were walking through the shopping district of the town. It was just what I needed during the rainy weather, and after I finished eating it I really wished I had about 40 more! The flavors were very delicate but no one flavor overpowered the others.
We had a fair few snacks in the hotel as well (jet lag meant we were constantly hungry!) The garlic fougasse (a French, herby flatbread similar to the Italian focaccia) with olive oil and balsamic vinegar was a snacking staple, as well as the mixed olives which had a nice, peppery kick to them. I really do have to learn to make this bread, as I find it's still something I'm craving as I sit here and type this blog!
The cheese board with crackers and fruit paired well with the fougasse, and really helped round out our snack extravaganza, or snackstravaganza, if you will.
When we were out and about, I ordered the English equivalent of a hot dog; a polish sausage in a baguette with ketchup and horseradish mustard. I was really ambivalent about the hotdog itself, but I give the mustard a 10 out of 10!
Our final restaurant of the trip was the Chafford Arms, which we went to specifically because it had a stellar steak and ale pie. To my Americans, go to England and get a good steak and ale pie, it'll change your life, I promise!
Look at what a beautiful thing that is! The greens were really fresh and not over-steamed, and little bit of malt vinegar on the fries made the entire meal absolutely spectacular!
The only time you'll see me standing at a bar, is when that bar is the place where you order chocolate cake! (PS: The face I'm making there is "Judge Rinder deals with even more ridiculous people than Judge Judy!")
Bonus pub dog! The food at the Chafford Arms was so good I think I could live there, that is, if the resident pub dog Charlie would share his bench with me! Isn't he just a dear?!
Last meal of the trip, eggs florentine at one of the airport restaurants! The spinach to egg ratio was pretty off, so I ended up taking most of the spinach off to balance it out. This was definitely not the best meal of the trip, but it was nice to have none-the-less.
Hope you all enjoyed this little blog! Going through all of these pictures really makes me miss England! I can't wait to go back! Thanks for reading!
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