A Culinary Tour of the United Kingdom-sponsored post

Ask anyone about British food and you’ll usually wind up with a negative response.  But British food isn’t just fried breakfasts, fish and chips and bangers and mash, you’ll find numerous farmers’ markets, artisan producers, and a growing army of foodies putting the ‘great’ into Great British Food.  If you’re planning a trip to the United Kingdom, here are just some of my foodie favourites which cannot be missed!

Delicious cheeses
Believe it or not, the UK is home to some 700 different cheese-pretty impressive for a country which is only famous for Cheddar!  A holiday in the West Country wouldn’t be complete without visiting the village which gave our most famous cheese its name.  Take a tour of the creamery and watch as cheese is made in the traditional way before sampling the different varieties; yum!  Further south in Cornwall, the unusual Yarg is a must for your picnic basket.  This sheep’s milk cheese is wrapped in Cornish nettles while it matures which leaves a distinctive imprint on the surface.  You’ll find the ‘King of British Cheeses’ in a small village named Stilton near Peterborough where cheese has been made since the 18th century.  Try it with a slice of fruit cake for a typically British experience. 

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/emsef/6779738962/sizes/z/in/photostream/
Afternoon Tea
Anna, the 7thDuchess of Bedford, invented the ritual of afternoon tea in the early 19thcentury as a way to stave off hunger between lunch and her evening meal.  The tradition soon caught on with tearooms up and down the country serving miniature sandwiches and dainty cakes with a freshly brewed pot of tea.  Afternoon is just as popular today with each region choosing their own traditional baked goods to tempt those in need of mid-afternoon sustenance.  Spend a holiday in Yorkshire and tea will no doubt consist of an individual Bakewell or Yorkshire Curd tart.  A slice of bara brith or an Aberffraw biscuit will grace the cake stand in Wales and you can’t go wrong with a warm scone topped with lashings of clotted cream in Cornwall.  
Photo courtesy of  http://www.flickr.com/photos/shaneglobal/5353597575/sizes/z/in/photostream/
Yummy fruit
From apples to strawberries and gooseberries, the United Kingdom is proof you don’t need a super hot climate to grow delicious fruit.  Fruit picking is a great summer activity and a fantastic way to get out into the British countryside; try asparagus picking in Norfolk or deliciously tart rhubarb in Yorkshire’s rhubarb triangle.  Find self-catering accommodation with Sykes Cottages so you can turn your goodies into something delicious or just enjoy them as a healthy snack.  Fruit farms usually sell wonderful homemade treats on site too so it’s a great opportunity to pick up everything you need for a picnic!  Then all you’ll need to do is lay a blanket under shady tree and enjoy tasting you way around the United Kingdom; what a perfect way to spend an afternoon!
Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/dexter_mixwith/196166712/sizes/z/in/photostream/
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