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

Cliffs Of Moher | Ireland’s Top Tourist Attraction

Ireland is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful country. Aside from Washington state (where I call home), I’ve never seen so much green in my entire life. That’s exactly why Johnny Cash wrote ‘Forty Shades of Green‘ on a trip to Ireland.  On top of all the green, there are a bunch of great places to see in Ireland. None of the tourist attractions are more impressive than the Cliffs of Moher though.

Tim Lewis KOMO Cliffs of Moher Ireland

Me at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

My mom and I only spent three days in Ireland, but we made sure one of those days was spent seeing the Cliffs of Moher. We stayed in Dublin and we didn’t rent a car, so we had to book a day trip through a tour group (the Cliffs of Moher are 165 miles southwest of Dublin). I would highly recommend doing the same thing. The tour group plans the entire trip for you (you can sit back and relax), you get to see several tourist attractions along the way, the tour guide shares great information, and lastly, you don’t have to drive on the NARROW roads near the cliffs. I don’t know who designed the streets in that area of Ireland (or when — maybe back when there were horses and buggies), but you can hardly squeeze cars past each other on a two-lane road. It was honestly nerve-wracking at times — and I wasn’t even driving.

I promise to share all the details about our day trip in Ireland in a different post, but for now I just want to focus on the Cliffs of Moher by themselves. They’re so darn impressive that they deserve it…

That’s what it feels like to be standing near the Cliffs of Moher. I shot that video to give you at least a glimpse of what it’s like to be there. Unfortunately, that clip doesn’t do the cliffs justice (even though I hope it still portrays how awesome they are). The Cliffs of Moher were honestly one of the coolest sights my eyes have ever seen.

Cliffs Of Moher Ireland Tourist Attraction

The Cliffs of Moher

Named after an old fort that once stood on the site, the Cliffs of Moher rise 702 feet above the Atlantic Ocean at their peak. The cliffs have their place in popular culture too. They’ve been featured in movies (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Princess Bride, and Leap Year) and several music videos (most popularly in Maroon 5′s ‘Runaway’ video). On top of all that, the Cliffs of Moher are the most visited tourist attraction in Ireland with nearly one million visitors a year.

There are tons of birds flying around the Cliffs of Moher, including puffins – I thought that was pretty cool. The birds make for a cool atmosphere, because you can hear their calls screaming through the cliffs. When add some tunes from local musicians (trying to collect a Euro or two from tourists), the smell of the ocean, and a cool breeze off the Atlantic, you have an experience that hits all your senses at the Cliffs of Moher.

If I’m ever lucky enough to visit Ireland again, I would definitely take a Cliffs of Moher boat cruise. I can only imagine how incredible the cliffs look from the water up. It’s officially added to my checklist, and you should think about adding it to yours as well.

Have you ever visited the Cliffs of Moher? What was your experience like? I would love to hear your stories! Leave a comment right here or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget: If you can’t travel the world; experience the world with me at 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…