Category Archives: English traditional


Merry Christmas to all you love and peace on Earth for mankind

Merry Christmas to all you love and peace on Earth for mankind

Mince pies for Rudolph, a dram for Father C. and a present wrapped in sugar. Hope And Love to You ALL – Hope I have forgotten nobody!

Best of British- mes recettes favorites en VF

Pour mes visiteurs de France et de Navarre et tous ceux qui votent en ce moment pour moi -, voici un “Best of” de mes recettes British:

La recette anglaise préférée des Français: LE SCONE!

Ma recette “Pub” la plus réussie: LE PIE

Ma recette “feignasse du dimanche soir” : CHEESE ON TOAST


Et une recette en VF qui plaira tout particulièrement à vos petits:

LES YORSHIRE PUDDINGS, qui sont – comme leur nom ne l’indique pas- de petits soufflés salés que l’on sert avec une viande rotie et son jus. Ils sont inratables et délicieux et font leur petit effet en sortant tout gonflés du four!

Yorkshire puddings


Il vous faut des moules individuels en métal peu profond ou une plaque à muffins en métal:

  • 100gr de farine type 00
  • sel
  • 2 œufs
  • 225 ml de lait plus un petit verre de bière si possible
  • Beurre pour les moules
  • 1 c d huile d’olive
  • Cheddar rapé et origan

Bien beurrer les moules ou la plaque à muffins et la mettre à four chaud (250°C)

Faire un puits dans la farine et rajoutez les ingrédients en fouettant vivement.

Faire une pâte style crêpe assez coulante.

Sortir la plaque chaude et versez la pâte à la louche. Cette étape est très importante pour que les soufflés montent bien!

Cuire 15 à 20 min et servez dés qu’ils ont monté et sont légèrement dorés.

 Idée :Rajouter du cheddar ou parmesan rapé et une pincée de thym pour une saveur « à l’ancienne » un peu plus soutenue.

En Angleterre, ces petits soufflés accompagnent le traditionnel « Sunday roast » avec une sauce épaisse au jus de viande et au moins deux légumes vapeur.

Le reste de mon “Best Of” en photos:

Une pensée en gelée

Le cake aux fruits

Les Scotch eggs

Cheese on toast à la Harold Pinter!

>The Full English on French TV


Still from Marie Anne’s TV- with thx!

Our family breakfast was filmed for M6 in their magazine “100%Mag”and is now on replay at

Go and view if you want to know everything the French think of a full English breakfast!  There you can learn how to use a spurtle and make a proper Scots’ porridge. Tempted? You should be: it’s delicious and nutritionally very sound – they’ve even brought in a nutritionist to explain – told you!

Make your porridge with three parts water to one part rolled oats and a pinch of salt. Cook it on low heat while stirring until it coats the back of the spoon. Serve hot with a dash of single cream.
Offer sugar, honey, raisins, cinnamon, maple syrup, grated apple and lots of other stuff your guests can choose from and then make their own scrumptious version…
I like mine with agave syrup and half a grated apple, sprinkled with cinnamon.

Of course, in the course of the filming, I HAD to mention Marmite : love it or hate it but try it!
You’ll be a true anglophile when you do… I love it over a scrap of butter on a dry toast. It’s also nice with cheeses like cheddar.



On Friday, I spent the morning cooking a full English to a TV crew from a French channel (more on that soon!) and it got me thinking about Englishness and things… What is “English”?

Listening to the radio while cooking later in the day, I caught a young student who was wondering about “What constitutes English culture” and he clearly did not know… He even claimed “English” culture did not exist anymore. As a French woman living in London, I feel there is a strong national identity surrounding me. But how would I define it? So I wondered… and pondered…
…And listed a few things that are Truly English :
A full fry-up early morning in a greasy-spoon caf’
Bunting and cream teas, especially served at a village fete – or a Royal Wedding!
Tolerance and sympathy (preferably given with a cup of tea again)
The Monty Python
The red pillar box above
The class system – And being proud of it, whether you’re working class or upper stock
Public schools (that are anything BUT public)
Contradictions in terms (see above)
Feeling free to add new words to the vocabulary – and not being hung for these neologisms
A kind of stubborn bravery against adversity (as in the Blitz, The IRA Terror years…)
Absurd and charming eccentrics…

I was in John Lewis earlier this week (very English, that) and encountered a man who was putting up with tremendous care and patience little standing labels on multicoloured boxes.
-Could you please, Sir, tell me where I can find bedding and things? I ask.
-Sorry Madam: I am a customer! Says he with a short self-excusing giggle and he still progresses with straightening the small wobbly labels, in his steadfastly manner.
“Very English, I though: A polite refusal of service.”
He could just as well have been a true OCD afflicted customer, of course. Who knows?!..

