330: 25 Ideas for Enjoying British Culture in Your Everyday Life
Saturday May 21, 2022

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The British culture is varied and vast and while one person’s affection for the culture may include punk rock along with their love for the Beatles, another’s affinities may gravitate toward the gardening and afternoon tea. While my predilections lean more toward the latter, whenever a culture speaks to us that is not the one in which we grew up in or were raised entirely, we owe it to ourselves to continue to explore because our intuition is speaking.

As many readers of TSLL and listeners of the podcast know, TSLL derives much of its content from two cultures, the French and the British, specifically the ways of life that invite us to slow down, savor and invest in quality moments and approaches rather than quantity and superficial living to gain approval. Instead the only approval we seek is from within.

In episode #144 I shared 20 ways for welcoming the French culture into your everyday life, and so it is well overdue that I should share a similar list for welcoming the British culture into your everyday life. After having now visited London on three separate occasions and the English countryside on two separate occasions, I enjoyed compiling this list as my life in Bend is a marriage of both my love of the French and British culture, incorporating from both the everyday rituals I love, savoring approaches, tastes, décor and ways of life that reminds me of two cultures that tickle my curiosity and nurture my true self most sincerely.

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Inspired by my most recent visit, but also drawing upon all of my experiences and fortunate opportunities to explore Britain, let’s take a look at how we can welcome different ideas into our everyday life the British culture.

~Note to readers: Be sure to listen to the episode as each item listed below is discussed in much more detail in the audio version.

1. Create a tea ritual in your everyday routine

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The feline host at The Rookery in London, Bagheera, joined us for our morning tea.

2. Know, use correctly with confidence and be able to explain the difference in conversation between saying England, Great Britain/Britain and the United Kingdom

~tune in to the audio version for this episode where the differences are explained

Check out this detailed and easy to follow post about the clear differences.

3. Subscribe to either AcornTV or BritBox (or both), and enjoy multiple series, films and BBC programs, some within hours of their airing in Britain

4. Grow a garden no matter how large or small your outdoor space or balcony

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Touring gardens was a primary focus on this most recent trip, and Sissinghurst Castle Gardens inspired many ideas as well as soothed the mind and being as I wandered the grounds for hours.

5. Invite others to ‘tea’ at your home or for a Cuppa

6. Celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year

~Have you entered the Grand Giveaway for your chance to win Fortnum & Mason’s Jubilee Hamper? Click here to do so.

7. Welcome cozy upholstered furniture (reupholstered an old favorite) into your home décor

~Staying at The Pig at Bridge Place introduced many ideas for cozy upholstery inspiration.

8. Watch football (aka soccer), or not and instead watch tennis or cricket or rugby

9. Have biscuits (shortbread cookies) or something simple to nibble on when having tea with guests at your home

10. Tune in via television or radio to the BBC

“The oldest national broadcasting organisation in the world with a global reach, covering world events 24/7 and producing world-class entertainment”.

11. Watch Ted Lasso on AppleTV+

A new season will likely be released this late summer/early fall. The first two seasons can be streamed in entirety now.

12. Acquire a high quality umbrella (and use it when it rains)

~James Smith & Sons in London on New Oxford was a must-stop during my recent trip to London.

13. Layer with pillows, let go of matchy-matchy

Instead keep in the same color tone, and mix large and small prints with the occasional solid.

14. Find time to spend time at the oceanside

15. Make and enjoy scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam

16. Watch Come Dine With Me (on Channel 4)

Premiering in 2005 and running for 27 seasons, so far, this reality series is a hit across Britain.

17. Find your favorite color of a pair of wellies and have them on hand

18. Make and enjoy a traditional Cornish Pasty

19. Watch The Great British Bake-Off each late summer/early fall

20. Enjoy a proper English Breakfast

What exactly is a traditional English Breakfast (we’re not talking about the tea here)? Sausages, back bacon (not a crispy version, but rather more hearty as it consists of a little bit of the loin and is smoked), eggs, tomatoes – pan seared and seasoned with salt and pepper, mushrooms, fried bread, and beans.

21. Practice your French

Did you know that the Queen looks over the weekly menu given to her by the chef who writes the menu in French, as has every chef dating back to Queen Victoria’s reign? Yep, and just another lovely reason to incorporate both cultures in some way into your daily life. 🙂

22. Practice thoughtful manners

Give personal space (an arm’s length distance), use both a fork and knife when dining, don’t ask nosey questions, please and thank you, respect the queue, refrain from superlatives (i.e. the best, greatest, worst, tallest, shortest, most exciting, etc.)

