Appreciate a little bit of Britain whilst in Orlando
If you are starting to miss your creature comforts, and have a hankering for some traditional British fare, then you are in luck! With a large ex-pat community, and plenty of UK tourists visiting Florida every year, the shops and restaurants especially cater towards holidaymakers and residents who are looking for a reminder of Blighty!
Walt Disney World
Over at Disney’s Epcot, take a stroll around the United Kingdom Pavilion. This themed-recreation is part of the World Showcase, located between the French and Canadian pavilions. Walk along the cobbled streets and admire the architecture built to resemble buildings from 1500 – 1800, which represent town, city and countryside buildings that you might see around the UK. They have even constructed a miniature version of Hampton Court Palace and a thatched cottage inspired by Anne Hathaway’s (William Shakespeare’s wife, not the Oscar-winning actress!) Warwickshire residence!
Explore the numerous shops in the area, which include The Toy Soldier, a toy and memorabilia shop selling Winnie the Pooh, Beatles, and Doctor Who merchandise to name just a few lines! Over at The Tea Caddy you can find a selection of British sweets as well as Twinings tea, while at the Historical Research Center you can look up the history of your surname and buy a coat of arms. While you are roaming the United Kingdom Pavilion don’t forget to watch out for quintessentially British characters from the world of Disney, such as Mary Poppins, Alice or Pooh Bear and get a photo with them!
Grab yourself some traditional fish and chips from the Yorkshire County Fish Shop booth (plus a pint of Bass Ale or Harp draught lager!) and find a seat by the English gardens and maze, or at one of the nearby tables for some alfresco dining. If you fancy taking the weight off your feet and are craving some bangers and mash as well as a nice pint of beer, then head into the full-service restaurant, the Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room, which is styled on a traditional Victorian pub. While you are in the Rose & Crown listen out for the pub musician, a piano player who will lead you in a rousing traditional London sing-along! Outside look out for the band British Revolution playing classic British rock – covering hits from iconic bands such as Queen, The Rolling Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin.
It isn’t just Disney embracing the British lifestyle; over at Universal the phenomenon of Harry Potter has brought some famous UK landscapes to the fore. Start your journey in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios, and marvel at the authentically-themed London Waterfront facade. Here you will find King’s Cross Station, where you can board the Hogwarts Express, Charing Cross Road, Leicester Square and the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre - not to mention the famous statue of Eros! If you are a Harry Potter fan, look out for 12 Grimmauld Place – the ancestral home of the Black family – where you will see Kreacher the house elf peeping through the curtain every few minutes!
From King’s Cross Station, hop aboard the iconic Hogswarts Express for a tour through the British countryside, before disembarking in the Islands of Adventure park next door. Over in the village of Hogsmeade you can stop off for a bite of traditional British food at the rustic Three Broomsticks tavern, which offers both fish and chips and shepherd’s pie on the menu, and then grab a beer in the Hog’s Head Pub at the rear of the Three Broomsticks.
PUBS AND RESTAURANTS
If you weren’t out at the theme parks, but still fancied some familiar homely grub, specifically fish and chips, then try out The Pub over on International Drive. They were awarded the title of Best Fish and Chips in the US by Greene King, and are proud to offer beer-battered haddock on their menu, alongside staples such as shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash. You can check out their extensive menu on their website. They also have a great range of popular British beers and lagers!
The Pub address: 9101 International Dr. Suite 1003 Orlando, FL 32819
Sundays Grill in Davenport also offers fish and chips, as well as live TV sports, entertainment and a traditional pub quiz every Monday evening. This bar and restaurant is owned by a British family who pride themselves on their characteristically British entertainment and food.
Sundays Grill address: 2414 Sand Mine Rd, Davenport, Florida, FL 33897
Over in Clermont, The Friar Tuck café offers ‘the best English food this side of the pond’. If you fancy a full English breakfast on a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning, or want to grab a traditional roast on Sunday from 2pm, The Friar Tuck might just be for you. There is something to tempt your taste buds throughout the day, from a BLT for lunch, to a chicken curry pie for dinner followed by bread pudding for dessert. Be sure to check out their menu to see what you are tempted by!
The Friar Tuck address: 16640 Cagan Crossings Blvd, Suite 302 Clermont, FL 34714
The Proper Pie Company promises delicious restaurant-quality pies, using a double puff pastry crammed with a range of traditional British fillings. How about trying the steak, potato and Guinness pie, or the intriguing shepherd’s pie in a pie? They don’t stop at just pies though – you can get freshly prepared fish and chips, as well as cream teas and cakes. You can also pick up some familiar grocery brands here as The Proper Pie Company boasts more British goods than you can get at any other store. With 70 grocery and confectionery lines, the store stocks British favourites such as Cadbury’s chocolate, Walkers Crisps, Weetabix and Pot Noodle.
The Proper Pie Company address: 145 Ridge Center Drive, Davenport, FL, 33837
The Proper Pie Company, however, is not the only place where you can pick up British groceries. If you are in the area of Old Town USA in Kissimmee, you might want to pop into British Isles Connection, which offers a selection of British-themed collectibles as well as imported drinks and chocolates.
If you are after a few items to help prepare a meal while in your villa there are locations around Orlando where you can get familiar British products, such as fruit squash, English mustard, brown sauce, tomato soup or digestive biscuits. Walmart and Publix stores both have an English section, where you can find these products, though expect to pay more than you will at home!
Enjoy a bit of Britain on your trip across the pond; you can even introduce your American friends to some traditional British foods! Do you have any other places to recommend? We’d love to hear from you, so get in touch!