As I sit down tonight to watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics I can’t help but think how many things I love are born in the UK. I was fortunate to visit London in 2006 when my best friend, Jesse and her husband Matt lived there. So, in order to celebrate the London Games, here is my Top 5 Favorite things from England!
5) Jaffa Cakes
Ever been completely shit-faced at 2am having gotten off the plane from the US, landed at Heathrow and went DIRECTLY to a party at a pub where the enjoyable Brits apparently played a game of “Lets get the Yanks drunk”? I have! Jet lagged, completely wasted, and my amazing best friend fed her drunken Yank the best COOKIES EVER. Orange gel cookies with short bread (or something) and covered in chocolate? BEST. DRUNK. FOOD. EVER!
4) Harry Potter
OBVIOUSLY. Initially I snubbed HP, up until when my nephews wanted to go see the second movie. And then I was hooked. And while I enjoyed Harry’s tale, the character I really enjoyed? SNAPE! Both in book form and in the movies (although we needed more of him in the last few movies), Snape was truly one of the best “Anti-Heroes” out there and his story is really what helped take HP to a higher level of suspense and enjoyment.
Graffiti Artist Extraordinate and mastermind behind “Exit Through the Gift Shop”. A legend of “Guerrilla Art” few people know who he actually is. I admire the humor and accessibility of his “art” not only in England but around the world.
Most of you know I am a HUGE “Torchwood” Fan! TW is as good as “Doctor Who” (a spin-off series, also happens to be an anagram for DW) and while the supporting cast is top notch, John Barrowman simply IS Torchwood. So perhaps you’re asking why then is just the show not on the list. Barrowman is an astounding actor. Much like David Tennant, he is theater trained as has a singing voice that sends chills down my spine. He is also as devastatingly charming (in interviews, etc) as he is in his portrayal of Captain Jack Harkness. If you want to watch the BEST 5 hours of television I have ever seen? Check out “Torchwood: Children of Earth” and see Barrowman at his best!
1) “Doctor Who”
You knew this was going to be top on my list. And if you didn’t, or you don’t know what “Doctor Who” is then shame on you! Cue up your Netflix and get on it! While I haven’t watched a ton of the older DW, I have watched almost all of the new (have to wait on Netflix for the newest season). Doctor Who is practically a British Institution, and rightfully so. Rarely have I come across a show that is better written, acted, directed or as completely original! I will admit, “My” Doctor happens to be David Tennant (Forever)!
Okay, since it is absolutely impossible to narrow is down to simply 5 things, here are some Honorable Mentions!
Monty Python—Honestly, its only not higher because I haven’t seen a lot of it. runs away
Alan Rickman – I love pretty much EVERY film he does, but I will always adore him as Severus Snape.
Beer—There was a beer, Smith something or other, that I had when I was in London. It was the best beer I have ever had. And if anyone knows what the name of it was, help a girl out.
British Breakfast – Sausages, beans, and who knows what else. It straddles the line between the best and worst hang-over food on the planet.
The A-Z guide book – Never go to London with out it!
Bond, James Bond – This one is for my friend, Ang, who has read EVERY book, watched EVERY move, and has 007 tattooed on her foot!
The Beatles – Well DUH. They were only not in the Top 5 because they were very obvious.
What are YOUR favorite things from Britain?!