Of all the most popular holiday locations in the world, Britain occupies a key position. This is due to its rich and charming history that blends perfectly with its modern and cosmopolitan society. For those who love history, Britain is the place to visit. And there is no better time than summer 2015 to be in the country, when the weather is warm with sunny skies. It offers the perfect opportunity to explore the many ancient and modern attractions that this beautiful country has to offer visitors and holiday makers.
If you do plan to holiday this summer in Britain, London should be at the top of your travel itinerary. It offers a panoramic view of British culture as it has evolved over the past centuries. With summer being peak travel time for tourists to the capital, it would be best to book your hotel rooms in advance.
There are a wide variety of hotels that cater to all types of travellers from luxury seekers to backpackers. If you plan to travel with the family a good option would be The Shaftsbury Hotel, which offers comfort and the best of amenities at a very reasonable price. Another benefit of staying at The Shaftsbury Hotel is that they offer different travel deals and discount packages at different parts of the year.
Once you are in the city make it a point to indulge yourself and explore the many culinary delights that the city offers. Of all of them perhaps the most quintessentially British dish is fish and chips, which is universally accepted as being the nation’s export to the world.
How did this dish come about to being the most popular of all British dishes?
To begin with the potato is thought to have been introduced into the country from the New World courtesy of Sir Walter Raleigh in the 17th century. And the concept of potato chips is borrowed from England’s neighbours the French who are attributed with creating the fried potato chip.
The combination of fish and chips as a dish is claimed by both London and Lancashire, who lay claim to having invented this meal. Initially chips served as the staple food of those living in the industrial north whereas fried fish owes its origins to London’s East End. As a matter of fact it was Charles Dickens who even referred to fried fish in his famous ‘Oliver Twist’. This became such a hit with the public that it led to becoming the national dish!
The very first shop that sold fish and chipscame up in the North of the country and is believed to have been opened in 1863 at Mossely, close to Oldham in Lancashire. It was owned by Mr Lees who initially started his business of fish and chips in a wooden hut in the market. Later after his business prospered and became popular, he set up a permanent shop which carried the inscription in its window, “This is the first fish and chip shop in the world”.
Within the City of London the credit of setting up the first fish and chip shop on Cleveland Street goes to Joseph Malin in 1860. These shops were generally small family businesses that owners would run from the ‘front room’ of their homes and came by to increase in number during the late 19th century.
It was through the latter period of the 19th century and later that the trade expanded exponentially and served to satisfy the needs of all of those during the industrial revolution and after. Then with the invention of the steam trawler it became possible to bring in fish supplies from places as far away as Greenland, Iceland and the North Atlantic. This was further facilitated with the development of the railway that made it possible for easy and fast distribution of fish all over the country.
In fact, fish and chips became such an integral and vital part of the general public’s diet that a shop in 1931 in the area of Bradford, had to use the services of a doorman during peak hours to control the queue of people lining up. During the 1930’s the soldiers of the Territorial Army had fish and chips as a part of their staple diet,while in training before the war began.
During the Second World War,it supplementedevery family’s weekly diet and has the distinction of being one of the few foods that was not rationed. Long queues would line up when there was news that a chip shop had fish. Besides being great to taste the combination of fish and chips are a great source of fibre, protein, vitamins and iron. They provide close to a third of the recommended daily requirement of vitamins for men and more for women. For food which was once upon a time considered as being not too nutritious, it now has the approval of most health food followers.
So the next time you are in London, do not forget to drop in at the chippy shop and titillate your taste- buds!