After coming back from England, I wanted to dedicate an article just to British food. And that’s because I think it still has a bad reputation that is not accurate anymore. There might have been a time when the British cuisine meant fish and chips, Sheppard’s pie or breakfast made up of sausage and beans. But that’s not the case anymore.
My boyfriend and I are not the types of travelers who go for haute cuisine. We love to explore each new destination by sampling the street food as well as local restaurants or pubs. And as much as possible I like to order dishes that you don’t find on every menu like pizza or grilled chicken.
And that’s exactly what we did in England too. We didn’t go for fish and chips but tried the curries instead. And as I said before, there wasn’t one thing that I tried and didn’t like. But when ordering something I think you have to keep in mind what you usually like. Another trick is to not always go for what the waiter recommends. They don’t know what you like. They might recommend something spicy when you might hate hot food. Instead, ask how the dish your eyeing is prepared and try to figure if it’s what you expect.
And now let’s dive into the culinary trip we took through Horsham and London!
A dream came true at Deliciously Ella in London
I have been following Ella Mills ever since she was Ella Woods and she had just started her blog. While she is vegetarian and I am not, this is what I love about her. That she doesn’t focus on a concept, but rather on promoting healthy living, without judging.
So after the Royal Botanical Garden, the second thing I really wanted to check off my list of things to see was one of Ella’s delis. And so we did. I actually chose to celebrate my birthday here, as I was so excited about it. We went to the Seymour Place one, as it was closer to Oxford Street, where we spent our last day in London.
Of course, I wanted to try everything but since prices aren’t quite low I had to pace myself. When we went, lunch and dinner where a bowl around 12 pounds where you would choose 4 of any of the dishes available. I had falafel, a sweet potato dish, a courgette curry and an avocado spread plus a mint tea. My boyfriend chose a savory muffin, a bean curry, a quinoa salad and a cold-pressed juice. He loved the salad and my curry but he wasn’t really crazy after so many veggies.
We also took home four of the energy balls that were so delicious and much bigger than I imagined. I loved our little dinner there and the leftovers made for a great brunch the next day.
A hip experience at Borough Market
Looking back I might say we came a bit unprepared for what Borough Market is and can offer. Although crowded with people and traders, I loved the atmosphere and don’t regret making a priority out of it.
However, we should have done our homework better. There are so many options in terms of food. From fresh seafood to exotic dishes, you can choose anything you could want.
We chose well, considering we had no clue what we were doing. We ate at Gourmet Goat, a place promoting goat meat and milk, with a heavy Mediterranean influence. I had a kid goat kofta with tzatziki and fresh chilly salsa (6.8 pounds) and my boyfriend had slow roast veal with tzatziki and smoky BBQ sauce (7.8 pounds). It was delicious, although a bit more expensive than you would expect out of street food. But we understood that Borough Market offers more than just street food, so we really enjoyed it and recommend the experience.
The Jug Black Pub in Horsham
Our very first dinner in England was at The Black Jug in Horsham. My boyfriend wanted to be safe (and full) and chose a classic burger (12.95 pounds). I, however, was still feeling queasy from the trip and chose something lighter: a cauliflower and sweet potato curry that seems to no longer be on the menu.
We were both more than satisfied with our choices. While the burger was well cooked and delicious (I couldn’t resist taking a bite), the curry was hearty without being heavy. So flavorful and yum after a long day on the road. I am still thinking of recreating it sometime soon.
Horsham Food Market
I talked a bit about the Horsham Food Market in my previous article about the city. What I didn’t mention is what I ate there and how it was.
My first choice was a burrito where the line seemed to say that the food was worth waiting for. Unfortunately by the time I got to order they didn’t have much food left so I had to think of something else.
I chose a corn fritter meat box from Ginger Rookes‘ stand. If you wonder what that is, it’s a box filled with a corn fritter covered in pulled meat and slaw. It was delicious and more than enough for me. Can’t remember how much I paid for it, but it wasn’t a lot.
Of course, I couldn’t pass by Brown Bread with their sweets and bread covered tables. I came back to the hotel with a delicious apple pie (my boyfriend’s favorite), a spicy bread pudding and a satisfying brownie. Worth every penny!
Indian food at Darchini in Horsham
My boyfriend’s colleagues recommended we eat at Darchini if we want good Indian food. When we arrived, the restaurant didn’t look like much. Not a lot of people and the decor was a bit dated.
But the staff was most friendly and welcoming! They went out of their way to make us feel comfortable, taking our coats and allowing us time to decide.
I had the Korma chicken (6.5 pounds) which was divine! Best dish I had in my life 🙂 It was chicken cooked in a ground almond and coconut curry sauce. My boyfriend had Rajasthani chicken (7.95 pounds). It was sweet and sour and very good, but he liked mine better, ha! We also shared a Tibet naan with crushed pineapple in it – to die for (2.75 pounds) and pilau rice (2.5 pounds). Before we left we were offered a digestive drink and chocolate, on the house. We loved our dinner there and we’re still dreaming of going back someday.
Prices were not bad either, but unfortunately, photos don’t do it justice as the lighting was not that good.
Questionable design at Beefeater
While in Horsham my boyfriend picked up a nasty flu that forced us to stay in for an evening. So we decided to eat for once at the hotel’s restaurant.
Since neither of us had an appetite we shared a Smothered Chicken Melt that was pretty good and a starter that consisted of fish and chip croquette, smoked haddock and Cheddar fishcake and cod & crab bite. It was served with peas and mint mayo. And this is where the questionable design comes in. The dish was delicious but I wasn’t the only one to notice the funny plating.
Girly lunch at Ask Italian in Horsham
While I get why some people feel uncomfortable dining on their own, I don’t have this problem. As my boyfriend was at work, I had lunch on my own. And on one of the days, I felt like spoiling myself a bit.
So I went to Ask Italian and had a lovely raspberry lemonade (2.5 pounds) and a pasta dish with spinach that doesn’t seem to be on the menu anymore. I also took the city’s newspaper and went through it while waiting for my lunch. And I must say it wasn’t as bad as you’d think. The food was good and the experience refreshing.
I lied – I did order something I didn’t like
On our last day in Horsham, while waiting for my boyfriend to pick me up from the hotel, I wanted a quick lunch. The hotel’s restaurant was crowded so they suggested The Cafe, right around the corner. I ordered what seemed the lightest thing on the menu: a cheese sandwich with fries.
I actually expected a grilled cheese sandwich or at least some toast. What I got was maybe the saddest looking lunch ever. Just plain bread, buttered with some shredded cheese and something like an onion chutney. It wasn’t horrible, but it was far from delicious. However, it did the trick and kept me full for quite some time.
So you see, British food is nothing to be afraid of. There are so many places to chose from and so many good options in every menu, it’s really hard to miss. I actually read an article saying that London is one of the European capitals with the best food and I believe it.
Now it’s your turn. Leave us a comment below and tell us where did you eat well in England and where you didn’t!