23. Make and enjoy Yorkshire pudding (and it isn’t a ‘pudding’)

24. Welcome trays into your everyday for serving tea, meals, courses, etc.

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~Be sure to enter this giveaway to win a high quality, handmade rectangular tray with glass top.

25. Enjoy daily walks with your pups and say hello to passing pups

shannonwalkinglondon-1

During this trip walking was done both in the heart of London (seen here with Big Ben in the background) and in the English countryside as we toured Sissinghurst Castle Garden. This photo was captured after just having departed from The Tube in the morning on our way to Westminster Abbey, followed by a visit to The National Gallery and then to Claridge’s for Afternoon Tea. Needless to say, Norman was missed, and our reunion upon arriving back in Bend was quite sweet.

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Enjoy English tea at home in Bend, Oregon, with Norman as my companion. Bliss.

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-premiering in the states May 20, 2022 (in the UK April 29th)

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~The Simple Sophisticate, episode #330

~Subscribe to The Simple Sophisticate:  iTunes | Stitcher | iHeartRadio | YouTube | Spotify | Amazon Music

~Explore all of the posts shared during this year’s Annual British Week. Today’s episode wraps up all of the new posts that will be shared (16 in total), and be sure to enter to win all of the five giveaways by 4pm (Pacific) today. All winners will be announced in a detailed post tomorrow on the blog. Thank you to everyone who stopped by this week. What a fun week it was! To talk all things British’s and reminisce and hear your stories of travel as well as future trips, I am excited for everyone as each of us welcomes the British culture in our own way of everyday life continues. Have a wonderful weekend.

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Download the episode
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10 thoughts on “330: 25 Ideas for Enjoying British Culture in Your Everyday Life

  1. Good morning Shannon. Please check the audio on this weeks podcast because it cuts in and out. I did play previous podcasts before posting this comment since the Midwest is experiencing storms.

    1. Thank you for letting me know. I hear it as well. Something happened in the uploading process to delete small sections. This should not have happened. I am on the road back to Bend at the moment and will update and correct this as soon as I arrive back in my studio. Expect the corrected episode to be available tonight. My apologies for this error and thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    2. All should be updated! It may take about an hour to be updated via Apple Podcasts or wherever else you may listen to the podcast, but here in the blog it is ready to go and fixed! I do apologize for this error. I do hope you enjoy!

  2. Shannon, as a brit I loved this. I would add eating fish and chips at the seaside is a must. Hot salty chips and the sea air! And, the knife and fork comment is spot on. But you must try Yorkshire puddings with your Sunday roast. My youngest son can eat a mountain of them with gravy. Finally, if you want to immerse yourself in our sport the BBC World service on the radio is great. X

  3. Thank you, Shannon, for this post. I am a devoted Francophile. I really enjoyed this education on “many things British” as I had to Google quite a few to understand more exactly what they are.
    Grateful as always, Rebecca

  4. Shannon all lovely . The focus is on England but Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland have lots of delightful things. Since Brexit the government has been encouraging the use of UK instead of GB. I agree with Nicola about fish and chips as that’s on my list to enjoy during my stay. Also a Victoria sandwich sponge cake, two layers of sponge sandwiched with lots of whipped cream and strawberry jam and toad in the hole which is sausages cooked in Yorkshire pudding batter in the oven. Also bangers and mash(sausages and mashed potatoes ). Sometimes ‘green’ bacon which is unsmoked is preferred with the fry up. Smoked salmon(Scottish) and scrambled eggs is rather spevialEnjoy a pint (beer) in an old worlde pub especially on a summer’s day. Kameela xx

  5. Oh, yes, Kameela, pub culture is something sorely missing here in The States, just like the cafe culture of Paris. Would love to have access to them both on a regular basis!
    The 2 things that stand out to me as a draw of British culture are their humor and their traditions, namely the tea rituals. I see the funny side of life much more after incorporating British authors (Wodehouse, etc) and programs (Monty Python, etc) into it. Don’t know how they keep that “stiff upper lip” and be hilarious at the same time, but they are masters of that balance. I remember at first I didn’t quite get the humor, much less even understand what they were saying, but I can’t go long without a good dose of it now.
    As for being introduced to not only tea, but to taking the time to enjoy it from beautiful china along with some delicate nibblies has changed my life. This is a daily requirement but I also occasionally need to immerse myself in the world of Jane Austen, Miss Marple, Poirot, etc just to feel closer to that lifestyle and renew my sensitivities and appreciation for it.

    Thanks Shannon for bringing all this back into focus for me during the lovely British Week!

  6. I’m in the middle of the podcast and simply must pause and weigh in on the clotted cream or strawberry jam first dilemma. After picturing both ways, that gorgeous red strawberry jam absolutely must be showcased on top of that pristine white cream, in my opinion!

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