By George, it’s almost the weekend! Whatever shall we do with it? For some strange reason, I’ve got a mind to nosh on some fish and chips, with a round of pints to follow with me blokes. If you are wondering what I am going on about, you must be daft. Haven’t you heard all the hullabaloo going on across the pond? What with the “Royal Baby” being born, it seems that the whole world has gone batty over everything British. Well, we’ve got a few English things right here in “little” London that are worth a gander too! Suss out these limey offerings, right here in London, Ontario!

A Taste of England In Your Neighbourhood

Olde London Fish & Chips

Established in 1994, Brenda Phillips opened the doors of Olde London Fish and Chips at 561 Southdale Rd E. Obviously not the only purveyor of seafood in the city, she enchanted our good citizens with her light, non-greasy batter. Of course her personal touches are what keep folks coming back for more though. It is a family run business that was born in Phillip’s blood, as her father ran his own fish fry business to boot. Her daughter Keri has gotten in on the action as well, serving up a mean mushy peas to order! If you are looking for homemade goodness, you’ll find it in their seafood chowder, traditional coleslaw, hand-cut fries, and fresh halibut to order. Tuesday, they serve all-you-can-eat haddock for $9.99. Wednesdays are 10% off for Seniors. And Sunday you can enjoy all-you-can-eat Alaskan white fish for $7.99! How’s that for a wee bit of some tasty grub for ya!

A Taste of Britain

Anyone up for some Spotted Dick?

Fish and chips aren’t the only thing the British are known for and the purveyors of A Taste of Britain can prove it to you. With two shops in London to choose from, I’d say that we haven’t lost our taste for the Monarchy just yet. Whether you take a jaunt to 1634 Hyde Park Rd in the north end, or wander down to 5-9 Southdale Rd E in the south, you are bound to find anything English that you might fancy. They have British sweets, Official Guinness Merchandise, Celtic jewellery, flags, rugby jerseys, English Premier League Football merchandise, Scottish Clan items, frozen meat pies, black pudding, and even a Bakewell tart or two! Oh, and don’t forget your tea and crisps, mates! They’ve even got Marmite flavoured bags of Walkers. Nosh on that!

London Landmarks with a Nod to the UK

Or you could explore one of the landmarks around London, Ontario that glean their heritage from our British ancestors.

Thames River, London, ON

  • For starters, there’s the Thames River. The English one is 346 km long, with our Canadian version stretching 273 km in length. They both run through their respective London’s, but the British river takes top billing for shipping and navigation purposes. This time of year, our Canadian contemporary supports movement of aquatic wildlife (like walleye, trout, bass, etc) and maybe a canoe in some of the deeper sections.
  • Hyde Park, London, UK

    Next up, you could take a drive out to Hyde Park. Here is another location that shares the same name in the UK and right here in Ontario. While Hyde Park can lay claims to being the biggest park in Central London, UK at 630 acres, it doesn’t have the same composition here. Oh sure, there are green spaces and the London Hunt and Country Club is located within its bounds, but that doesn’t have quite the prestige as being on the doorstep of Kensington Palace. A stop to the Bellemere Winery might perk you up a bit though.

  • Covent Garden Market, London, ON

    How about a little shopping at Covent Garden Market? In Downtown London, Ontario, you can get fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, baked goods, cheese, chocolates, flowers, jewellery, crafts, plus you can take part in one of many community events on the premises. There is also an outdoor Farmer’s Market on Thursdays and Saturdays from May thru til December. The Market’s history stretches back to 1835, but as you might have guessed, that is a far cry from our British counterpart’s lineage. There has been a settlement in the area where the British Covent Garden is since the 1st Century, with a 40-acre site supplying fruits and vegetables for monks at St Peter’s. It thrived for centuries, but came into disrepair by the 1970s. Today it has been redeveloped and now boasts 750,000 sq ft of retail, office and residential space.

  • We have a Museum London in Ontario and there is the Museum of London in the UK too. Both museums are FREE to explore! Why not check out the one here, before jetting off for your overseas exploration.
  • There are parks scattered across the city with names that are reminiscent of their British mates; Sherwood Forest, Westminster Ponds, Cavendish, Piccadilly, Kensal and Victoria Park, to name but a few.
  • London, Ontario even has a rugby pitch on the grounds of University of Western, plus a London Rugby Club. It’s a jolly good start to a sport that has been played in Britain since the early 19th Century.
  • Double Decker Ice Cream Serves Up Delicious in London, ON

    And of course we even have our very own iconic Double Decker bus that serves up ice cream at 663 Wellington Rd. The buses are a National Symbol in Britain, but represent delicious treats closer to home. Have you visited yet?

Do you have any favourite British haunts right here in London, Ontario?