Posts Tagged ‘Cornish pasty’

Day 4

‘Ello, all! Today, our first full day in Cheltenham, has been our most relaxed day of the trip thus far. Although we still were able to get out and do some exploring, there were fewer items on our “to-do” list.

This morning we had an orientation meeting with our two wonderful resident directors, who gave us quite a bit of helpful information on adjusting to English life, as well as general information on how to get around Cheltenham. We are staying near the center of this town of about 100,000 people, and we are blessed with many public transportation options.

A street near our flats.

A street near our flats.

An interesting facet of this trip, which we discussed this morning, is the variety of minute, distinct differences between British and American English. For instance, what Americans call pants, Britons call trousers. What Britons call pants, Americans know as underwear. (Not a pair of words you want to mix up!) There also many, more benign differences, like how silverware is called “cockery”, a sidewalk is called “pavement”, chips are called “crisps”, cookies are “biscuits”, and English muffins are “crumpets”. (I got some crumpets from Tesco yesterday, and the English version of English muffins is equally delicious, though slightly more flexible and doughy than the American equivalent.)

One of the street flower merchants.

One of the street flower merchants.

After orientation, a couple of us went downtown to run some errands and generally explore. Cheltenham is well-known for being a center of excellent shopping, and it was neat to see the wide variety of shops lining the center of town. Laura Ashley, Dwell, Lush, Hotel Chocolat, and many other high-class brands have a presence here, as do an abundance of more affordable places, like Marks & Spencers. If I had more fashion sense, I would excitedly tell you about all of the new trends developing on this side of the Atlantic, so that y’all back in America could be ahead of the game…but alas, I’m not a shopper, and am currently unaware of the trends even in the States! Oh well. I guess you just have to come visit, to see the trends for yourself ;)

A street near the town center.

A street near the town center.

For lunch, Regan and I visited a small shop and ate traditional Cornish pasties. These “hand-pies” are warm, flaky turnovers filled with meat, potatoes, onions, and turnips. The first pasties were made in Cornwall, the furthest west region in England, which happens to contain many tin and coal mines. In the 17th century, miners’ wives would make these pasties for their husbands to take deep into the earth for lunch. Miners could easily re-warm the pasties by heating them on a shovel. Although today, people eat the entire pasty, the miners would discard the crimped portion of the crust because it served as more of a handle for the turnover, as the miners didn’t have time to wash their hands before eating.

Yum!!

Yum!!

I first heard about pasties a few years ago, and was quite excited to discover that a pasty shop was both close by and super affordable. A single traditional pasty costs only about £2.50 (about $4), and makes a delicious and extremely filling meal. I think we will be visiting this shop several more times in the coming weeks :)

Tonight, we have absolutely nothing on the schedule, which is a nice change of pace. However, tomorrow, Regan and I are leaving bright and early for an adventure! I promise to provide pictures and an update when we return :)

 

Love,

Taylor

 

PS – I was super duper excited to find that Tesco (our local grocery) has a POLISH section!! An entire 3-foot wide section of an aisle was entirely dedicated to many wonderful delicacies, the likes of which I’d naught seen in nigh three years. The very best part: they had black currant juice! I drank this stuff nearly every day back in Poland! Though this is a different brand, it’s still tasty, and full of memories :)

They didn't have Prince Polo bars, but this was the next best thing ;)

They didn’t have Prince Polo bars, but this was the next best thing ;)

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