So back to what constitutes proper “Englishness”… In her funny and well observed book “Watching the English”, Kate Fox tries to give a pretty complete answer in 400 or so pages! My radio caller could have done well to read her but I myself have the answer in three little letters:

“Tea-making, writes Ms Fox, is the perfect displacement activity: whenever the English feel awkward or uncomfortable in a social situation (that is, almost all of the time), they make tea. It’s a universal rule: when in doubt, put the kettle on.”

Trying to explain the components of the full English breakfast to the TV crew yesterday, I felt I never quite got to convey properly the delicate nuances and the paramount importance of tea-making in the English culture. Tea is what fortifies and bonds the nation, before you even mention the Queen. Republicans and anti-monarchists – if they exist- would agree with that: Tea is the essence of Englishness. Being of equal importance to a Chelsea supporter, a financier or a builder, it is the drink that suits every possible social occasion and every possible setting. It is “le mot juste” whenever a word is needed and even more apt when none are required. In “The silence of Colonel Bramble”, André Maurois, describes the return from the Front of two new recruits clearly suffering from post-traumatic stress and the Colonel first and only order is to “fix those boys a good cup of tea”!

The English like their tea either the colour and taste of cement with plenty of milk and sugar or a light golden brew with neither. It is the drink of choice with a full English breakfast or with an afternoon tea – two meals the English have mastered to perfection.
These are my own two favorite mealtimes, which is lucky because I live here!

On Sundays, my British husband proudly cooks up the traditional spread best loved by the children: fried eggs, black pudding,  Cumberland sausages, baked beans, roasted mushrooms, eggy bread and bacon rashers… The list is endless and frequently changing depending on our imagination or degree of hunger.

But whatever is prepared is always served with plenty of strong tea and lots of warm … baguette- this is certainly my influence, I confess. All in a spirit of “Entente Cordiale”, bien sur.

So where do you get the best fry-up in London? Obviously, in a “greasy spoon caf’, of which only a few remain around Spitalfields or Bermondsey markets essentially… I have one current favourite and this is where I took my French TV crew to sample a full fry-up: A quaint little number in Hammersmith, Plum cafe on Crisp rd, one of the best places to sample the best meal in Britain with the day’s newspaper.

PS: The pillar-box picture is from a sweet little blog called “Little devil’s adventures”, with thanks.

>Herne bay, a lifetime later!


Last week-end I felt like a trip down memory lane and took husband and kids out towards Kent, the Garden of England! It was there, in Herne Bay, that I spent the summer of my 15th year, age 14, and I wanted to see the place where my love affair with England had started… Nothing has changed… It is as good as frozen in time…

We saw the sea pavilion, the ice cream parlour, the bingo lounge and the amusement arcade where we wasted long, rain drenched, Sundays…

It was sweet, derelict and mildly nostalgic – just how I remembered it. I recall the excitement when we were taken on an outing to Margate and just how bad we longed to go to London and never did.
How I decided to come and live in England after that is beyond even my English husband, but I did… And I  still like the “Martin Parr” tackiness  of the place- even though every sensible soul seems to have deserted it… There I had my first cigarette on a rental bike, my first chinese in Canterbury (I am still talking food here) and my first taste of Thatcherite England, quirky and funny and ironic. How do you know you’ ve fallen in love with a country – and why?…

My “English family” were a lovely retired Welsh couple whose semi-detached house, furnished in brown velvet and flowery chintz was also home to a wealth of cookery books- despite the fact none of them seemed to ever cook… I brought back to France plenty of hand-copied English classics such as a recipe for lemon curd which was my favourite for a long time. It encapsulates this period taste for me.

Back home after our trip, I found a great lemon curd recipe from The british larder and made a pot of the fluffiest, tangiest curd. I now need to bake a sponge or some buttery biscuits to go with it!

Lemon Curd
This recipe will make 2 large jars. I actually used their thermomix version (see site) but this is the tradition one, word for word.

125ml fresh lemon juice
125g caster sugar
2 whole medium free range eggs
2 medium free range egg yolks
125g cold unsalted butter, cut into very small pieces
pinch of salt
Bring a medium saucepan half filled with water to a gentle simmer.
Place the eggs, salt and sugar in a metal mixing bowl, choose one that will fit comfortably over the saucepan without falling in.
Use a whisk to mix the sugar and eggs add the lemon juice and mix well.
Place the bowl over the simmering water while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, once the curd starts to thicken continue cooking for a further 5 minutes. The curd will coat the back of the spoon and you will be able to draw a path with your finger though it.
Remove the curd from the heat and quickly whisk the cold butter into the curd until it’s completely dissolved leaving the curd rich, creamy and glossy.
Transfer the curd to a clean container and place a piece of clingfilm directly on top of the curd to prevent it from forming a skin, let the curd cool.

For more British recipes :