10 Things British Expats Will Miss About the UK

When in doubt, grab some Marmite off the shelf. (Photo via AP)

Ditch Blighty for the U.S., and you may find yourself longing for the best of British.

1. Marmite
Actually, you can sometimes find the delicious brown gloop in U.S. supermarkets, although I’ve no idea who’s buying the stuff – other than the odd homesick Brit. Every American I’ve consulted on this has either never heard of Marmite or thinks it’s repulsive. Anyway, if you want to pick up a jar, try the baking aisle (you know, because of the yeast) of any grocery store. Expect to pay double what you would in the UK.

2. People saying sorry when it’s not their fault
Back home, if someone bumps into me, I’ll apologize profusely without even thinking about it. Similarly, if I decide to gallop headfirst into a fellow pedestrian, I expect them to respond with suitable contrition. Here, weirdly, it’s the responsible party who’s expected to utter the “S” word.

3. Tea (that isn’t Lipton):
The go-to brew in these parts is unthinkably vile to proper British tea drinkers. Lipton (*dry wretches*) has somehow managed to dominate the American tea market for over a century. Okay, you can buy other brands here but it’s still what every waiter pours out when this parched Brit orders a cuppa.

4. Room temperature beer
Here’s another British-born yeast product that’s been tragically misinterpreted by its American foster parents. Craft beers with cute names are huge news in big cities, which is exciting until you discover that they serve them up cold. COLD. Unless you enjoy a hypothermic top note, grasp your pint glass between your thighs for a bit. Eventually your body heat will free up some flavor.

5. Winding city streets
A fun thing to do in European cities is to get lost exploring their meandering boulevards and back alleys. When your landscape is broad streets that slot together at perfect 90-degree angles, like they do in countless U.S. cities, it’s not nearly as pleasurable. Then again, the grid system ensures you won’t get lost to begin with.

6. A National Health Service:
Insist all you want that government provided health care is an infringement of your human right to get sick and have no one give a hoot. I’ve tried paying and not paying for medical treatment and, shockingly, I like the version where I get free stuff – regardless of my financial status – better.

7.) Balanced news coverage:
If there’s a serious news show in the U.S. that provides impartial coverage (i.e. doesn’t act as a mouthpiece for a political party) then I’m yet to hear about it. British news fiends will find themselves longing for more balanced UK-style current affairs programs. Luckily, you can stream BBC radio here without breaking any licensing laws.

8. Sunday pub roasts
Some weekends, I’d even settle for withered, spongy roast potatoes and beef so old and grey it’s more likely diplodocus than cow. Of course, it would need to be served with warm beer.

9. Lamb
Having searched, unsuccessfully, for lamb in five New York supermarkets, I recently found myself wondering if the U.S. even has sheep. I certainly can’t remember seeing one. “But I’m sure they had them in Brokeback Mountain,” I thought. (The Internet was down so this wasn’t resolved as quickly as it might have been.) Later, Google informed me that America does in fact have a healthy ovine population. Where the sheep go on sale once they’re dead is still a mystery.

10. Marks and Spencer’s underwear
My smalls are in dangerous need of update but nowhere makes workaday lingerie like M&S. Please someone tell me which U.S. stores stock cheap, well made, no frills lady things. All the American knickers I’ve fondled so far are either poor quality, uncomfortably slutty or too high end for mooching about in.

Anything you’re missing right about now?

Ruth Margolis

Ruth Margolis

Ruth is a British freelance journalist who recently swapped east London for Brooklyn. She writes about TV for Radio Times and is working on her first novel.

See more posts by Ruth Margolis
  • Claire Barrett

    Great list! I’m driven to the point of madness with news coverage and thank goodness BBC radio and the Internet. Lamb here is more like mutton and needs to be cooked as such and I’m more than happy to pay the reasonable delivery charge to get the necessities from M&S!

  • Cass

    What about the full English Breakfast? I’ve been here nearly 4 months in California now and I just miss it oh so much!! Along with squash, real bread and don’t forget kebabs (they just aren’t the same here)! Oh and I forgot to say pork sausages. I’ve never missed bangers and mash as much as I do now.

