I’m so excited to be here at Heather’s place today. I live in England so Heather asked me to share some attractions and English food items with you. I thought it would be exciting to take you on a virtual tour around our country, share some tasty recipes and show you the sights.
This is a tour hopefully you and your children will enjoy together, so grab some drinks and we’ll start our journey.
Let’s start our virtual journey around England up in the north, in Grasmere to be exact.
About 150ish years ago Gingerbread was invented up there in Grasmere, just think what the Holiday season would be lacking if we didn’t have Gingerbread to enjoy!
Grasmere gingerbread is a little different from the shaped variety we enjoy at Christmas though, and while it can be enjoyed on its own as a biscuit (cookie) it’s also delicious served with ice cream, or even as the base to a cheesecake!
Why not follow this recipe and have a go at making some at home.
If you’ve not read any Wordsworth poems you can read an extract of The Prelude here.
Shall we recommence our journey and travel south to Lancashire and the seaside town of Blackpool?
Lancashire is most famous for its Hotpot which is a comforting dish made from lamb or mutton, mixed with onions and topped with sliced potatoes that is placed in a heavy pot and left to bake in the oven all day.
These days it generally cooks in the oven for less than two hours, and if you’d like to try some at home here’s a recipe.
We can’t visit Lancashire without stopping by Blackpool and the Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
If fast rides and fun are your thing then you’ll love the Pleasure Beach, which apparently is Britain’s Most Famous Themepark!
For something a little slower paced why not take in the splendour of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom? Built in 1894 it is renowned for its sprung dance floor and is home to many dance events including an episode of Strictly Come Dancing (the UK version of Dancing with the Stars).
When your feet are tired from dancing it’s time to continue our journey south into Yorkshire.
I used to live in Yorkshire as a kid, and one of my favourite foods was invented there.
The Yorkshire Pudding. Oh My.
Don’t let the name fool you, these ‘puddings’ aren’t a dessert item. They’re made from a batter made up of eggs, flour and milk and traditionally they’re served as part of a Sunday Dinner alongside Roast Beef.
But in my family no Sunday Dinner is complete without a Yorkshire Pud regardless of the meat we might be eating!
And if you manage to get through dinner with any left over they’re perfect for dessert drizzled in Golden Syrup…
Here’s the recipe I use at home if you’d like to try and make some yourself.
Credit: Haworth | Tim Green
When I think of Yorkshire the first person that comes to mind is Charlotte Bronte; I have fond memories of reading Wuthering Heights at school.
Why not take a little virtual walk around Haworth Village which is in the heart of Bronte Country. You can visit the Parsonage where the sisters lived and take a stroll up to the Top Withens to see if you can hear Cathy calling for her Heathcliffe!
I hope you’re not too tired from tramping across the moors because it’s time to continue our travels. Not far to go this time as we head into Derbyshire.
Credit: Bakewell Pudding | Lee Firth
Derbyshire is famous for the Bakewell Pudding. It is said that this Pudding was invented quite by accident when there was a misunderstanding between the Mistress of the White Horse Inn and her kitchen assistant.
Here is a recipe if you’d like to taste it for yourself.
Besides Bakewell Puddings the first thing that springs to mind when I think about Derbyshire is the Peak District National Park.
Besides the stunning views there is just so much to do here, from walking and wildlife watching to cycling and rock climbing.
It’s also home to around 38,000 people!
Time to put away our outdoor gear and travel south again to Leicester, and our first stop will be Melton Mowbray.
Melton Mowbray is a small town that I used to drive through on my way to work, but it has a big history, because the Pork Pie was invented there!
Why not have a go at making some yourself?
King Richard III
Credit: Battle of Bosworth 1485 | JayT47
Let’s head out of Melton Mowbray with our pork pies and up the road to the City of Leicester, where King Richard III’s skeleton was excavated under a car park (parking lot).
Put up your feet, munch on your pork pie and watch this short video to learn more about The King in the Car Park.
King Richard will be interred at a more suitable resting place in Leicester Cathedral on March 26, 2015.
Time to make a long journey south now to Devon, so we had better get moving.
Devon Cream Tea
Oh I think you’re going to enjoy this… A light and fluffy scone, with jam and clotted cream, with a pot of freshly brewed tea. Oh my.
Oh and just in case you were wondering, there is such a thing as a Cornish Cream Tea too. The difference? In Devon the scone is assembled as base, cream, jam, top. But in Cornwall they put the jam on the base, and then the cream before putting the top on. Crazy right?
Maybe you should make one of each and see if they taste different!
Dartmouth Steam Railway
Now our tummies are full of delicious jam and clotted cream let’s take a wander down to Dartmouth and take a ride on a steam train. Toot Toot!
Did you have fun riding the steam train? Let’s continue our journey south and hop over into Cornwall.
Credit: Cornish Pasty | Gareth Rogers
We already talked about Cornish Cream Teas but Cornwall has another specialty to offer, and that’s the Cornish Pasty.
When you bite inside that tasty pastry crust you’ll find potato, swede, onion and diced beef. Delicious!
Here’s a recipe if you want to try to make them at home.
Credit: Land’s End | Josh Graciano
We can’t visit Cornwall without heading over to Land’s End to take in the stunning scenery at the westernmost point of Cornwall.
You can make the journey on foot out onto the cliffs, or if you’re feeling adventurous you could ride out on a horse. And if you keep your eyes peeled you might even spot a shark!
When you’ve finished breathing in that fresh sea air and taking in the view let’s head east to end our journey in the seaside town of Brighton.
Fish and Chips
Credit: Fish And Chips | Smabs Sputzer
No tour of England would be complete without eating Fish and Chips at the seaside. This specialty is not solely available in Brighton, but it seemed as good a place as any to relax in a deck chair and enjoy a lovely piece of battered cod and some nice thick and chunky chips covered in salt and vinegar!
To be honest, making fish and chips at home can never compare to those you buy in a Fish and Chip Shop, but here’s a recipe for you to try, so you can get a flavour of how delicious they are!
The real reason I wanted you to come to Brighton, was to see the Pier. Many seaside towns in England have a Pier that heads out into the sea, but Brighton’s is the most famous and the most visited.
The original Pier was built in 1823 and was used as a landing stage for visitors sailing over from France. While you’re here take some time to explore the history of the Pier, and see the changes that have happened over the years.
Then let’s finish up our virtual journey of England with a ride on the Dodgems!
I really hoped you have enjoyed your virtual journey across England. Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and have experienced some tasty treats.
Maybe one day you’ll get to experience our wonderful heritage in person.