The British are Here
Anglophiles in search of a nosh or hemmed in by COVID travel restraints can satisfy their cravings at these nearby establishments.
Good morning! Today is Wednesday, February 2, and you are reading today’s section of Examiner+, a digital newsmagazine serving Westchester, Putnam, and the surrounding Hudson Valley.
Need to subscribe — or upgrade your Examiner+ subscription to enjoy full access to all of our premium digital content? Details here.
It’s been a bloody long two years.
So, COVID be damned, my Westchester-based crew flew to London for the holidays to gather with family we’d been deprived of for so long. Once we’d masked, quarantined, and nose-swabbed our way back into the arms of the people we love, we headed to the parlor for a cup of proper tea (above).
That feeling, of returning to a culture we’d longed for since the world shut down, intensified with an accompanying crumble of a McVitie’s digestive biscuit. British fare. We were back and chuffed to bits about it. From mince pies to paper-wrapped fish and chips to pub lunches, cream teas, and that big, red box of Celebration chocolates, we happily and hungrily noshed our way to feeling whole again.
Now, back in New York, we feel renewed but miss our Cornish pasties. Luckily, there are purveyors right here that’ll help us get our cheeky fix. So, for those who miss living like a Brit or just can’t help but love themselves some hearty Scotch eggs at a picnic, check out these UK-centric local spots and quit your whinging.
The Hamlet British store in Mount Kisco. Here you can get your hands on all manner of biscuits, crisps, and treats including steamed puds (puddings) like spotted dick, for the fun of that phrase. Grab a box of Mars Celebration Centrepiece, a classic crowd-pleaser for gatherings. (Or maybe you're more of a Quality Street kind of person.) You can also choose from a great selection of vinyl records or find your favorite football club coffee mug.
Fancy a cuppa? Florrie Kaye’s Tearoom in Carmel has an afternoon tea that includes assorted tea sandwiches and their popular scones which come served with clotted cream, jam and butter. Or try the sausage rolls, bangers and mash or curry-tinged Coronation Chicken Salad and top it all off with sticky toffee pudding. For a hybrid classic, try the Union Jack steak burger topped with HP sauce.
McLean Avenue, Yonkers. OK, admittedly this is the Irish mecca, but it’s lined with shops selling all things British Isles, from parsnips and potatoes to chocolates and crisps. (Tayto’s reigns supreme here but you can find Walker’s too.) At its center is The Butchers Fancy, which makes their sausages in-house and sells comfort foods like steak and kidney pies and Cornish pasties. Don’t forget to pick up some Bramson’s chutney in the specialty grocery section on your way out. Across the street, the Irish Coffee Shop, Eileen’s Kitchen, and Moriarty’s Bar and Restaurant serve fry-ups like you want it (pictured below), with mushrooms, tomato-based beans, and black and white puddings. And who hasn’t gotten pissed with their mates on at legendary Rory Dolan’s?
914 Exotics in White Plains (and now Yonkers Ridge Hill) and Hudson Valley Exotics in Poughkeepsie is a veritable funhouse for hard-to-find international snacks. Cadbury Chocolates like Twirl bites, Flake, Maltesers, Crunchie, and Smarties are in abundance. Or go wild on toast with a jar of Bounty or Malteser spread.
The Bit in Dobbs Ferry got its start as a British gastropub called The Rare Bit (named for rarebit, a Welsh concoction of hot cheese sauce on toast). Though the pub concept has broadened beyond its initial Brit-centric beginnings, it should be on your radar for their house-made Scotch eggs and another classic: England’s most beloved national dish? You guessed it… chicken tikka masala!
As for that paper-wrapped fish and chips? Get a passport and feel free to whinge. No one on this side of the pond does it right. Challenge initiated!
Jena A. Butterfield is a lifestyle writer specializing in food, drink, travel, and interior design. Whether she’s traveling or not, she can usually be found washing down a hunk of cheese with a glass of Nebbiolo. A native of the land of Quahogs and chowdah, she lives with her husband and son in New York.
We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s section of Examiner+. What did you think? We love honest feedback. Tell us: firstname.lastname@example.org