4 things you should do in England
Probably every one of us has already visited London before, taking a ride on the London Eye, waving the Queen at Buckingham Place, done a shopping tour on Oxford Street and visited the fancy shops and markets in Camden Town. The British capital changes every day. But also outside the metropolis there is plenty of British culture to discover. Here are the 4 highlights of our last visit to England:
1. London: Chinatown
Here in Chinatown you feel as if you moved into the Middle Kingdom. Cantonese characters at every corner, fried Peking ducks in the shop windows of the restaurants, all claiming they have the best one, waving Hello Kitty figures and great gold-decorated gates that invite you to discover another world!
The hustle and bustle of the London streets make a break in Chinatown, because there are hardly any cars passing through the streets. Everything goes along with each other. Whether for lunch, dinner or just for a small snack here you have the choice between a cheap “all you can eat” buffet, an à la carte menu, freshly made dumplings or one of the extraordinary cakes of the numerous Chinese bakeries. I loved it there. A short and sweet escape – from the busy streets of London to a country far away.
2. Arcade Games and Donuts
at Brighton Pier
Brighton, is probably the most popular seaside resort for the Brits during summer. The small town on the coast of the English Channel is cool, hip and trendy. In Brighton is much to see, but it is just the right size, that everything is within easy walking distance. Funky shops are located around the shopping mile “North Laine”. Hip cafes and cozy restaurants invite you to linger. Nevertheless the Brighton Pier with its amusement park is the biggest attraction of the city. On the approximately 500-meter long pier you can squeal a round in the roller coaster, let off steam in the bumper car, treat yourself with freshly fried donuts and then put your 25 p in all the arcade games on the pier. Brighton is exciting. Break out and go wild!
3. Lewes Bonfire Night
The Guy Fawkes Night (Bonfire Night) is one of the most popular holiday in the UK. Every year on the 5th of November, the failed assassination of Guy Fawkes in 1605 against the British King and Parliament is commemorated. The British celebrate this feast with great fires, street parades and extensive fireworks. The small town of Lewes is known for hosting the largest Bonfire festival in the country. In fact, it is not just a one celebration, six separate “Bonfire Societies” celebrate their own festival in different parts of the city, all with their own processions, traditions, costumes and fireworks. It is advisable to join a society and follow, after the procession, to the fire place, where the great fire and the fireworks take place. For us Germans the Bonfire Night combines carnival, New Year and Easter: Costumes, parades, big fire and loads of fireworks until late into the night.
Tip: The way into the city was quite difficult. We parked a bit further from the city and walked into the center.
4. Afternoon Tea
That was my personal highlight! Afternoon tea and scones. I have always wanted to be invited to a “Tea Time Party” in a venerable mansion. Tom booked us a date for the Afternoon Tea at the South Lodge Hotel in Horsham. Hidden behind green trees and hedges you find a impressive mansion. The property is 93 acres and surrounded by forests, gardens and lakes. In March 2009 the hotel was in the international spotlight, when the G 20 took place there. So I enjoyed my probably most english experience with a lush selection of homemade finger sandwiches, scones and cakes. Plus cotted cream and delicious jam, served with tea or coffee. The best part, you could order as much tea, sandwiches and scones as you wanted.
Which are your Top England Highlights?