    • Leesa H. Martinez

      If you are in Southern Ca. the best place for anything British is…. The Kings Head in Santa Monica. They started out as a pub in the 70′s and now take up the whole block with a restaurant and a shop. I had breakfast there about 5 years ago and it was excellent. I don’t know who owns it now but it was started by Brits who did everything right, worth the trip.

    • pelle34lindbergh

      Don’t suppose you HAVEN’T tried ordering the “Full Monty” instead? Say good-bye to No-Cal So-Cal forever.

      Nah! Too bloody obvious.

      OR…just go to them that there res-tore-aunts that Gordon F******* Ramsay has dropped a bit of the Best of British on already. You’d be surprised what they’d add to the menu. After they call Gord-o on his pvt. cell phone. Of course.

      Gotta go. Just hit 43C in Saint Louis. MO

      Funny…I had that # just a min. ago. Too bad none of us miss taking the piss.

  • Laura Thornton

    Born American and I like Marmite but I’ll agree it’s an aquired taste. The thing I miss, and I’ll grant you it’s stupid, are the tiny teaspoons and hot plates. Dumb I know but it is what I miss.

  • Mark Smith

    The healthcare situation here makes me cry. Had to endure some awful, awful times since 2009 because of non-preventable disease, yet voicing such notions makes me a communist, apparently. If only a well-needed sanity break in the UK didn’t cost so many thousands in airfares…

  • Pauline Wiles

    Baked beans, decent bacon, skiving off work to watch Wimbledon, Bonfire night, the Boat Race, Eurovision song contest, the National Trust, being able to vote, Terry Wogan, and a HUGE miss to John Lewis.
    But, I love living stateside. Truly. ;)

    • Pam

      I always go to John Lewis in London when I’m home. And Peter Jones’s rooftop cafe!

    • Snowbritnj

      All of the above, oh & chocolate!

  • Just Sayin’

    You can get good knickers, not too pricey, at The Gap Body.

  • Pam

    Oh yes Pauline! How I miss a delicious bit of back bacon and unadulterated/unsweetened baked beans! I really miss a nice cafe with dainty pastries too – I live in a semi-rural area where there’s not much choice. In-store cafes in general. In fact, an M&S cafe would do fine!

    • Snowbritnj

      I enjoy American streaky bacon but long for a bacon butty with HP sauce!

  • dw

    “Balance” and “impartiality” are often in the eye of the beholder. Nevertheless, if you want BBC-style news coverage, then NPR (on the radio) and PBS (on TV) are pretty similar. If anything, PBS is more serious than the BBC.

  • NYCAnglophile

    Jockey For Her makes nice 100% cotton underwear for women, IMHO. You can find them in most major department stores.

  • Anne

    In NYC, Fairways stock Yorkshire Tea (and Yorkshire Gold), PG tips, Birds Custard Powder, Marmite, pickled onions – and numerous other odd British stuff. Trader Joes and Fresh Direct have lamb, although beware it can be more mutton than lamb. The only chicken I have found that tastes anything like a UK organic chicken is from Fresh Direct, brand Epicurean Farms. There’s also Meyers of Keswick, a dedicated British store in the West Village and if you give them a call they can ship within the US.
    As for M&S – its a £15 flat fee to ship to the US so stock up on the hosiery, pants, and anything else you fancy to your hearts content.

    • sally

      You can now buy delicious, organic, fresh(not previously frozen) lamb from Wholefoods. Tastes better than alot of lamb from many supermarkets in the UK!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/George-Parker/521958053 George Parker

      Meyers of Keswick make the best pork pies and sausages in the world. When I lived in the Village, I scarfed them daily. Now I live in Idaho, so have to get them FedExed. Oh, and the canned (tinned) baked beans here taste like there’s a pound of sugar in the can.
      Cheers/George

  • Natalie Dunn

    I’ve been in the Washington DC area for 20+ years and have managed to find pretty much everything on that list (bar the NHS – even your M&S knicks can be purchased via MarksandSpencer.com) but the ONE THING I crave is proper fish & chips. Oh, what I wouldn’t do to be able to pop down the street to the local chippy!!

