Sunday 1 July 2012

London Dining

Several million visitors will arrive in London for the 2012 Olympics within the next few weeks. Attending the summer games will be just one of the activities enjoyed during their stay. It’s hard to imagine a city better prepared to host than London with historic sites, attractions, and over 5,500 restaurants to choose from when looking for places to wine and dine.

It may surprise some people that the most popular cuisine served in England is Indian curries. Over 1,000 restaurants in London proper specialize in Indian food with Chinese and Italian eateries not too far behind in popularity. With recent immigration and the passing of the British Empire, London has become a place of outstanding international dining choices. Fast food has also found a home here with fish and chip shops and takeaways easily found in most neighborhoods.

Meanwhile the traditional English meal has undergone a transformation pleasing to modern palates of all kinds. Based on ancient origins the classic meals were based on bread, cheese, roast meats augmented with local produce and seafood. Look for great meal deals on Sunday when most restaurants and pubs offer a Sunday Carvery featuring roast meats, lots of fresh "veg", potatoes, etc. If you desire something sweet read the menus closely as most establishments label their desserts as "puddings". In fact the famous Yorkshire pudding is a feather light popover.

While the United Kingdom is known for afternoon tea shops it is high end coffee shops that are growing in numbers almost daily. One can still enjoy the ritual of high tea but will also be able to find a great cup of coffee with delectable pastries in all parts of the city. These days many of the well known coffee chains are found on almost every block.

And last, but by no means least, there are over 7,000 pubs in London. This is not counting the many outstanding bars and clubs: just the friendly neighborhood establishments where one can get a pint. Beer has been brewed in the British Isles since prehistoric times and all the years of refinements shows in the UK's great lagers and ales.