A bra-fitting boutique, a Catholic oratory, and a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-inspired “inventor’s workshop” are among this year’s Shed of the Year entrants. The “lockdown” category introduced in last year’s competition has been retained, with several DIY bars created as pubs in England remained closed until coronavirus restrictions began to ease in April. This year, 331 entrants … [Read more...] about Shed of the Year: Bra-fitting boutique and Catholic oratory among Britain’s Shed of the Year entrants
A £5 million project to conserve one of the largest surviving narrative stained glass windows in the world has begun at York Minster. Experts have started to remove all 152 panels from the St. Cuthbert Window – many of which are nearly 600 years old – to be cleaned and repaired. The five-year program will also see urgent work carried out to replace and repair … [Read more...] about £5m stained glass window conservation project under way at York Minster and you can adopt a piece of the window
Four new stamps are being issued by the Royal Mail in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh. The black and white images show Philip, who died last month at the age of 99, at different stages of his life. (Royal Mail/PA) The first, a portrait of the duke as a young man, was taken by the photographer Baron, while the second is of Philip attending the passing out parade of his … [Read more...] about Royal Mail to issue new stamps in memory of Prince Philip
The Jaffa Cake is to hit shelves in doughnut form next week in the latest variation of the 94-year-old British classic. McVitie’s Jaffa Jonut is a doughnut-shaped ring of sponge with the familiar orange-flavored filling and dark chocolate coating. It follows Jaffa Cake bars and mini rolls as well as flavor variations pineapple, cherry, and passion fruit alongside the original … [Read more...] about A Cake Too Far? Fusion of Jaffa Cake and doughnut to hit UK shelves next week
Recently I’ve noticed quite a few Americans saying something “ticks all the boxes.” As with “gobsmacked,” I sometimes wonder if Americans know exactly what they’re saying when they use British phrases. For example, I know they realize that being “gobsmacked” means to be shocked or left speechless, but I’m not sure everyone knows that a “gob” is slang for “mouth.” (And let’s … [Read more...] about A Brit Back Home: Ticking All The Boxes or Ticking Someone Off?
This is not just any deep-fried cake; this is a deep-fried Colin the Caterpillar cake. A chip shop in South Lanarkshire covered the birthday cake in batter and fried it as part of a special promotion. The cake stunt at Emanuel’s in East Kilbride comes after Marks & Spencer started legal action against Aldi over the rival’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar product. Emanuel’s … [Read more...] about Colin the Batterpillar: Marks & Spencer cake deep fried by Scottish chip shop
A “secret squirrel” has been painstakingly restored on a rare 17th-century Flemish tapestry. The red squirrel was originally woven with wool and silk and hidden in the foliage of the large Enghien tapestry. The tapestry is one of two that resides at the National Trust’s Dyrham Park estate, near Bath. Conservation stitching underway at the National Trust’s Textile … [Read more...] about ‘Secret squirrel’ painstakingly restored on 17th century tapestry at Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire
In America (and most of the world), right-hand drive seems a perfectly natural thing to do. This is how many of us learned to drive and still do today. However, a few places on the globe are just a little bit different—and the United Kingdom is one of them. Left-hand drive is the norm for Britain, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, India, and about a dozen or so other nations … [Read more...] about A History of British Cars Driving on the Left
As Anglotopia readers know, the British drink a lot of tea. Per capita, tea consumption in the UK averages 4.3 pounds a year, and in Ireland, it averages almost five pounds a year. Last March, I wrote a column called Finding Comfort in a Cup of Tea, which discusses the many forms that tea drinking takes in the UK, from a quick mug of tea during a mid-morning break all the way … [Read more...] about Eating British in America: Exploring the World of Tea at Charleston Tea Garden
There’s a huge legal battle going on in the UK retail world at the moment. Marks & Spencer, that bastion of British High Street shopping (that’s Main Street to Americans) has filed a lawsuit against big-box supermarket Aldi for allegedly ripping off its iconic Colin the Caterpillar cake. Not only are they ticked off that Aldi is copying their 30-year-old cake design, but … [Read more...] about A Brit Back Home: The Great Caterpillar Cake Row – Colin or Cuthbert – Where Do You Stand?
The Wall Street Journal often gives style guidance to its writers, and it’s available on the website, under Style & Substance. These monthly bulletins have been compiled by the stylebook editors since 2013, and address a wide variety of topics covered by WSJ writers. Last week I clocked a tweet pointing out something that I’d never really noticed in my 27-year stint in the … [Read more...] about A Brit Back Home: Briticism versus Britishism. Who knew?