  • Allie

    I’m an American (my family shipped over in the mid 1600s, so very American!), and I think Lipton is the most vile crap I’ve ever tasted. I bring my own tea when I go on vacation.

  • Surrey

    Sausages!!! Fortunately, I can find Marmite, Bird’s custard, Branston pickle, and lamb ( which really doesn’t taste as good as back home) but I SO long for some real English bangers! Nothing…I mean nothing… even comes close to those, here in USA.
    Oh, and yes, of course… real British fish and chips … and fabulous Indian takeaway (delivered! ) … cream teas – real scones smothered in jam and clotted cream ….. English sweets, cakes, bread and pastries…
    …. little villages, the countryside, the seaside, tea shops…. sigh…

  • thenurse

    I’m American, but I crave the pre-packaged sandwiches I had while visiting. I have yet to find anything close to the light-brown bread that was used in them.

    Also, the beer – and I’m not even a beer drinker.

    Re: lamb, have you tried butcher shops or middle eastern/halal markets? That’s where find it locally. Sam’s Club apparently carries some as well.

    • http://twitter.com/Bigfatreddawg Mary Watts

      I miss those sandwiches so much, and not being able to find a comparable bread I am not even able to make my own :(

  • Liz

    1. Has to be NHS – I tell everyone I know that they have no idea what they are missing. After nearly 30 years they are beginning to listen.
    2. Chocolate – Cadbury’s and Galaxy. Minstrels oh how I miss Minstrels. Thank goodness they have wised up at LHR and LGW and sell them in the Duty Free shops now. Forget the perfume we wan t chocolate.
    3. M&S undies and 100% cotton PJ’s – yes I still bring them over every time I return to Britain.
    4. The sea breeze, misty mornings, cool summers and mild winters. Yes I miss the weather.
    5. Being able to open your windows with no screens and no loss of a/c.

    • Snowbritnj

      Liz,
      I love you!!!
      Minstrells….

  • Blodwyn

    Most foodstuffs and clothes I can find in Houston or bring back on a return visit from the UK. What I can’t bring back are long term friends and family. I’d also like to import a healthy dose of a ‘British sense of humour’!

    • http://www.facebook.com/HopeJustMe Hope Hughes

      LOL understandably most of us Americans do not appreciate British humour, however some of us thrive on it.

  • sally

    Costa coffee shops and Nero’s cafes… delicious coffee all served in non paper cups!

  • Fred

    I’m an American married to a Brit and lived in Suffolk 2005-2009. First Marmite and room temperature beer – I repeat, I’m American; ’nuff said. I believe Americans are not tea drinkers or lamb eaters because what we get here is so vile; but times are changing! I agree with DW – PBS and NPR are BBC’s equals; the rest are poor quality. I respectfully disagree with comments about the US healthcare vs NHS. I have plenty of evidence that once an illness or health issue is known, the NHS is second to none. However, where US private insurance is far superior is the great annual physical – which detects many issues BEFORE they become a problem – example, we weren’t back in the States 2 months before my wife had a physical, and cancer was detected – caught in time. OVERALL? I’d rather live in the UK – your pubs and public pathways are the best in the world!

  • Christine

    IS this annual physical free, then? Because I have lived here over a year and have insurance but no-one told me I could have a physical.

  • Jess

    Jam tarts, cadbury cream eggs, MONSTER MUNCH! Oh, and wotsits and hula hoops, why can’t Americans make good crisps? Malteasers, sticky toffee pudding, and of course custard, flapjacks, chocolate buttons… wow I must sound like a huge fat person but truly I am not, I just miss my UK food.

    I miss shopping at New Look, Primark, Warehouse… I miss affordable clothing that is stylish. No one does high street shopping like the Brits.

    Cafes. That serve a proper English breakfast. And while we’re at it, HP sauce.

