Share your bad food experience in the UK

Old May 4th, 2006, 02:41 AM
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Share your bad food experience in the UK

Food in the UK has improved dramatically in recent years but I'd be intrigued to learn why there is the impression around the world that the UK has bad food. Please can you share your bad food experience. Maybe it was a dodgy pork pie, a deep fried Mars Bar or some unidentifiable stew?
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Old May 4th, 2006, 02:50 AM
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The University of Kentucky has great food. Their food rivals that of Great Britain. Any insinuations to the contrary are clearly off base.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 02:55 AM
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>>>>
I'd be intrigued to learn why there is the impression around the world that the UK has bad food
>>>>

why is this so intriguing? bad reputations are hard to shake and food in the UK really only started to improve somewhere between the late 80's and early/mid 90's.

also, london is not a good measure of the overall food in the UK. there are still very many places where it is hard to find anything decent to eat. there has been somewhat of a food revolution in terms of quality and choice but this has certainly not extended to all areas or to all demographics.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:32 AM
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Any country that sells "a complete English Breakfast in a can" -- as I have noted on numerous trips to the Sainsbury Supermarket on Cromwell Road -- will never lose its reputation for bad food. Eccles Cakes don't help.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:39 AM
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On my first trip to London decades ago, I ate a lot of bad food, either tourist-oriented junk or so-called health food that really missed the mark.
But now, good restaurants abound in the UK. Some of my favorite European meals have been at restaurants like the Hand & Flowers in Marlow or Zuma in London.
What the UK still doesn't have, in comparison to France or Italy, are the inexpensive non-chain restaurants in virtually every small town where you can pop in and be sure of getting a delicious, home cooked and healthy meal, with a nice (and inexpensive) wine to go with it.

But why do you want to hear about bad food experiences in the first place? Why dwell on the past?
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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:43 AM
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While people rave about "pub food", other than the handful of gastro pubs, most of it is really pretty dreadful. Most pubs seem to buy premade frozen stuff that they heat up. And really, chips with lasagna? Whose idea was that? While pubs try to serve the kind of food "mum" would make, the fact is you'd only recognize it if your mum didn't know how to cook.

Since we started going to London pretty much annually in the early 90's, we've seen a decided improvement in the food generally and I realize a much greater improvement was made before that time. Yes, stereotypes are hard to shake.
 
Old May 4th, 2006, 04:44 AM
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Ummmmm breakfast in a can! a true mark of civilisation.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 05:01 AM
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My husband (a Lancashire man) loves nothing more than a light, flaky Eccles cake!
Mind you, the breakfasts in a can sound dire, although I understand the bulk of them are sold to students! They used to advertise them as being 'from can to pan' but the double meaning of 'pan' stopped that particular advertising line from working!
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Old May 4th, 2006, 05:19 AM
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That's true; most pub meals are awful. If I have to eat in one, I have a ploughman's lunch, since it doesn't have to be cooked, and cheese and bread are usually edible.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 05:21 AM
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I got serious food poisoning from some fish and chips (that were delicious, I admit) and it was the fitting end to our London trip where the sandwiches were pretty tasteless, the meats dry or over cooked, and the veggies so steamed or fried that they were more along the babyfood texture. Actually, though, that only happened a few times. . . of 6 days, something like 4 times.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 05:34 AM
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I was in England in 2002 and had some of the worst meals in my life. We learned quickly that the less English they spoke, the better the food was. The fish and chips were horrible and one unidentifiable sandwich (i thought was chicken) was gagged down since i was starving at that moment. The Shepherd's pie was ok.
Interestingly, we were in Ireland in 2005 and I really liked the pub grub. It was actually cooked instead of heated up.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 06:56 AM
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When I first visited London in 1996, it was my first trip anywhere. I had come from the multi-cultural domain of Miami, where spices and exotic foods were normal.

I recall being horrified that Pizza Hut and McDonalds were everywhere, taking over the local places.

I had great fish & chips at a pub, a great 'fry-up' for breakfast at my B&Bs. It was only in the hotel near Marble Arch that I encountered bland, overcooked, dull food on the carvery buffet. Overpriced, too! (but it's a hotel and it's London, that's expected). It was the Cumberland Hotel, and I was very disappointed. I went right out and instead had a kebob. Loved it!
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Old May 4th, 2006, 06:56 AM
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Years ago I used to love going to Britain because I would lose weight easily. Tasteless canned peas or mushy peas, greasy fish and chips. I know some of the restaurants just opened a can for the vegetables. I think too the food was just plain overcooked, the ingredients probably started out perfectly fine but after being boiled for hours what would taste good.

Then I discovered some Indian, Middle Eastern restaurants and vegetarian too, now these places knew how to cook.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 08:58 AM
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Cambridge University and we will not mention my College.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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I've loved every bit of usually grease-soaked food i've eaten in the UK over 36 years of traveling there - really never met a British morsel i didn't enjoy - good or bad food i don't know but good to my palate.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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I was last in the UK in 1990- I was 2 1/2 months pregnant, with 24/7 "morning sickness." I was on a church choir tour, and we had little control over what or where I ate. I haven't been back since...will probably be going in a few years...we'll see if I can face shepherd's pie again...
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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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Two UK dishes that I will NOT order again - steak and kidney pie. I should not have been surprised at the taste knowing the kidney's function. And a breakfast "treat" blood sausage - absolutely vile - I didn't know what those black hockey pucks were when I ordered a few with an otherwise very nice breakfast of kippers, beans on toast and eggs with fried mushrooms. My daughter stuck with the Wheatabix.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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Cafe near London Tower: Ordered roasted chicken with jacket potato and baked beans. The beans were poured on top of the baked potato.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:55 AM
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......A fish and chips shop in Dunbar.

Not only was the fish fried in mutton
fat, it come replete with head and fins
AND a long, long black hair trailing out
of its batter...........
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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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I visited England for the first time in the 60's, a truly historic era for bad food. Fortunately, my mind has blocked out precisely what we had at most of the eateries, but when I went to pricier places, the food was fine. At the Playboy Club (believe it or not), the steak was delicious. Also at Trader Vic's and a couple of other upscale places.

In 2001, when we traveled in England again, we had excellent food almost all of the time. I think that was because we chose restaurants rather than just happening into them. It seems to me that England isn't too different from France and Italy in that if you choose carefully, you will eat well.

I've had some second-rate meals in Italy and France just as in England.
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