What I Miss Most About the U.K.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “City Planners.”

“If you could clone one element from another city you’ve visited — a building, a cultural institution, a common street food, etc. — and bring it back to your own hometown, what would it be?”

This is a combination post because I thought it fit in nicely with one of the options from the poll I created for a Writing 101 assignment. You can see from the results of the poll that 3 of the options tied for 2nd place.

If I could clone the things I miss about the U.K. and have them all here, I so would! Here’s my list in no particular order:

  1. Marks & Spencer ~ M&S, Marks and Sparks, or whatever else people called it…a department store with a fabulous grocery store. I miss their food, which was almost always top quality and tasted sublime. If there was an M&S in my current town, I would not shop anywhere else.
  2. Caffé Nero ~ My P.J.’s Coffee of New Orleans equivalent in the U.K.! They served really wonderfully tasty caffeinated products of all sizes and varieties PLUS sublime pastries to go with the caffeination. My favorite was the almond croissant. If there was a Caffé Nero in my current town, I would happily split my time between there and P.J.’s. The ambience is about the same and the baristas were all so friendly. I’m still friends with one of ladies who formerly worked in my regular Nero café in Leeds. Last I checked, they’d arrived in Boston and I’m hoping that they branch out to the rest of the States in rapid succession.
  3. Airing Cupboard ~ Our water heater was kept in a closet-type space with slatted wood shelving above it, where we kept our towels after washing. It also served as a “dryer” for laundry that was still damp from hanging on the line because it was nice and warm in there. I know I don’t have to explain how nice warm towels felt after a shower in the winter. I lived without a dryer for years and didn’t even miss  having one, thanks to line drying and my airing cupboard. It was far greener to do laundry that way.
  4. Public Transport ~ I miss walking, the cheaper cost of travel, the socializing with friends I made after so many years of traveling by bus. Train travel was good, too. The Friends & Family Railcard made it affordable to see other cities in the U.K., without the worries of traffic or getting lost.
  5. The Countryside ~ Where we lived, the countryside was only a 5 minute walk away and the scenery never got old. So lush and serene. There were footpaths that took us through the fields, which made for lovely walks.
  6. Boots The Chemist ~ I’m well and truly spoiled by Boots because no other drugstore compares {except for K&B, which doesn’t exist anymore}. Toiletries, electronics, lunch items {Meal Deals!}, snacks, pharmacy, photo kiosks, toys, greetings cards, etc., etc. Their No.7 skin care range is highly acclaimed. I’m aware that Boots now has an online shop here in the U.S. {yay!}, but I still would rather “pop into” the actual store for whatever. Their reward card was pretty generous, too, which made it easy to accumulate points to spend.
  7. The massive varieties of chocolate bars and sweets ~ Cadbury, Galaxy, Thorntons, M&S and all the other brands I’ve forgotten already. I’ll never forget the first time I stood in front of the candy section at the local newsagent. As if there wasn’t enough back then, they seem to invent new varieties of candy bars, cakes and chocolate all the time, making it impossible to stick to one’s diet. But then I live close to New Orleans…so not a lot has changed. {grin}
  8. Paperchase ~ Anyone with a journal/office supply/stationery fetish would appreciate this place. They have a range of designs from “cute” to “beautiful” and everything inbetween. That they have an online store is great but, again, nothing like being in the actual store. Then again, maybe it’s better that I don’t have access to a store ~ the temptation to buy everything in there is far too great.

I’m sure there are a few things I’ve missed out, but I’m happy with my list. For now. I know an ex-pat or two who may or may not disagree with me. ? Care to weigh in?

Until next time…

10 thoughts on “What I Miss Most About the U.K.

  1. Loved it Carol! Yes I will weigh in by firstly agreeing with every one of your choices particularly M&S and Boots. The latter owing to the fact I am unable to find my favorite brand of razor blade in the Philippines! Spot on with the airing cupboard but it takes a non UK native to pick up on that one! Two personal “misses” are the football (soccer) coverage on Sky Sports and the high street “caff”. Every high street has a “dirty spoon” cafe serving a mountain of an English breakfast. It’s the only surefire remedy for hangovers 🙂 Sure don’t miss the cold, damp winters!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome! I feel like I did you proud with the things I listed. I didn’t watch sports, but regarding your mention of the high street caff, I concur. I hasten to add that I miss fish ‘n’ chips, too. The portions are ginormous and the “chunky” chips are divine. I liked going to the coastal towns and eating them on the pier.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hm… what do I miss about England, my homeland? In no partic order:
    “Real” bacon – Danish, double underlined
    Pork pies with Branston Pickle
    Those “two of everything” breakfasts in the cafe
    Proper football and Saturday afternoons at the match
    Medical coverage
    The beautiful countryside
    Family – my parents, my children, and my grandchildren, nephews and neices
    And I am GLAD to miss the English weather, oh and VAT…!

    Liked by 2 people

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