    But most of all, and I’d give up all that food for this, the NHS. I could cry when I think of how I took it for granted. I can’t stand how we have to think twice before even calling the Dr cos I have to think if I can afford it. I love America, I love my American boyfriend and my job in the sunshine state of Florida, but if anything sends me home, it will be the USA healthcare system.

    • http://www.facebook.com/michaela.shannonsank Michaela Shannon-Sank

      Amen to that! I’m only tied here by my husband and kids!

  • Chris

    Here in California we can get Lamb at Costco and many British things (especially Bacon) at Fresh & Easy and Haddock at Trader Joes. However, one of the biggest misses is Steak and Kidney pie/pudding. Fortunately, we have have a British pub and shop in our city (never knew this when I first moved here!) so I don’t have to miss much. The major supermarkets now sell Tetley Tea Bags so it’s almost home from home. Unfortunately the NHS is priceless and I can’t afford that!

  • SARA

    I second Fairway in NYC area. They even have my favorite – cheese and onion :)

  • pelle34lindbergh

    Only Lipton Tea? Really.

    Actually, that really IS taking the piss. Unless you just got off BA (or Emirates, you peasant) — any and all natural food stores carry tea that somehow isn’t named for some Irishman. (Even if he was an “Orangeman”)

    As for restaurants…BYOT!

    You can find nearly all your faves in the proper whole leaf in those very same natural foods stores. If not, more often than not, they’ll start stocking one or two proper Indian teas leafy.

    Then…just order the pot of hot H2O when in any proper restaurant. And…make sure you pull out your “strainer” and PROPER snuff box carrier when the hot water shows up.

    As for yanks not apologising — no matter what — you just need to move to a smaller Yank town. The descendants of the folks of the commons and The Great British North apologise there a’plenty since once their British ancestors flew into Ellis Island on the boat. Just like they did before going to big cities like Gotham, Zenith, and, of course, New Suffragette.

    If only Americans would say “proper” more. Then I’d feel like apologising more. And no AA Rosettes has got to go.

    • colinmeister

      “Hot” water does not make good tea. The water has to be boiling, and this is why tea in American cafes, diners and restaurants is never good. A good take on this is the song T.U.S.A. by Masters of Reality and featured on their album “Sunrise of the Sufferbus” Ginger Baker, drummer from Cream, features strongly. The song is on You tube.

  • e.yarus

    Finding lamb. Check out middle eastern neighborhoods and you will find real, live butchers and plenty of lamb.

  • tallichair

    There’s lamb in my local Safeway. It’s also served in plenty of restaurants. You’d be hard-pressed to find mutton, though. We don’t really eat sheep. They’re for wool. ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.spencer.1671 Sarah Spencer

      The Navajo in AZ and NM eat sheep. Mutton prices on the Rez are much cheaper too. Lot’s folks raise they’re own.

  • ian

    Bacon…not this crispy fatty stuff here…I know you can get the good stuff in NYC but not down here in Florida

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pat-Weiser/1202604084 Pat Weiser

      Go to the butcher shop for some thick cut butcher bacon. It’s pretty close.

  • Scully

    Black pudding, the wonderful drama that is on BBC TV (hint, hint), and top of the list has to be Radio 4. The World Service just isnt the same.

    • Annie

      Try the TuneIn app for iPod or iPad. You get all the BBC radio channels plus loads more local radio streaming live with recording abilities! All legal and above board; it’s how I survive living here.

    • http://twitter.com/slade37 Slade Simon

      The BBC Radio Player app for my Windows Phone streams many of the BBC Radio channels. Even with the free version, I get 7 stations – Radio 1, 1xtra, 2, 3, 4, 4 LW, and 4 Extra. 74 stations on the full version. …and sorry… I just noticed the World Service logo on 4 and 4 LW tonight. I don’t recall seeing it before.

    • http://www.facebook.com/HopeJustMe Hope Hughes

      Hello Scully, it is actually very easy to be able to watch BBC and listen to Radio 4, if you obtain a program that will give you an UK ip address. I have been watching BBC iplayer and Channel 4 about two years now. Not much American television is of interest to me other than a couple cable shows. Love the British humour and drama shows. Line of Duty, Mad Dogs and 8 Out of 10 Cats are some favs.

