A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
For around €50 and an hour’s flight, you can find yourself in one of the most famous cities on earth – London. London is massive and it can be hard to know where to start – that’s where I come in! I can give you a couple of tips to give you a starting point for exploring the city. To start off with food!
London is full of plenty of places for every price point, it can just take a bit of searching because it can be easy to spend way too much money. Here are things that I think you cannot miss and some of the best places to find them!
A Full English Breakfast – I figured I’d start with the most important meal of the day, breakfast. A traditional English Breakfast, also called a fry-up, is just what’s needed on a day after travelling or a night out. It’s a hearty way to start off the day. A fry-up varies all around the British Isles from a “full Irish” to a “full Welsh” – and each says they have the best; I’ll leave that up to you to decide though. A full English usually consists of bacon, fried eggs, sausage, grilled mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, baked beans and toast.
The Breakfast Club – an ’80s themed restaurant which serves a full English all day, along with a veggie version, the line can be a little long though so best go early!
Pub Dinner – I supposed the next meal that follows breakfast would be lunch, so that feels like a good starting point/(a good transition). So, I know that this is not really a specific dish, but there’s so many that you must try. My go to favourite is a Shepherds Pie. London, or even England’s, Pubs are infamous. Cosy and warm, they’re the perfect place to pop in and take a break from the drizzly London weather.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese – one of the oldest pubs in the city, directions can be a bit challenging though so get your maps out!
Fish and Chips – Every time I go home this is the one dish I insist on having. You can really find these anywhere; most people go up to their local chip shop (also known as the local chippy). They do it a little bit differently all around the country but we’ll stick to the classic. Have your chips with lots of salt and vinegar (sounds bad I know, but it’s so good), and get the beer battered cod. These used to be served up in newspaper, and in some places, especially down on the coast, they still do. The places in London are great but if you feel like a trip to the seaside, I wouldn’t give it a miss along with a soft ice – just watch for the seagulls!
Toff’s of Muswell Hill – An old-school chippy which cooks sustainably sourced fish, just be prepared for a bit of a queue on a Friday night.
Tea – I’m not talking about the drink here but afternoon tea. Teatime is usually the point when everyone gets back from work and school, around 4-6 pm. Everyone has a bit of tea with some biscuits or sandwiches just to tide you over until dinner. There’s lots of variations around London and they’re on the pricier side, but if you have the money or if it’s a special occasion, I’d totally recommend it!
The English Rose Café – Just around the corner from Buckingham Palace. For an afternoon tea for two it’s €30, which is great value for afternoon tea
South Asian Cuisine – Chicken Tikka Masala, alongside Fish and Chips, has been toted as one of the national dishes, so it’d be criminal to give it a miss. There are a couple of good places for South Asian food. From Brick Lane to Camden Market to Southall, these restaurants specialise in all types of South Asian food.
Delhi Grill – A small restaurant with a range of street food type dishes, and the surrounding area is great!
Honorable mentions – Camden Market, Dishoom, Mahdu’s, Milk Train, Cereal Killer Café and more…
Have you got any places that you’d recommend?