Spring and many of us have fond memories of vacation planning. Getting away to a favourite vacation spot may be wishful thinking — but remember, we’re just putting our holiday ideas on hold, not cancelled.

Today, as part of our occasional series of favourite vacation spots, we thought we’d bring a little bit of Britain to you.

Personally, I fell in love with London a few years ago, when the city embraced this lonely traveller and made me feel part of the family. I loved how everything was so bigger-than-life! Walking by Buckingham Palace, strolling through Hyde Park, wandering around the most wonderful Borough Market, a magical place where my senses were happily overwhelmed with the sights, smells and tastes of this slice of awesome!

Britain is home to some of the most famous chefs in the world (think Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay), and a vibrant food scene, plus Britain has a wealth of tasty offerings. Even Her Majesty The Queen must enjoy a scone every now and again!

Britain is a place Canadians enjoy for its heritage, culture, pomp and pageantry, and while we know it’s not as good as being there, we hope this little slice of Britain can bring some joy until you can get back to enjoying the real thing.

All recipes courtesy Visitbritain.com/ca/en. @VisitBritain, @LVGreatBritain.

Scones – Lisa Grellmann

Scones – Lisa Grellmann


The British drink tea every day, whether at breakfast, during a break in the morning and in the evening. But what everyone loves to celebrate is the typically British moment in the afternoon — afternoon tea! It’s a beloved ritual enjoyed around the world, but when you celebrate in its traditional home, it’s beyond wonderful. Originating in the southwest of England, in Cornwall and Devon, the tradition has spread throughout Great Britain. All you need in addition to a hot kettle of tea is some clotted cream or curd (a very thick cream), some tasty preserves … and, of course, scones!


Adapted from a recipe courtesy Visitbritain.com/ca/en

3 cups (750 mL) pastry flour
1/3 cup (75 mL) granulated sugar
2 tsp. (10 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp. (2 mL) baking soda
1 1/2 cups (340 g) cold butter, diced
1 cup (250 mL) 10% cream
1 egg yolk
3-5 Tbsp. (45 mL-75 mL) granulated sugar, for sprinkling
Favourite preserves, clotted cream, for spreading

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda and mix until blended. Add diced butter and toss to coat with flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into dry mixture until mostly small pieces of butter remain, with some pea-sized. Alternately, use your fingertips to work butter into dry mixture.

Add all of cream and bring mixture together with a fork or your hands — don’t worry if mixture looks dry. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together into a ball (you may need to knead mixture a couple of times until it just comes together without crumbling).

Roll dough out into a rough square, a little more than 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick. Cut diagonally into quarters, and cut each quarter in half to make 8 large scones. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) between each.

Beat egg yolk with 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) cold water and brush tops of scones to glaze. Sprinkle (generously) with granulated sugar. Bake scones in preheated oven at least 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are golden, tops are lightly browned, and scones spring back when gently pressed. Serve with favourite preserves and clotted cream.

Makes 14 scones.

Cured gravalax salmon – Getty Images

Cured gravalax salmon – Getty Images


Courtesy famed Scottish chef and cookbook author Tom Kitchin, owner and executive chef of Edinburgh restaurants The Kitchin, The Scran & Scallie and Castle Terrace. Tom’s innovative cooking uses local ingredients, led by the ethos of From Nature to Plate.

4 oz. (115 g) rock salt
1 tsp. (5 mL) juniper berries
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) fennel seeds
1/4 cup (60 mL) packed soft light brown sugar
1/4 cup (60mL) gin
1 side fresh salmon — skin off and trimmed

Place rock salt, fennel seeds and the juniper berries into a food blender and pulse together to make a powder. Place mixture into a bowl and add sugar and gin and mix well together. Carefully check salmon side for bones and then place side into a tray large enough to hold it. if it’s too large you can cut it in half.

Spread mix all over salmon; Cover tray in cling wrap and place into fridge for 1 1/2 days. Remove salmon and turn it over and place back into fridge for additional 1 1/2 days. Remove salmon from mix and pat dry. You can easily store salmon away now or use. Slice thinly and serve with dill, honey and mustard sauce.

Welsh Cakes – courtesy VisitWales.com

Welsh Cakes – courtesy VisitWales.com


Kathryn Gunter, of the family-run The Market Bakery in Abergavenny, shares her delightful, easy to create Welsh cake recipe. Photo courtesy VisitWales.com.

8 oz (225 g) self-raising flour
4 oz (115 g) butter or margarine
2 oz (60 g) castor sugar
1/3 cup (150 mL) sultanas
1 or 2 eggs depending on mixture

Sieve flour into bowl, then add butter (or margarine), rub in finely together. Add sugar and sultanas and mix. Add 1 egg and mix. The consistency needs to be bound together, so if too dry add another egg. Roll out on a floured board, to about a quarter inch thick. Cut using a 2-inch cutter, then cook on a greased pan, or bake stone, on a medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes each side. The exact cooking length will depend on what you are cooking your Welsh cakes on, but keep a close eye — too short a period and they won’t be cooked in middle and cooked too long, they will be dry. When touched during cooking they should feel springy but not wet to the touch. Once cooked dust with castor sugar and enjoy.

Makes about 10 rounds.

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