Early on in our trip planning, it was suggested by some that the Boy Scouts would seek out any American fast food they could find in London.
The food situation was one of my biggest fears, right after one of the kids getting run over by a black cab.
You take a group of teens thousands of miles across the ocean to a foreign land, and then spend your breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Subway, McDonald’s, and Pizza Hut.
No thanks, I can eat that back home.
I told them how it was going to be. We would seek out British food at British restaurants and at least try to sample the traditional dishes of the country, whether they liked it or not.
Why travel if you refuse to try something new?
But still, I worried that there would be a rebellion within the group at the first sight of blood pudding or haggis.
I also worried about finding pubs and restaurants that would not only accommodate a large group, but serve decent food (tourist trap cafes are everywhere in London).
In the end, I don’t know why I was so worried, because one of the biggest successes of our trip was the food.
In fact, if you ask most of the boys what they remember most about England, it would be the food on their plates.
They ate bangers and mash, Yorkshire pudding, Cornish pasty, bacon butty, chicken curry, Cumberland sausage, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, full English breakfast, and…
Yes, they ate blood pudding and haggis.
And liked it!
Everywhere we went, in London and up north in Newcastle and along the Hadrian’s Wall Path, the food was not only amazing, but warmly received by the boys.
When we talk about the trip now, the nightly stops along the trail are marked by the memories of the meals we ate.
I’ve even heard that a few of them came home and Googled recipes for British pub food.
Here are some pictures of the glorious food that the Scouts of Troop 3 enjoyed during their epic hike on the Hadrian’s Wall Path. You can see that they were well fed.
Fish and Chips
Yorkshire pudding, with parsnips, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, green beans, chicken, ham, sausage, and beef
A demolished Shepherd’s Pie
Duck with plum sauce
Indian Thali platter, with chicken curry, chutney, dal, raita, papadum, and chapatti
Full English Breakfast
Blood Pudding and Haggis
Nando’s African-Portuguese chicken