We may be a tiny island, but we have big ambitions when it comes to our cuisine. It's time for us to fly the flag for English dishes, from traditional fish and chips to seasonal game, in celebration of St. George's Day.
Dating back to the 13th century, St. George’s Day (23 April) is England’s national day, marking the legend of England’s patron saint who slew a dragon. Although celebrations are not what they used to be back then (when the holiday was on a par with Christmas), we Brits still like to indulge in some ye olde feasting—particularly in London, where some of the finest English food can be found. And visitors to the city can make the most of that.
The only thing more English than hearty pub grub is traditional fish and chips. Not just any old fish ‘n’ chip shop, Poppie’s takes one of Britain’s best-loved dishes to a new level of dining. Sit at the counter for a quick bite on-the-go or in the lively 1970s-style main dining area (perfect for large groups) as classic disco tunes fill the air. Try the crispy whitebait and hand-peeled prawn cocktail to start, followed by traditional battered haddock and fat chips along with homemade mushy peas, a British favourite.
If you want to support England’s popular farm-to-plate food movement, then look no further than Rabbit—a rustic little restaurant on Chelsea’s iconic King’s Road. Run by three brothers who grew up on a vineyard and farm in West Sussex, this is the place to enjoy modern English cooking at its best: try the Brussels sprout salad with ox liver and a side of wild yeast bread and shallot butter. 172 King’s Rd, SW3 4UP
Established in 1798 in Covent Garden, Rules is London’s oldest restaurant and the perfect place to sample some traditional English game dishes, sourced from the restaurant’s own estate in the High Pennines, described as "England’s last wilderness."
Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells, Charlie Chaplin and Laurence Olivier were just a few of the venue’s past regulars. Try the venison carpaccio, followed by roast crown of wild duck, rounded off with an English cheese plate.
Named after its location on Clerkenwell Green near foodie’s paradise Farringdon, The Green is an old gastropub with a new look and a revamped menu of dishes made with seasonal English ingredients. Begin with white crab salad or mussels in cider before mains of whole grilled plaice or lamb shoulder with suet pudding, washed down with a locally brewed beer. Leather sofas, pot plants and wooden dining tables create a homey vibe. 29 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0DU
If you’re in town on the day, look out for St George’s Day celebrations across the city. In a red-and-white clad Trafalgar Square on 22 April is the Mayor of London’s annual Feast of St George. It traditionally includes Morris dancing, children’s games and English food stalls galore.