New Food, New World

Leigha Brandt

Imagine yourself lf walking side by side with Queen Elizabeth on a Sunday afternoon; taking a stroll through her courtyard of exotic plants and sipping British tea.  Now imagine yourself on a double-decker staring up at Big Ben in the backdrop of a warm orange sky. 

Few words can define London. Insane just won’t do and crazy doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the adventure. There are a few tips to keep in mind before taking off: Don’t use the peace sign, you’ll receive a bad response; you have an accent, they don’t, and be careful of using electrical devices, including certain appliances. The wattage is stronger overseas, and can easily fry any electric devices. Devices should also be on the lowest setting. Also, you may want to make a list of things that you’re interested in doing, including posing next to a British guard and shouting on top of a double-decker.

Now that we’ve covered a few ground rules, it’s time to broaden your senses on U.K. culture. The instant you are seated, another atmosphere comes to life: the U.K. is home to over five-thousand-five-hundred and seventy different restaurants, one-hundred and fifty-nine castles, hundreds of different multicultural restaurants and plenty of shopping opportunities. If you’re interested in historical sightseeing and don’t know where to start, a guided tour is an easy way to hit the key locations. Some tours of interest include Jack the Ripper, London Tower, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Windsor Castle. Other specialized tours include those on top of the double-deckers and rental buses which are pretty affordable.

When it comes time for a meal or quick snack, take in to consideration your options. Another quick tip to make your stay more enjoyable is to ask yourself, have I ever tried this before?  Skip common restaurants or foods that you’d find back home and instead explore different bars and cafes which offer a variety of different England favorites, like the pastry and hot panini.  

Most of the attractions in London, a great place to explore, aren’t too costly but beware: the currency conversion is what gets most tourists. You’ll continually fork out money, without realizing how much you’re actually losing. Be prepared, calculate the currency difference well ahead of the trip and pack according to the British pound, not the American. This tip can also be useful when traveling to other locations anywhere outside the U.S. Buy the currency beforehand and be prepared for a little pain.
Lastly, don’t forget to take a little piece of England back with you. Whether it is the tea, chocolate or British skivvies, which oddly enough can be purchased alongside your meal at several cafes.

 London is a stunning place to go if you’re looking to travel to the U.K. The culture, the food and experience are an amazing combination, which all make up for the long flight and the bad currency conversion.