I could probably go on for hours about what is quintessentially English but I'll have to settle for just a few examples:
If you have not tried Yorkshire Pudding you really should. It's basically a batter pudding - a very English pudding typically eaten with Roast Beef. The pudding usually has a well in it, which is great for filling with gravy. Another great dish, usually found in good pubs, is a Yorkshire Pudding filled with sausages (hopefully Cumberland sausages - again, very English) and topped with gravy, hopefully with white onions. Heaven!
More food! This time it's a delicate sandwich, made using fluffy white bread and filled with sliced cucumber. But the most important thing is to remember to cut the crusts off the bread and cut the sandwiches into small triangles. Best to serve them on fine china plates with a nice pot of hot tea.
How could I forget Tea? Now I know that Tea does not originate in England (probably China) but you cannot go anywhere in England without seeing a Tea shop or Tea Room. It still amazes me that there are places dedicated to making and serving tea, usually accompanied by cakes and biscuits of all kinds. I recently visited one of the oldest and most famous tea shops in England and drank from lovely china cups. The room was oak-panelled and across the road, through the leaded windows was an English castle. This was in Northumberland. I wonder if you know which place this was. It was a real taste of England.
Fish and Chips
Fish and Chip shops are plentiful in England. Typically, you buy a fillet of Cod or Haddock coated with a lovely batter and deep fried. With it you have freshly cut chips (fries in the USA), but they need to be thick and crispy, not thin and limp! You might have a dollop of mushy peas with it too. And don't forget to sprinkle with a lot of salt and vinegar and eat the whole thing from the paper it's wrapped in. Enjoy!
Tennis played on grass is typically English. The original game of 'Real Tennis' was quite different from today's game - more like Squash. King Henry VIII helped to make Real Tennis big in England when he built a court in Hampton Court Palace in the year 1530. I remember going there as a child. There was no grass. It was indoors. Today, a visit to Wimbledon for the Lawn Tennis Championships is such a lovely, very English day out. Camping overnight in order to get a ticket for a show court, drinking Pimms and eating strawberries and cream and, oh yes, watching Tennis on grass.
St George is the patron Saint of England. The story of how he slew a dragon is famous. He is celebrated in England on 23 April and the flag shown above if the flag of St George. But did you know he was actually Greek?