Food and Drink
The British Isles cover a small geographical area and yet have an amazingly rich and varied food culture and history.
The Great British Beer Festival
British Embassy, Washington D.C., 8/9/2020
Styles of British beer
British Embassy, Washington, 5/4/2020
Great British Beer Festival
Public Affairs Team, 8/4/2020
Exports of British Beef Resumed
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), 5/4/2020
New pub licensing system starts today
10 Downing Street, 2/7/2020
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A resurgence of traditional British cuisine has taken place in the UK driven by celebrity chefs and the fast growing number of innovative restaurants. There is now a much deserved return to the excellent international reputation that British fare enjoyed throughout Europe before the Industrial Revolution and World Wars. The myth of bad food in Britain can now be dispelled.
In recent years there has also been a welcome return to the use of fresh local produce, wholesome food and traditional cooking methods. Top restaurants now feature old-fashioned favorites and regional specialities on their menus. Organic produce is also popular and is widely available.
The excellence of cuisine you can experience in Britain receives recognition in the 2004 Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland which awards stars to 110 restaurants, up from 107 last year. Three restaurants achieve the top rank of three Michelin stars, The Waterside Inn and The Fat Duck both in Bray, Berkshire and Gordon Ramsay in London.
British people have long been exposed to and interested in the food of other countries and cultures. This interest is reflected in the diverse range of international cuisine available throughout the country in restaurants, pubs, speciality stores and on supermarket shelves. A vast range of dining opportunities exists in London restaurants to rival any other major world capital and this is increasingly true throughout Britain.
British consumers have sophisticated palates and demand high quality produce whether it is world renowned British beef, particularly high quality Scottish beef, Welsh lamb, pork, game or poultry. The quality of British meat is now assured by strict government regulations making it amongst the safest in the world. The seas around the British Isles provide UK tables with a rich catch and seafood features prominently on menus throughout the country. By 1999 the British were consuming nearly 300 million servings of fish and chips at the more than 9,000 fish and chip shops or "chippies".
As elsewhere, demand for healthy food has grown in Britain with organic produce increasingly popular. The interest in organic foods and farming has been championed by groups such as the Soil Association and the The Prince of Wales with his charitable company Duchy Originals.
British consumers are also buying more Fairtrade products, around $187 million (£100 million) a year. Fairtrade guarantees a better deal to producers of commodities like tea, coffee and cocoa in the developing world.
History of British Food and Drink
Learn more about British Food and Drink
Beer in the UK
British food recipes
Famous chefs and restaurants in the UK