      • Sue

        Hope, what is the programme you download to get a UK ip address? Thanks.

  • Snowbritnj

    I miss proper biscuits somehow although supermarket shelves are stacked along huge aisles, it’s still with only a few choices. Bigger is most definitely NOT necessarily better! & I haven’t even mentioned chocolate yet!!!!!

  • Stuart

    Sausages …. that’s probably the biggest thing. And while I can buy a small selection of imported things from my local Publix it still costs me almost $5 for a tin of Devonshire Cream Custard. Whenever I visit family, I devote a whole day for a trip to Tescos where I fill an entire suitcase with food LOL!
    Oh – and pick ‘n’ mix Jelly Babies.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1569220352 Alison Millar

      If you are willing to pay the price at Publix and I do Irn Bru $1.99 a bottle! Really miss Scottish Meat pies!! also M&S for sure and tescos!!!

  • Megan Timperley

    I’m American, but I adore real tea. Lipton is disgusting. I’d have to say what I miss most is proper fish and chips, which I can’t find anywhere near me to compare with the stands that sell it in London, and Cadbury candies that aren’t caramello bars. I go to the local Middle Eastern markets for lamb, though the meat is usually pre-frozen there.

    • Skwerl

      Rejoice Ms. Megan…amazon is where I get proper teas [loose & bag] and UK nibbles- well priced and shipped to you. Also if there is a Christmas tree store near you you can get Walkers biscuits and those tasty Cadbury fingers obscenely cheap. If you are in the northeast- Stop and Shop carries a great selection of Cadbury chocolates, and cookies from around the world- even chocolate digestives. No dice on fish and chips though.

    • Cynical

      Lipton is the drink of the Gods!

      • K_L_Carten

        Lipton is the worst, try a good loose leaf tea and you will never use Lipton again. It’s ok for ice tea but it awful for a cup of hot tea.

  • QPR2000

    I would settle for some good Prawn Cocktail and Smokey Bacon crisps on a consistent and relatively cheap basis. The availability of the same flavours in the Pringle cans would be even more appreciated along with a good Vimto to wash it all down.

  • Pamela

    M & S stores, especially the prepared foods. NEXT for the little ones, sticky toffee… propoer fish and chips…. steak and ale pie, proper sport channels, I could go on and on….

  • colinmeister

    I really miss buying quick lunches from supermarkets. Pork pies, Scotch eggs and sausage rolls are the things I miss most.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pat-Weiser/1202604084 Pat Weiser

      You’re going to the wrong supermarkets. Granted the menu is not the same, but from my local supermarket I can get a rotisserie chicken, fried chicken by the piece, pizza, sushi, egg rolls, spring rolls and lots of salads for lunch.

      • colinmeister

        Sorry, but I don’t like chicken, pizza, egg rolls, spring rolls or salads, and the sushi in supermarkets is mostly rolls, which I don’t like either. I do like the British foods I mentioned. Basically, I don’t care for many American or Chinese/American foods. I don’t eat out in American restaurants much, and cook most of my food at home – in the British style. I know, I should buy a one way ticket home!

        • RJ

          How about sandwiches, soups, or pasta dishes? The cafe/deli area at Whole Foods has a lot of options, hot and cold. Might be worth a try.

  • David Eccleston

    I love MARMITE. And our local grocery (PUBLIX) stocks it in two different aisles!

  • Gr8snoring

    Dark Chocolate Digestives! Cheese — good cheddar, wensleydale, stilton. American cheese tastes like soap.

    • Nicki

      Then you haven’t tried good Wisconsin cheese! We have more artisan cheesemakers than any other state and have won world awards.

      • alyceskye

        Then you haven’t tried british Stilton–always voted the best cheese in the world.