We really can’t get enough of trees. From enjoying their majestic green splendor to the enriching oxygen they provide, trees offer us much and should be a part of any garden. Of course, for the Anglophile, if you want to recreate the majestic splendor of English gardens at your own home, you’ll want to consider an English tree or two. There are plenty of these trees that … [Read more...] about Top 10 English Trees for Your Garden
England’s gardens are some of the best-known in the world. From naturally growing green spaces to the crafted landscape gardens of Capability Brown, you’ll find many different types of beautiful flora throughout the country. Of course, just because it’s over there doesn’t mean you can’t bring some of it here. Plenty of flowers in England’s gardens do quite well in the United … [Read more...] about Ten English Flowers to Make Your Garden a Little More English
Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from my book Adventures in Anglotopia, recently released in paperback. Details on where to buy at the bottom. This is one of my favorite chapters! The small town in Indiana where I live, LaPorte, was founded in 1832. Where I come from, that qualifies as old. My favorite town in England, Shaftesbury, doesn’t have a firm founding date. It’s … [Read more...] about Adventures in Anglotopia: Book Excerpt – The Age of Things (in Britain)
In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I'm highlighting one of my favorite Irish-American pubs, Fiddler’s Hearth in South Bend, Indiana. As a Celtic pub, Fiddler’s also celebrates the food, drink, and cultures of Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Brittany, and Galicia, which adds to the fun. I’ve visited dozens of Irish pubs across America over the years, and Fiddler’s … [Read more...] about Eating Irish in America: Fiddler’s Hearth, South Bend’s Salute to the Celtic Nations
I’ve been dishing up lots of soups, stews, and other cold weather comfort foods lately, and thinking about comfort foods reminded me of one of my favorite British kitchen icons: the AGA cooker. I read a lot of Mills & Boon novels when I was growing up, and I remember being mystified by the occasional references to AGAs. These seemingly magical appliances could roast a … [Read more...] about Eating British in America: The Iconic AGA Cooker
There’s a certain romance to kilts in our modern culture imparted by films such as Braveheart or television shows such as Outlander. Some people tend to think that kilts stretch back for centuries back to the days of Roman Britain, though the real history is much more recent than that. Since the 16th Century, kilts in Scotland have come to represent not only clan or family … [Read more...] about Men in Kilts: A Brief History of Kilts in Scotland
At one point the world’s largest sugar refiners, Tate & Lyle was formed in 1921 by the merger of two family businesses. One was founded by Henry Tate, who began as a grocer in 1839, and the other by Abram Lyle, who created Golden Syrup, an iconic British product still sold today in British grocery stores, in a tin with the original 1885 design. These businesses both ended … [Read more...] about Great British Icons: Tate & Lyle Sugar
When Americans first try to read up on British Christmas traditions, they’re often confused by Boxing Day, which always falls the day after Christmas. It’s not a religious holiday and there’s nothing to actually celebrate. So, what exactly is it and what is it for? Well, fear not, we will try to lift the shroud of mystery and show you what it’s all about. It’s Basically An … [Read more...] about Boxing Day 101: What is it and how do you celebrate?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGmOiccZFJM Every year since I started to branch out into reviews, I seriously considered writing a review of The Snowman. Somehow, I always failed to do so. Even when I somehow managed to find a copy of the original book at Costco and bought it, I never got around to reviewing it. But this year, of all years, a year where I prefaced a lot of my … [Read more...] about One Anglophile’s Take on The Snowman – An Exploration of a British Christmas Classic
Scots Gaelic and Scottish English are wonderful languages and anyone who’s spent time in Scotland can tell you that they’re a people who know how to swear. There’s something about the Scottish accent that gives an extra amount of force to curses and insults so much that you may find yourself blown away by even the mildest of offenses. Needless to say, Scotland has quite a … [Read more...] about Brit Language: Top Ten Scottish Insults
Frank Hornby had no training as an engineer, but he had a natural talent for working with his hands, and an enthusiasm for trains and models. He created a system for his son of sheet-metal parts that could be bolted together to make different models of cranes and trucks. Giving up his job as a bookkeeper, he started a factory to sell these kits, and he built an industrial … [Read more...] about Great British Icons: Meccano – A British Christmas Gift Staple For Generations
In the United States, voting is almost something we take for granted today. In 2016, almost half of eligible voters, over 100 million people, didn’t vote. Since this country was founded, the ability to participate in the government has been a constant uphill battle and the United Kingdom has known the same struggle. Hundreds of years ago, the only voice that mattered was the … [Read more...] about The History of Voting Rights in the United Kingdom
Jungle Jim’s International Market is both a multicultural festival and a supermarket on steroids. The Ohio landmark is the brainchild of Jim Bonaminio, who started selling produce from a truck by the side of the road in the early 1970s. Bonaminio opened his first brick-and-mortar store in Fairfield, Ohio - about 25 miles from Cincinnati - in 1975. The space has been expanded … [Read more...] about Eating British in America: Jungle Jim’s Caters to Your British Cravings
One of our favorite places to eat in Britain is Nando’s Peri-Peri Chicken. It’s amazing spicy chicken, grilled and marinated in delicious peri-peri sauce and served with amazing chips (fries). We’re lucky that we actually now have Nando’s here in Chicago, but because of Covid, it’s been quite a long time since we were able to go - and even longer since we were able to have it … [Read more...] about How To Make Your Own Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken At Home