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English for Travelling

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  1. At The Airport
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  2. Arriving
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  3. Staying At A Hotel
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  4. Staying At AirBnB Accommodation
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  5. Talking To Locals
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  6. Sightseeing
    3 Topics
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  7. Taking Care Of The Essentials
    3 Topics
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    3 Quizzes
  8. Food and Drink
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    3 Quizzes
  9. Pubs
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    3 Quizzes
  10. Safety Tips
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Lesson 9, Topic 2

Ordering Food

Gemma November 20, 2019
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You’re in a pub and you’re starting to feel hungry. This is a great opportunity for you to try some traditional British dishes. What should you get and how should you order?

You learned in the previous lesson about ‘Food and Drink’ that you may not see much traditional food in the restaurants you visit. Pubs are well-known for serving traditional food. Each pub has a different menu, of course, but there are some common dishes that you can expect to find in most pubs.

It’s easy to guess what the ingredients in some of these dishes are because the ingredients are in their name. For example, ‘fish and chips’, ‘soup’ and ‘steak and kidney pie’. There are some traditional dishes, however, that need a bit more explanation!

All day breakfast – bacon, eggs, sausages, beans, black pudding, toast, hash browns (fried potato cake), mushrooms, tomatoes. (These are common items in an all day breakfast, but it is slightly different in each pub.)

Toad in the hole – Sausages cooked in yorkshire pudding batter. (A yorkshire pudding is made with milk, flour and eggs. It is cooked in the oven and tastes delicious.)

Roast dinner – roasted meat (lamb/beef/pork/) with roast potatoes, vegetables, yorkshire pudding, pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon), stuffing and gravy. Often, we specifically mention which roast meat we want, and refer to everything else as ‘the trimmings’. For example, you can order ‘roast lamb with all the trimmings’. At Christmas, the meat is usually turkey and the vegetables traditionally include brussel sprouts.

Shepherd’s pie – minced lamb cooked with celery, carrots, onions and peas. Topped with mashed potato.

Scotch eggs – soft-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage meat and breadcrumbs. It is then fried to make the breadcrumbs crunchy.

Bangers and mash – Sausages with mashed potato.

Apple crumble – apples, butter and sugar baked in the oven. The topping is made from butter, flour and sugar. It’s called ‘crumble’ because the topping ‘crumbles’ when you eat it. Usually this is served with ice cream or custard.

Sticky toffee pudding – A sponge cake with toffee sauce. This usually has ice cream, cream or custard on top.

Bread and butter pudding – Buttered bread cooked with raisins, egg and milk. It sounds strange but it’s delicious!

Now you can read a pub menu and understand what most of the dishes are! How do you order?

Pubs are not like restaurants because there is no server to come and take your order. You need to go to the bar again and give the bartender your order.

Look at the dialogue below to see how we order food in a pub:

Dialogue 1:

A: What can I get you?

B: I’d like to order some food, please.

A: What would you like?

B: I’ll have a shepherd’s pie with some chips and my friend would like roast beef with all the trimmings.

A: Anything else?

B: Yes, we’d like apple pie and sticky toffee pudding afterwards.

A: Would you like custard or ice cream with those?

B: Custard for the apple pie and ice cream for the sticky toffee pudding, thank you.

A: What’s your table number?

B: Number twelve.

A: That’ll be £20, please.

If your table doesn’t have a number, usually the bartender will give you a number to place on your table. This will help them find the correct table to bring the food to later.

Again, pubs are different to restaurants so you normally need to pay for your food when you order it. This means when you finish your meal and want to leave, you don’t have to wait for your bill. If you are in a pub and you know you’re going to be there for a long time, you can ask the bartender to start a bar tab for you. This means that you can order food and drink when you like, and you pay for everything at the end. It’s common for locals who use a particular pub frequently to use a bar tab, but not all pubs offer this. If you’re only in the pub for a few drinks and a meal, it’s better to pay at the bar when you order your food and drinks.

Now, let’s order some food!