Share your bad food experience in the UK

Old May 4th, 2006, 10:00 AM
  #21  
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A "Fruti de Mare" at an otherwise lovely restaurant in the Norfolk Broads, never to be forgotten (or repeated). That which was cooked was cold, and what was raw was warm.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 10:01 AM
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Oh, puhleeze. You can have a bad food experience ANYWHERE -- UK does not have a unique corner on that. The oft-quoted shepherd's pie, fish and chips, English breakfasts, etc., can be terrible or fantastic. It depends on where you are, who the cook is, and how good the ingredients are.

Hey, the food can't be all bad -- did you see in the news yesterday that Brits are healthier than Americans..? ;-)
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Old May 4th, 2006, 10:17 AM
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Have been visiting the UK since the 1970's - and at that point the food was - in large part - totally dire. Even if you went to a fairly decent (read expensive) place the food could be incredibly ill-prepared. Not to mention the local oddities (English breakfast, cream - not whipped, just liquid - on desserts).

In self-defense we stuck to mostly ethnic places- that seemed to be run by the appropriate folks - but were fooled once in York. Went into an Italian restaurant - the family actually spoke Italian - and ordered some special grandma's home-made lasagna, It was mac and cheese from a box. (I don;t know if they had adapted real Italian food to local tastes to survive - or were actually 3/4th generation and liked the swill.)
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Old May 4th, 2006, 01:10 PM
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My first trip to the UK was in 1948 and rationing was still in effect - even for visitors - and I don't recall any really poor meals except for the mold on a few of the raspberries that my mother's Aunt Jane had used to decorate her trifle. Since she was in her 70s and partially blind, we just picked out the bad ones and didn't mention it to her.

It was another ten years before I returned and I don't recall any particularly poor meals - nor any great ones. That trip, however, I wasn't able to eat the tete de veau I ordered in Paris. I'm sure there was nothing wrong with it but my roiling innards decided it was something inedible when it was brought to the table.

My wife and I have been to the UK about a dozen times in the last 15 years and have been very pleased with our food. We have a half dozen places in London that we return to.

When we do our BnB trips we have found the BnB owners to be very helpful with recommendations. Many country restaurants/pubs have excellent menus with fresh produce, seafood, meats and game. We've had dinners near Faversham, Frant, Welshpool, Salisbury to name a few that were as good as any we've had in France. When my BIL and SIL, a graduate of the Tante Marie school in Paris, owned their inn near Salisbury, Lord Wedgewood was a frequent visitor.

It is terribly unfair to judge cuisine on the basis of a short visit. I have been to Martha's Vineyard twice for a day on business. I got food poisoning on the second visit as did my Dad who accompanied me and had to be hospitalized. I've also been to Nantucket on a long weekend and got food poisoning. Therefore, you may expect to get food poisoning on the Vineyard for every two lunches and every third dinner on Nantucket. That's why I never go there.

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Old May 4th, 2006, 01:25 PM
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I'll never forget the vegetarian special in a cotswolds restaurant that ended up being boiled lima beans in pie crust. Dry, tasteless, and bewildering to imagine anyone actually wanting to eat this.

I also got very bad food poisoning from shrimp puffs at a reception at the University of London. The doctor I saw told me, "you never know how many parties a shrimp puff has been to."
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Old May 4th, 2006, 01:41 PM
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I've had bad food anywhere I've been to but frankly, the food in London is very good that I've had for the most part.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 02:02 PM
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What exactly is wrong with the beans being poured onto the baked potato? Is it an offence I haven't heard about?
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Old May 4th, 2006, 02:12 PM
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Hehe annhig -- I wouldn't call it an offence. But it was not appealing to the eye, and while I do like both beans and baked potatoes, mixed together they were, well, pretty bad.

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Old May 4th, 2006, 02:31 PM
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Count me as another who considers the UK's bad food rep to be nothing but outdated.

Prior to the food revolution I recall:

During visits in the 70s, my grandmother's regular Sunday supper consisted of boiled chicken, boiled parsnips, and marmite on cold toast. Yum.

In Glastonbury in the mid 80s I had lunch in a vegan place which set the low bar for cuisine. Three of us ordered different meals but were served identical plates of brown and beige mush. Four separate little mounded piles of poop colored food.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:14 PM
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I wasn't impressed with the food when I went to London.

One night after a lot of sightseeing I decided to have room service. I ordered a toasted cheddar cheese sandwich with tomato. Turned out to be soggy and the tomato was pure tomato paste right out of the can. It was awful.

Fish & Chips somewhere in the Cotswalds. The skin was still on the fish and had to eat around it. Not very appetizing.

The food at Harrod's food court was good and I was never disappointed.



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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:50 PM
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Mushy peas. How can anything that has that name ever be good?
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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:53 PM
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Gee, Madison, you'd better not come to New England. Many fish and chips are served, the fish anyway, with the skins still on one side. The haddock we'll cook for dinner tomorrow will have the skin on. As did the salmon fillets we cooked on Tuesday. Last week we had mussels in a restaurant in Denton, Texas and they were still in the shell - opened of course. Those that weren't open you don't eat.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 04:11 PM
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To mjs: Yes, Cambridge in the 70s -- I rememer it well. My brother was at Christ s -- Boy, was their food awful.

One day, we lunched with the chap from the room next to my brother: the only meat on offer was a selection of fat sausages that had split their casings, revealing a bright fuschia interior.

After lunch, the newly arrived neighbour had to retire to his room to lie down, in agonies.

As my bro and I were raised in the house of the world s dearest mother and worst cook, we survived -- but recalled that meal ever after.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 04:37 PM
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Darling, we may have Marmite, but America has Spam.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 04:47 PM
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I admit the food has improved greatly sine the 1970s - but you still have to be very carefull where you eat. I think part of the problem is that the menus are in english and you assume the item will be somewhat similar to what you get at home. And frequently there is no reenblance whatsoever.

On the whole things have improved substantially (many fewer veggies boiled til they're unrecognizable) but it's still nothing like Belgium (have never had a dish anywhere that was anything less than wonderful) and Italy (which is totally reliable - except for Venice).
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Old May 4th, 2006, 04:53 PM
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"The skin was still on the fish and had to eat around it."

Is there really somewhere in the civilised world that doesn't eat fish skin?

I can't even begin to imagine any Frenchman, Italian or Chinese could be so utterly crass as to discard the best bit of the fish.

And then to have the impertinence to criticise places that serve fish properly...

Stick to your corn dogs and maple syrup. Real food's wasted on you.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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I am sure I will be accused of having an unsophisticated palate, but I really love the food in UK! I love getting baguette sandwiches at the coffee shops or ready made food at Marks & Spencer. And the Indian cuisine there is to die for, IMO. I don't know...for our first trip back in 2003 I was prepared for the worst and was very surprised. This will be our 3rd trip this summer and I am now looking forward to all the food.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 05:07 PM
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Magoo, my dear, you are so right. Spam is the dregs. Chopped up parts of nasty parts. To be avoided.

Marmite? A superior product. If you don't like it on
toast, it's a fine substitute for motor oil and is also an excellent bear repellent.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 05:09 PM
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>>Stick to your corn dogs and maple syrup. Real food's wasted on you.<<

Go to bed, old man. Do you have nothing but cheap shots to share?
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Old May 4th, 2006, 05:56 PM
  #40  
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International cuisine:
Spam on toast spread with Marmite.
 

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