Eating out is a passionate art form in Great Britain and as a result the British have their own language about food and the places to eat, all of which reflect the countryís ethnic history and traditions. It should also be remembered that the food on offer is more than the stereotypical fish and chips, and that you can find a large variety of cuisine to suit all tastes.
There are restaurants in Britain to suit every occasion, taste, budget and party size. The restaurant experience in Britain is about quality service and the food and is well worth trying out. There is a variety of specialist restaurants that offers food from all round the world. These vary from Chinese to Indian and the food is now regularly consumed by everyone.
There are many cafés that provide a cheaper alternative to restaurants. The food provided may be more simple but extremely tasty and the generous portions are excellent value for money. These are also the places to go if you are simply looking for a cup of tea, a snack or a luscious cream cake.
If you're on a budget the fast food option is definitely a possibility. On every street there is a variety of fast food options that ranges from American hamburgers to kebabs. If youíre too lazy to leave your sofa you can simply pick up the phone and dial any of the delivery options. You can thereafter have your dinner delivered straight to your door for a very small price.
Other possibilities include pubs, which often offer good wholesome food at a reasonable price. However these are not the place to go for a quiet meal. A pub is also the place to go for a night of food and drink followed, at certain places and times, by live entertainment.
Going out for a meal raises questions concerning social conventions but a simple understanding of certain easy phrases will pay real dividends in enriching your travel experience.
When having a paid meal you might use or hear some of the following phrases:
Inviting people out - Would you like to join me / us for dinner? [formal]
- We / I would like to invite you for a meal? [formal]
- How about joining me / us for a meal? [informal]
Responding to invitations - Thank you, Iíd love to / like to / be delighted. [very interested]
- That would be very nice. [more neutral - polite]
- Yeah, great! [informal]
- Thatís very kind / nice, but Ö. [declining politely]
Dining - What would you like as a starter / main course / dessert or sweet?
- What would you recommend?
- Are you a vegetarian / vegan?
- Iím afraid I donít eat meat.
Commenting on your meal - Bon appetite!
- Enjoy your meal.
- How is your [steak]?
- Itís delicious.
When paying - May I have the bill (GB) / check (US)?
- Let me get this.
- Why donít we split this? [informal Ė it means let us both pay half of the bill - GB]
- Letís go Dutch. [slang Ė it means let us both pay half of the bill - GB]
Thanking - Thank you for a great evening.
- Iím glad that you enjoyed it.
- We must do this again.