Not as guests, but as residents of the UK, you, our friends, must have noticed some ubiquitous features of the UK population. Watching your new friends or colleagues, are we able to see the common, what unites them, except, of course, the English language? Perhaps. But let’s see what the British think of themselves.
Sovereign, which markets luxury vacations, has commissioned a survey of 50 typical British features and habits according to the island’s inhabitants. We will only mention some of them, but we will try to look at them in more detail.
Drinking tea during a crisis is clearly typical of Britain. Often in their movies or books, when something extraordinary happens, some of the characters say the soothing phrase, “I will warm up the kettle!” or promise “Now I will make you tea!” to the friend who was struggling with the fate. With a clearly soothing and supportive power, tea drinking is typical for 80% of the British population. In the UK, 165 million cups of tea are drunk daily, which makes 60.2 billion cups a year.
How has the tea tradition started and why do they drink it at five o’clock? Here’s how: one afternoon in 1840 at the Woburn Abby Estate in Bedfordshire, Bedford’s seventh Duchess, Ana Russell, felt a lump in her stomach at about 5 o’clock. Dinner would be served at 8 o’clock. In order to wait, without the unpleasant feeling, she ordered tea and bread with butter. She shared it with friends too, so it soon became popular among the property owners to eat lightly and drink tea at 5 o’clock, from where the habit scattered throughout the country.
The tea that Britons drink must be strong and hot, and the question they expect to hear is “Sugar, milk?” It is mainly black tea. Fruit and herbal teas are not very popular. As a colonial state, England affected the British with taste for eastern tea blends. The mainly used tea is English Breakfast, which is a blend of Ceylon and Assam with a light Kenyan tea flavor. Other popular blends include Earl Gray, Darjeeling and, to a lesser extent, green tea, Jasmine Tea, Lapsang Souchong and others.
Gathering in the pub is another key feature that Britons consider to be typical of their own. It is no coincidence that pubs remain unchanged for hundreds of years. In Britain there are really old pubs with a preserved authentic look. Here are the names of some really remarkable:
The Shakespeare in Canterbury: not only for the great bard, but also for his contemporary Christopher Marlowe – another famous writer of the Elizabethan era, as well as for Jeffrey Chauser, whose Canterbury tales are here, this pub is full of local people, and tourists. It is famous for its rich wine bar and its small yard, tucked between the buildings.
Hawkyns at the Crown Inn (Inn means that the pub also provided a place to sleep) in Amersham: this place has a completely preserved medieval look, well-restored beams and a unique atmosphere.
The Ginger Pig in Hove, near Brighton. this place is “new” if we can call it something that definitely bears the seal of past times. The name of the pub is typical of the area. We can also meet similar pubs names – the Ginger Fox, the Ginger, the Ginger Dog, which emphasizes the specific ginger gene in the surrounding area.
In all English pubs, of course, modern cuisine is also being served, but there are also typical English dishes such as toasted slices with special beer-sauce , sheperd’s pie, fisherman’s pie and others. The time spent in the pub is time for conversations, laughter, eating and drinking. Not visiting pubs is a serious breach of tradition.
Expect continuation of the article!
Dear friends of Training centre Raya London, besides studying English language which we offer, we would also like to provide you with an entertaining reading about the country we have chosen for our children. In our blog, you can find both articles about English rules and English grammar, as well as entertaining texts about the traditions, national characteristics, rules and famous people in the UK. Learn English and go ahead with reading interesting topics for you!
Author: Iveta Radeva