Since I’ve just written my post about being back in the states for a year, I thought I would go ahead and write about a few of the things that I miss about living in the United Kingdom.
Primark, Tesco, and Debenhams
Oh.my.blob. Shopping in the UK was nice!
Primark isn’t as revered to others as it is to me. I remember singing the praises of Primark to a new coworker only to have another one say that Primark was bad quality stuff that would fall apart. And I was wearing a Primark dress that day. Burst my little bubble, but I still have and wear that dress today. I do think there was a good bit of not so great quality stuff in there, but if you really look, you could get some good stuff in there.
Tesco is what we would usually call the equivalent to Walmart. In many ways it is. You have groceries, home goods, clothes, and electronics all in one store. I loved getting fresh produce at Tesco as well as clothes and shoes for me and my husband and son. The little guy still has a pair of pants or two from Tesco that fit after a year of being back here in the US. And I can’t go without mentioning the cheap fresh bread that was delicious and selection of cheeses! Many a night the hubs and I would sit home and eat Wensleydale with cranberries and crackers. Of course with wine! Wine and cheese night!
Debenhams was bae. This was my favorite store in England hands down. They always had such beautiful dresses of which I own many. I really liked that the petite section was full of super cute clothes, many of which were from he same collections around the store. Unfortunately, here in the states the petite section is a code name for old lady clothes. Not so there and I love them for it.
History and Castles and Stuff
There is just so much history everywhere in England. A pub we liked to go to for steaks that you cook yourself on a hot rock was over 300 years old. We also lived not too far from Cambridge University which was founded in the year 1209 and is one of the most prestigious universities in the world! Ah! And besides that, there are castles and estates homes near and far to visit. In Bath (one of my very favorite cities), there is a Roman Bath house that is over 2,000 years old! How crazy is that
Proximity to Mainland Europe
Of course I have to mention how easy and pretty cheap it is to travel onto mainland Europe. We got to see so many different places because were so close. Europe is much smaller than the US so most flights were 1-2 hours to get to another country. Or you could cross under the English Channel on the Eurostar to get to Paris from London in about 2 hours. This is something I definitely miss.
This one is weird because after awhile, you get used to them that you don’t really notice them anymore, but now when the little guy watches a cartoon with English accents, it is kind of nice and I imagine it’s comforting to him being that he was born there and spent his first two years living there.
Come Dine with Me
Child, if you haven’t seen Come Dine with Me, get on Youtube immediately! This was my show y’all. The concept was to take four or five people from the same town, each cooking and having a dinner party for the other contestants each night in the span of a week. After dinner the contestants would score each other secretly and at the end of the week, the person with the highest score would win £1000. This sounds boring except part of the show involves the other contestants touring each others houses and throwing major shade. Also, on the occasion of sore losers, hilarity would ensue! Such a good, entertaining show. I really like just seeing what they would cook and their methods.
Ah, London, God love ya. I. LOVE. LONDON. That’s it! There is just so much to do and see and history and tourist traps and non tourist traps and good food and THEATRE! I went to many shows on the West End and sorely miss it. I would love to make it out there for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child this summer! If you’ve ever thought about visiting London, just do it. You’ll love it. Trust me.
As divisive as universal healthcare is in the states, it is just life in England. It has pros and cons of course. Often I felt like going to the doctor was a waste of time because you couldn’t get much done unless you were really, really ill. (actually, maybe that’s not that bad) But let me tell you that walking out of the hospital after having an emergency c-section with a bag of medicine and without having to pay for any of it was quite glorious. The entire maternity medical process is so streamlined.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
YASSSSSS! Okay, my favorite was recommended by a good friend (Hey Mai!). The brand is Cartmel and if I could get that here in my mouth that would be great. Bonus points for vanilla custard.
I feel that it goes without saying that I miss my friends and (some) of my coworkers. But I am saying it now. I miss you guys and hopefully will be seeing a lot of you soon!
Welp, these are just a few things I miss about living in the United Kingdom. I’m sure there are many more that I will likely remember only after hitting ‘publish’. Until next time,