The must-try food delicacies around the UK

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by Hertz - 12 April 2017

Eat your way around the UK – from Bakewells to bangers (and mash)

When it comes to worldwide foodie fame, many will look to the fancies of France or Italy's delectable dishes as the crème de la crème. Yet while it's a given that one of the great things about heading abroad is the chance to sample fine dining in its original setting, the UK more than holds its own in the culinary stakes.

So if you’re looking to rekindle your love of good food without travelling overseas, why not hit the road in Britain in search of satisfaction? We’ve rounded up some of the best British delicacies in our guide to gastronomy, UK-style.

War of the Roses

Bloody battles and sporting rivalries aside, there’s another bone of contention between Yorkshire and Lancashire – who serves up the best northern grub. And while the Ridings can lay claim to the iconic Yorkshire pudding – that crispy, golden staple of any Sunday roast – the home of the House of Lancaster acquits itself admirably with its Lancashire hotpot, a delicious lamb stew topped off with sliced potato.

One thing these proud regions do share is some of the country’s very best scenery, courtesy of the picturesque Pennines, the wuthering heights of the Yorkshire Dales and the beautiful Blackpool coast.

Chipping in

Another thing the coastal towns of the North pride themselves on is their delectable dinner – the classic fish and chips. First served in the UK during the 19th century, this classic deep-fried dish was prepared for the fishermen and workers who would transport their catch to towns around the country.

We reckon it’s a toss-up between Blackpool and Whitby when it comes to bragging rights on who lays on the best batter. But either way you won’t be disappointed. Between the old-school seaside town feel of Blackpool’s Golden Mile and the goth-tinged glamour of Whitby’s walking tours, neither experience is complete without this seaside treat.

Using only the freshest ingredients from local suppliers, such as Maris Piper potatoes, The Sea Restaurant delivers some of the best fish and chips that Blackpool can offer. Find them either just near the Winter Gardens in the town centre, or on the Promenade just opposite Central Pier.

If you're in Whitby then you owe it to yourself to see why the Magpie Café is a Yorkshire institution, with a spot in the Good Food Guide to boot. Look for the distinctive black and white building overlooking the harbour, where you can enjoy the fabulous views of Whitby while sampling their legendary fish and cips as well as a wide selection of specialities that use prime fresh local fish and seafood.

Raring to go

This isn’t your ordinary cheese on toast – the combination of flavours and rich cheese sauce makes Welsh rarebit one of the country’s proudest exports this side of Tom Jones. There’s some confusion over the claim that Wales was the first to produce this slice of grilled goodness, but a 14th century Welsh joke does have it that a batch of rarebit was used to distract a rowdy group of deceased people while the gates of Heaven were closed on them.

Whether you want your Welsh rarebit served with a modern twist or cooked up traditionally, there’s a number of different cafes and restaurants in Cardiff doing their (rare)bit to please. We'd recommend a visit to cheese specialists Madame Fromage, who have two locations on Castle Arcade in the centre of the capital. Here you can sit and enjoy cheese platters and real homemade food prepared in front of you, including a stand-out rarebit. 

Scots’ specialty

Scotland’s not without its great culinary traditions either – and for the hardiest of appetites, the great haggis dish has proved one of the country’s most enduring treats.

The ‘chieftain of the pudding race’, haggis is a mince containing sheep’s pluck (the liver, heart and lungs) mixed with suet, oatmeal, onions and spices to crank up the flavour. Traditionally cooked inside the sheep’s stomach, there was a rethink in the 1960s leading to the now-standard artificial lining.

While the Scots swear by Macsween’s haggis, available in all good supermarkets, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better dining experience than the haggis restaurants dotted around the likes of Edinburgh, or in Glasgow’s Ubiquitous Chip, a proud standard-bearer for Scottish cuisine since the '70s. 

Devonian delights

As one of the favoured rural retreats in the UK, Devon offers lush forestry, plenty of beaches and, perhaps most importantly, some delicious options for enjoying a traditional afternoon tea.

Like our friends in the North, there’s some dispute between Devon and neighbours Cornwall over how best to bring the cream tea experience to the dining table. While the Devon way is a scone with clotted cream and lashings of jam, Cornish folk traditionally prefer to take tea with a slightly sweetened bread roll.

Whichever one you prefer, there’s only one place to try them – so head to Devon for some historic scenery and plenty of countryside to lose yourself in. Exeter holds its own when it comes to the perfect cream tea, with some quaint tearooms such as the Welcome Cafe dotted around, plus a quayside view that will shiver your timbers. If you're down in South Devon then the boutique Salcombe Harbour Hotel is well worth a look, while in Torquay head to the Angels Tea Rooms at Babbacombe which boasts home made scones, local jams and Devonshire cream topped with a stunning view of Lyme Bay.


Speaking of Cornwall, there's more than just scones to sample in this corner of the country. Known locally as the ‘oggy’, the Cornish pasty bakes beef and potato, plus some turnip and onion, into its trademark D-shaped dough.

Originally baked for tin miners who wanted a cutlery-free meal on the go, the pasty has become an iconic taste both regionally and nationally.

Such is the pride in their produce there’s even a trade association based around the worldwide promotion of the Cornish pasty. But if you fancy trying some of these treats where it all began, head for the Chough Bakery in Padstow. Recently crowned Cornish Pasty World Champions, they source local ingredients for their prize-winning pasties, from Cornish beef skirt to vegetables grown just down the road.

While there, take a tour of the beautiful old mining areas which now form part of the UK’s newest UNESCO-listed heritage site, as well as soak up the spectacular views of the coast.

Stilton going strong

Cambridgeshire’s culinary contribution to our food odyssey comes courtesy of one of Britain’s best-loved cheeses.

Like its Cornish compatriot, Stilton must jump through a lot of hoops if it’s to be called Stilton – rules dictate it must be made from milk farmed in one of three counties and produced using a specific method. Strangely enough, Cambridgeshire is no longer one of those three counties, but the origins of the delicious cheese are worth some local celebration nonetheless.

The original blue-veined palate-pleaser was first produced at the Bell Inn in Stilton, where an enterprising 18th century owner named Cooper Thornhill began to distribute this new and wonderful product to the coaches who passed through along the Great North Road.

The blue veins are created using a special stainless steel needle which lets air into the cheese crust as it ripens – a week-long preparation that adds that distinct character.

You can visit the Bell Inn today for Stilton served in a creamy leek and potato soup, trickled onto a thick steak or simply as part of a cheese plate.

If we’ve got your mouth watering at the prospect of a memorable dining experience at any of the locations mentioned, check out our deals on car hire in the UK to make sure you’re never far from a fulfilling foodie delight.