Traditional Full English Breakfast

Until I went to Great Britain last summer, I didn’t even realize there was a traditional full English breakfast. I always just assumed the British, Irish and Scottish all ate exactly what we do — bacon, eggs, waffles, pancakes, etc. Apparently, that was just me being a stupid tourist.

I was first introduced to a traditional full English breakfast in Kilkenny, Ireland. My mom and I walked into this restaurant and aside from a case full of pastries, there was just one thing on the menu – a full breakfast. Since I was hungry, there were no other options, and I wanted to eat like the Irish — I dove right in (not knowing what was included).

Traditional Full English Breakfast

Traditional full English breakfast

A traditional full English breakfast consists of poached or fried eggs, bacon (which is more like a thin slice of ham — not the bacon we’re used to in America), sausage, baked beans, a fried or grilled tomato, and white and black pudding. Depending on where you are, there are also sautéed mushrooms (my breakfast in Kilkenny didn’t include them, but my breakfast in London did). It’s a massive amount of food.

I didn’t know what white and black pudding were all about, I was just going to eat them no matter what. A few minutes into breakfast, one of the workers came up to our table and asked me, “How come you haven’t tried the blood pudding?” I wasn’t exactly sure what she was talking about, so I gave her a quizzical look. She pointed down to the black pudding and said, “That’s blood pudding.” That was the last thing I ever wanted to know. After that, I was hesitant to give it a try (I have a weird thing about eating blood). I finally gave it a try though, and I wound up eating the whole thing of black pudding (although I’m pretty sure I held my breath for the last few bites). It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever tasted, but I honestly wonder if I would have liked it if I didn’t know it was blood pudding? I guess I’ll never know the answer to that.

The traditional full English breakfast I had (in Kilkenny and London) was a little bland, but it was still good. I just remember being really, really full when I was done. There’s quite a bit of food to consume. I’m heading back to London this summer and I won’t hesitate to have another traditional full English breakfast when I’m there. In fact, I might do some research to find out who serves the best in the city. When in Rome (or London), right?

The really cool part is, you can make a traditional full English breakfast at home. Aside from the white and black pudding (which I’m not sure are easily found in America), you can get all the ingredients you need at your local store. If you really want to make it traditional, buy back bacon (aka Irish or Canadian bacon) instead the bacon you typically have for breakfast. Don’t forget the baked beans! That’s one of the things that makes a full English breakfast unique.

You have to eat a traditional full English breakfast when you’re in Great Britain. If you don’t have plans to travel abroad, then you should cook one at home. It’s always fun to step outside of what you know and try something different. In this case, it’s not that much different than what we normally have in the States, but it still gives you a feel for how other people eat around the world.

Have you ever tried a traditional full English breakfast? What did you think of it? I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on the world of food, sports and music!

Full English Breakfast

Traditional full English breakfast

London Bridge | A Huge Disappointment

Ever since I was a kid I remembered the lyrics to London Bridge is Falling Down. Well, I honestly don’t know the entire song, I really only remember the first verse: London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down. London Bridge is falling down, My fair lady. Even though the tune is about London Bridge falling to pieces, I expected the landmark to drop my jaw in London – but that didn’t happen.

London Bridge Pictures

London Bridge

The London Bridge is just another bridge. I was hoping to see something like the Golden Gate Bridge, but that wasn’t the case at all (it was far from it). My mom actually thought the Tower Bridge (the picturesque bridge on the east end of the river) was the London Bridge, so she was really disappointed as well. The London Bridge is as plain as they come. We were both expecting something more — much more.

Don’t get me wrong, the London Bridge serves its purpose by helping hundreds — if not thousands — of automobiles and people across the River Thames every single day. On top of that, the bridge has incredible history. According to Wikipedia, the first London Bridge was built by the Roman military around 55 AD. It was torn down and built up several times over the following centuries. Then came the old (medieval) London Bridge in 1176, which was replaced by the new London Bridge in 1824 (now located in Lake Havasu City, Arizona), which was then replaced by the current/modern London Bridge in 1973. It’s pretty unbelievable to read how much has happened on or around the London Bridge over the centuries.

