National Fish & Chip Day

Fish and chips is distinctly British fare.

Celebrate on June 3rd by trying this iconic dish at:

Big Fry (Multiple) — On Mondays, they prepare only gluten-free fish and chips, changing out everything, including the oil. You can definitely taste the difference.

McDermett's Fish & Chips (Croydon) — Located in a strip mall, this restaurant has won national awards (Costco is in the area so a good detour before or after). Do note that they close between 2:30-5:30 pm and open again for dinner. 2086 511440
Forestdale Shopping Centre, Featherbed Lane, Croydon, Surrey CR0 9AS

Poppies (Multiple) — We stopped in at the Spitalfields location of this award-winning fish and chip shop. It’s famous for chips served in simulated newspaper (use of real newspapers were banned some time back).

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Public Footpaths

Countless footpaths crisscross the English countryside

I am still in awe of the number of footpaths that crisscross the English countryside passing through farmer's fields, grazing cows, horses and sheep and even golf courses and horse racing tracks. Some blooms you won't want to miss:

  • Bluebells (April - May) — They are a protected species and nearly half of the ancient bluebell woodlands are found in the UK.
  • Rapeseed (late April) — Known as canola oil in the US, it is considered the new ‘British olive oil’. The view from the air is particularly stunning.
  • Wild Garlic (March – May) — To make sure you are foraging* the right plant, take crush a leaf in your hand and inhale. The white star-shaped flowers are edible too.
While there are loads* of websites with maps of footpaths, finding ones that are near a great pub requires more effort. A few pubs places to start or end your hike, include:

  • The Bell (Fetcham)
  • The Derby Arms (Epsom)
  • Medicine Garden (Cobham)
  • Parrot Inn (Forest Green)
  • Running Horses (Mickleham)
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On the Lighter Side – By the weight

With the warmer weather finally beginning to arrive,
instead of counting calories there are a few tasty places to eat by weight.

Ethos (London)

The flavorful selection includes meat-free, gluten and sugar-free cold and hot dishes. Lentil, mushroom and artichoke salad; roasted cauliflower served with tahini and cranberries; and Hungarian gouloush were among the dishes we tried. The round tables with comfy benches make it easy to share food and conversation. 2035 811538
48 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8DX

Ottolenghi (Multiple)

We had a wonderful breakfast (French toast!) at their Islington location. The over-the-top fresh, hearty salads and delicious baked goods reminded me of Eatzi’s* and we couldn’t resist ordering some dishes to takeaway. The food is Mediterranean-inspired, but is influenced by other cultures as well. They are serious about making people happy through their food and it shows!

Snog (Multiple)

Snog is similar to TCBY in the US. It features a variety of frozen yogurt flavors and toppings. The yogurt is fat-free and sweetened with agave nectar. While there are multiple locations scattered throughout the city, the large refurbished Routemaster double-decker bus on Southbank is hard to miss. Snag a seat on the upper deck and Snog away.

tibits (Multiple)

With restaurants in Switzerland and London, their Heddon Street location serves 40 hot and cold vegetarian and vegan dishes along with soups, juices and desserts made daily in London – all healthy and delicious. You select items from a buffet style layout and pay by weight. I am not embarrassed to say that I had seconds.

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Chelsea Flower Show

Put on by the Royal Horticultural Society, this is one of the
most famous flower shows in the world.

The show runs May 24-28 and features everything from over-the-top show gardens to smaller, more intimate one. It is worth a visit by anyone with a green thumb or those who simply want to stop and smell the roses. 8452 605000
Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4SR

Special features this year include:

  • Floral arch and photographic exhibit in honor of the Queen's 90th birthday

  • Display of 60-foot carriage train from Belmond British Pullman

  • Entrance design by Phillip Johnson will include 300,000 individually crocheted poppies

  • First ever acoustic garden featuring world famous solo percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie

  • On-site pop-up* afternoon tea by The Dorchester
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