Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Things I wasn’t used to when I first came to the UK – Food Edition!

Things I wasn’t used to when I first came to the UK – Food Edition!

Last week, I shared some of the things I wasn’t used to when I came to the UK (have a look here if you haven’t!), and today I would like to share more on this topic but about food!


• Food culture

Foods like bread, potatoes, and pasta are some of the staple food in most western countries. However, coming from an Asian background, we usually have rice and noodles back home, that’s why I wasn’t very used to this when I first came here. Nonetheless, I managed to adapt to this fairly quickly, and now, I eat more bread and pasta than rice.

Furthermore, you might have heard that Britain doesn’t have many good options when it comes to food; some may even refer to British food as ‘terrible’ on the internet. At first, I thought the same too. However, there are actually some well-known British foods such as full English breakfast, fish and chips and Sunday roasts, which I think you should try when you come to the UK. They are defiantly not as bad as what people say. Besides, since the UK is a multicultural country, you can find many restaurants selling world cuisines. From European, American to Asian, there must be one that suits your taste! Also, if you want to cook yourself, you can find a variety of authentic ingredients in the supermarkets and stores.

▲ Full English Breakfast

▲ Fish and Chips

▲ Sunday Roast

• Tea Culture

Tea is such a big part of British culture and people’s daily life, and you can easily find a whole shelf full of teas in the supermarket. There are so many different types of tea in the UK, black tea, green tea, white tea, herbal tea… and below each type of tea, there’s a variety of choices, for example, English breakfast, Earl Grey, Assam, Jasmine, Camomile, Peppermint, Ginger… it is impossible to name them all.

In Hong Kong (where I’m from), we do have tea culture, and people do drink tea in their daily life, but we don’t usually add milk and sugar into our tea, that’s why it feels a bit strange when I first saw someone doing it. There is even discussion on how to make a ‘proper cup of tea,’ and you’ll find a website teaching the ‘correct’ way of preparing tea in the British way. Should you add milk first or brew the tea first? When should you add your milk and sugar? Etc. I never knew that there’s so much knowledge around just a cup of tea.


• Expensive eating out 

Eating out in the UK can be expensive, particularly for students. Depending on the restaurant, on average a meal will cost around £8-25. Therefore, I usually cook at home as it is a lot cheaper to cook yourself and my cooking skills have definitely improved compared to when I first came to the UK!


However, sometimes we want to treat ourselves, or when we are hanging out with friends, you may want to eat out. I’ve some tips for you to save money when eating out or ordering takeaways/delivery – look/ask for student discounts! You can download apps like Unidays and Student Beans where they often offer student discounts on different categories and brands, including food & drink, clothes, beauty, technology…

Hope you enjoyed! Have a good week. Hoi


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