London Bridge is Falling Down

London Bridge

With all that said, you would think the London Bridge would be deserving of a grand design, but again, that’s not the case. It’s actually pretty easy to miss if you’re not paying attention (I had to check my map a few different times to make sure I was looking at the right bridge). It’s very plain, but the London Bridge is still worth taking a look at (especially when you think of all the history there) — just don’t expect it to blow you away (you’ll get that from the Tower Bridge or Millennium Bridge (pedestrian bridge to the west) instead).

Have you ever seen the London Bridge? Were your socks knocked off by it? What is your favorite bridge in London (there are plenty of them)? I would love to hear from you! Leave a message right here, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+. And, don’t forget, if you can’t experience the world on your own; experience the world with me on http://allaroundtim.com.

My Unforgettable Trip To Europe

I just returned from my first trip to Europe. I spent 19 days bouncing around the continent with my mom (it’s a lot more fun than it sounds — I promise). It was easily the coolest vacation I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve only been back for a couple of weeks and I already want to get back overseas. I officially have the European travel bug.

I plan on doing several in-depth posts about my trip, but I thought I would at least let you get a feel for where I went first:

Tim Lewis | Cliffs of MoherThe trip started in Ireland. I stayed in Dublin, but I bounced all over the country. I visited the Cliffs of Moher (and the entire Burren area), Bunratty Castle, Galway and Kilkenny. If you like the color green — you’ll love Ireland! It was the first European country I ever visited, so it will always hold a special place in my heart.

The Royal Mile Edinburgh ScotlandThe adventure then took me to Edinburgh, Scotland. This is easily one of the most beautiful/unique cities I’ve ever seen in my life. All of the buildings are old and they’re made of stone. While it’s pleasing to the eye and packed with history, Edinburgh doesn’t bring a ton of fun/atmosphere. The views of the city alone though are worth seeing.

Elizabeth Tower LondonAfter Edinburgh, I flew to London. I didn’t plan on it, but I was there for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Weekend. That means London was packed with people and excitement. I’m not a royal familyaholic or anything, but it was cool to be in England for such a large event. I’ll never forget it. There’s tons to do in London without the jubilee, so we were busy.

Eiffel Tower ParisThe next stop on the trip was Paris. This was probably my favorite location of all. I can’t really explain why though (maybe just because it’s frickin’ Paris). It’s a beautiful place with plenty of awesome sights to see. There’s also the hustle and bustle of a large city. Standing on top of the Eiffel Tour at night, looking out on the “City of Light” is something I’ll always remember.

Canal Tour Bruges BelgiumFrom Paris, I took a train to Bruges (or Brugge), Belgium. This place is catered to tourists, and they flock here in droves. I wish I could have visited Bruges ten years ago…before it was a tourist trap. Don’t get me wrong; it’s an amazing place (especially at night when the tourists go to bed and the city is lit up), but Bruges is geared way too much toward out-of-towners.

Bikes in AmsterdamThe next stop: Amsterdam. This is a cool city. It’s aesthetically pleasing and it’s fun. That’s because the place is full of young, good looking people. It’s also packed with bicycles (they say more than 40% of all residents in Amsterdam ride bikes — and I believe it). Even if you aren’t there to party, Amsterdam is definitely worth a visit.

Salzburg, AustriaI then took a night train to Munich (an interesting experience), but then continued on to Salzburg, Austria. I wasn’t sure what to expect in Salzburg, but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s the birthplace of Mozart and also where the movie The Sound of Music is centered, so the hills (and city) are truly alive with music. It’s a little quiet for younger folks, but it’s a neat city to see.

A True Bavarian LunchAfter a day in Salzburg, I hopped a train back to Munich. That’s where I wrapped up my trip. I’ve decided that I belong in Bavaria. There are beer gardens/beer halls everywhere, and they’re loaded with people all day, every day. They serve massive Bavarian pretzels and serve bratwurst and/or pig knuckles. I truly think Munich might be a tiny slice of heaven on Earth.

Every city/country in Europe is completely different from the other. That’s what made my trip so exciting. You never knew what you were going to see next, and you never knew who you were going to meet (or if they could even speak a word of English).

I can’t wait to share more adventures from my trip to Europe here on http://allaroundtim.com. In the mean time, be sure to visit my YouTube channel. I posted several videos on there, letting you feel what it’s like to actually be in Europe. Like I always say: if you can’t travel the world; experience the world with me right here on All Around Tim!

Stay tuned for MUCH more…