Consuming Britain

Sagaform Great Britain Serving Bowl

Anyone who watched a even a minute of today's flotilla had to feel a bit of love for London. That sweet queen, not even sitting for a minute, taking it all in. Those lovely subjects, cheering her on, even in the rain. (Blasted rain!)

From Toronto, I clutched my British passport and sang God Save the Queen. (OK, so I didn't sing. But I did watch 30 minutes of it, and felt London tugging at my heart.)

So I'm going to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee by waxing poetic about a few of my favourite British things.

Nurofen Plus

Where would I be without it? Totally hungover. Available over the counter (but not without a grilling from the pharmacist), it's got a touch of codeine to go with the ibuprofen to take the edge of a whopper hangover, leaving one in a state even better than normal.

The Little White Company

At my house, we have Little White Company pajamas and hooded ponchos for the beach or pool in every size. Nothing competes, and given the compliments we receive on the ponchos, I'd make a fortune importing them for all our local friends.

Sagaform Britain Ceramic Serving Dish

Admittedly, this product is Swedish, but who cares. It's too much! I love it and want it, almost as much as I want a hooded poncho in size 5, and a back-up box (or five) of Nurofen Plus.

Boots (and Boots at Target)

I'd have to write a separate entry on how much I love Target, but there's no question: their partnerships with established brands are ingenious. The other day (on a cross-border shopping spree), I saw branded Nathan's hot dog paraphernalia for sale. You know, baskets, basket liners, ketchup and mustard holders. While I weren't tempted (I was too busy obsessing about the awesome outdoor melamine plates), I was reminded how smart Target is to make itself (and make itself seem like) a quality destination with these kinds of goods. And so I walk down the Boots aisle - even though I have plenty of No. 7's Beauty Serum - just because I can.


And on the topic of everyday stores, how I miss Waitrose! Never mind that grocery items (and such related items) are less expensive in the UK. But compared to Canada, they are by a mile. They are also, in many cases, better. And who would have thought the UK would do convenience food better than the land of convenience, the US? We still miss eating Waitrose's Easy to Cook Cured Pork Loin with Cheddar & Cream Cheese. Sure the sodium content was probably off the charts, but it was good and on a busy night, indeed easy to cook. But please, visitors, don't call it Wait-Rose. It's Wai-Trose.

Neal's Yard Remedies

My household has gone through two dozen pots of Baby Barrier, and our kids, now 2 and 4, have almost never had a diaper rash. And we have used it every day on both. I know, what a topic to discuss here! But it's truly incredible stuff.

Neal's Yard Dairy

One thing leads to another...and clearly all good things come out of Covent Garden. We can't wait to visit Neal's Yard Dairy when we return to London, especially at Borough Market (which really deserves its own entry here).

But I'm going to draw to a close here, and pour myself a glass of whisky from Islay. Just another fabulous thing to come from this fabulous place.

Have something to tell us about this article?