Britain: The Best of…


We’ve now been home for nearly 3 weeks, and have been back at work for a week. Before the holiday becomes a distant memory, here’s the round-up post.

Miles travelled

Around 3,000. Yep, that many. The poor map barely made it home alive.


Steps walked in London

According to my Fitbit, around 145,000 in 7 days.

Photos taken

Around 3900


Pints consumed

I stopped counting…but not quite 3900.


Souvenirs bought

Aside from random tea towels and the occasional obligatory fridge magnet, our faves were:

  • The solar-powered dancing grenadier guards I bought my boss.
  • The Nessie snow globe that now sits on my desk at work. I shake it when I need to see blue glitter.
  • The toy London buses, mini coopers and London taxis I brought back for my team leaders. Just don’t tell them that it’s so I have something to remind me of my holiday when I’m at their desks and can’t shake Nessie.
  • The Christmas sweaters Miss T couldn’t resist.
  • The corgi ipad case we bought Mum

Best joke

As seen on a penguin wrapper:

What do you call 50 penguins in Trafalgar Square?


Most pointlessly expensive set of Christmas crackers

These ones at Fortnum & Mason. 1000GBP for six. And no paper hats or bad jokes in sight.


Most pointlessly expensive item

The silver lobster server at Harrods. I thought it was 12,000GBP, hubby thought it was 22,000GBP. Whatever the cost it was obscenely ludicrous and pointless- and you’d need more than one.


Best consumable advent calendar

This one at Harvey Nicholls


Best advent calendar for keeping and handing down through generations of silver spoon-fed children

This one at Fortnum’s


Favourite shop



Shop I wished I was twenty years younger for and could fit into clothes from

Jack Wills- Fabulously British

Shop that made me wish our seasons were reversed

Monsoon. Their winter fashion was fabulously rich, textural, and deliciously boho.

Best Christmas display

Fortnum & Mason’s


Best Christmas window

Fortnum and Mason’s– abundantly sumptuous


Best Christmas Market

We went to a few, but I’ll always remember the one at Edinburgh the most. And the bar in the centre of the carousel…


Best foodie experience


Borough Markets. No contest. It made me itch for a kitchen.


Best Pub lunch


The Swan at Broadway. Miss T declared the roast chicken better than mine.

Best Pub dinner


Cawdor Inn, at Cawdor Scotland. The broccoli was snappily good and my salmon was exceptional.


Both hubby & Miss T had the pork


and then fought over the Scottish raspberries for dessert.


The Bell at Sapperton. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the risotto. And I love how they have a designated parking spot for horses. Sadly, the light was too dim for me to take photos of the food. I had to simply enjoy it instead.


Best lunch


At Glenfiddich, Speyside, Scotland. I wrote about it here.


Best Sunday Lunch


The Rock Inn, Haytor Vale, Dartmoor National ParkIMG_4755

It was more special because we’d driven for miles to a town called Bovey Tracey to find that the hotel we’d planned to have our Sunday roast at had been turned over to a 1 year old birthday party. So we drove into Dartmoor and found this place.


We even saw some Dartmoor ponies grazing on the moors. It was all very Hound of the Baskervilles.


Best ploughmans, best burger, best platter, and best scotch egg


The Mug House, London Bridge

Best macaroni cheese

The leeky mac at Mohr Fish in Callender


Best use of parsnips

Parsnip soup. Everywhere. I had more varieties than I thought were possible. It’s the pumpkin soup of England.


Best hidden gem

The Mug House, London Bridge


Best pasta dish

The carbonara at Carluccio’s, St Pancras- perfectly creamy without cream. The Italian way.


Best fish dinner

Stein’s Café, Padstow


Best meal in London

Cambridge St café- around the corner from The Georgian House Hotel where we stayed. We ate scallops and black pudding with apple sauce, fish pie, old spot pork and millet, cod and mash, and pear and rhubarb crumble.

Most frighteningly coloured raita

There are some amazing Indian restaurants in Britain. We had the best chicken tikka I’ve had ever at Saffron in the pub at Balfron near Stirling. It was also the scariest colour yoghurt dip ever- fluorescent pink. The Indian in Tiverton in Devon was similar- except that yoghurt was coloured bright yellow. And they played Bollywood music.

Best sausage roll

The pork and chilli sausage roll in Cheltenham. According to the hubster, it was the sausage roll against which all sausage rolls will be compared.

Best overall accommodation

Old Balwill, Buchlyvie. Hands down.


Best B&B

I can’t choose between:



I wrote about them here and here. Two very different properties: two very different styles; two very different breakfasts; two very different experiences; but both simply fabulous. I’d go back to either in a heartbeat. I can still taste that smoked trout scrambled eggs at Burford.


Worst shower

The trickle at Easter Dalziel Farm in Inverness. Followed closely by Newton Hall in Chester.


Both were lovely places to stay, but the ludicrously ineffective showers stopped me from giving them a higher trip advisor rating.


The smallest bathroom

This was at the Georgian House Hotel in London

Photo taken from the door

Most ‘Oh just stop it already’ scenery

Scotland. Intense. Sparse. Beautiful.


My favourite flower photo

When I first posted this on Instagram, plenty of people asked me what it is. A Scotch Thistle? No, it’s a cardoon- and its classed as a noxious weed in most areas of Australia.


Best day by the sea


Filey and Whitby on the Yorkshire coast.


Dramatic coastal scenery and seagulls that sound so different to ours.


Padstow was a great day out too.


Best Jane Austen moment


Bath or Lyme Regis? Both.


Best Snow Scene


Blanchland in Northumberland.


And on the border at Scotland.


Man, it was cold!


Funniest moment


When Miss T compared Robert the Bruce to Pharlap. I wrote about it here.

Favourite spot

Nope, you’re not catching me out on that one!



Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

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