        • Nicki

          As a matter of fact, I have tried British Stilton and I am quite fond of it, as well as many other British cheeses. We love our cheese in Wisconsin, but we import, too;)

    • Surrey

      You can buy Dark/Plain chocolate Digestives ( plus Penguins, Branston, marmite, custard, paxo, mushy peas, and a number of English chocolate bars, etc. ) in World Market. It’s a chain but I don’t know how many stores there are in USA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/debbie.napier.14 Debbie Napier

    I love tea. It was actually my local tea shop that turned me on to PG Tips, my favorite. Most restaurants I’ve visited are glad to serve me other than Lipton which, I agree, is not as good, though as iced tea I like it. But that seems to be an American thing. I mostly travel on the West Coast where Tea is almost as personal as coffee. Also, try Jockey for good underwear, not as cheap probably as M&S but well made, and long lasting.
    I do miss Hula Hoops, Irn Bru and Sticky Toffee Pudding! Oh and Good Bacon, we eat crap bacon in America!

    • Bob Gilbert

      I visit the UK frequently, mostly stay in London and find when I order tea in cafe’s or restaurants, it is a Lipton tea bag I find in most cases, however upon returning to the US always buy Harrod’s tea at LHR.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/George-Parker/521958053 George Parker

    On my post about Meyers of Keswick (best Pork Pies in the universe) I forgot about their fifteen minutes of fame when Molly the cat got stuck behind a wall for as week, and the NYC fire dept had to dig her out. She’d been eating to many pork sausages.
    Cheers/George

    • RJ

      Hilarious! I’m sure the NYCFD enjoyed that. Poor Molly :-(

  • Deborah Lehman

    I have been here in the US for 26 years, and I’m one of the lucky ones that live 5 miles from the border of Canada.
    I also shop online at UK Goods in Delaware, GREAT folks, get just about all you need, crisps by the case load:):)
    I agree regarding the tea here…witches pee! GOTTA have a rolling boil for ya tea, just cannot get the local “tea” shops to understand (“But the customers will burn their mouths”…learn to sip it then as we do)
    I admit, I miss the NHS….those on welfare here get better treatment than those of us lucky to have a company that helps us pay for our healthcare.

  • http://twitter.com/cbusadventures Cbus Food Adventures

    I live in Columbus Ohio and it’s pretty easy to find lamb here both from local farmers and from Middle Eastern, African and Indian butchers.

    Luckily we have some good Pakistani and Indian restaurants too.

    I miss sausage rolls, bonfire night, Easter eggs and crisps like hula hoops, Wotsits & KP skips.

    Some of the things that people mentioned are easy for me to find here – at stores like World Market or as internet downloads (Radio 4 podcasts, Masterpiece theatre)

    • http://www.facebook.com/HopeJustMe Hope Hughes

      For anyone interested in watching UK programming online, it is as simple as downloading a free program to obtain an UK ip address. About 75% of my entertainment are shows from the UK aired online via BBC iplayer, Channel 4 etc. American television is mostly an embarrassment, other than a few cable shows. No one does it like the Brits. Btw where are all of these glorious British chaps in the US, definitely have a leg up over American men imho. :o)

      • Hannah

        As an American, I feel like I should apologize for our terrible TV. There are several shows that aren’t too terrible, but it’s nothing like what the UK has.

  • mikithinks

    Mmmmm Mushy peas and steak and kidney pies.

  • Jen

    Fish and chips from local chippy with curry sauce

  • joodle

    NHS – even with all its problems – has to be top of the list. After a minor accident recently, my assorted co-pays for ambulance, ER and doctors came to over $500.

    Sliced bread that is not squishy, not sickly sweet, and has a crust that you can hold without it falling apart.

    • http://profiles.google.com/johnwcowan John Cowan

      Most supermarkets have a separate area for baker’s bread nowadays, and in big cities there are actual bakers as well. Baguettes, Italian white and black bread (the latter called “pumpernickel rye”), and our native high-quality bread, sourdough, are usually available. Not cheap, but worth it.

  • http://twitter.com/ladyguenivere Guenivere aka Gwen

    Flapjacks! I tried making them but try finding the ingredients! Does NOT work. (Flat oats? Demerara sugar? Where the heck do I find those? Not in Ralphs, anyway.)

    • Lisa

      Believe it or not I found Demerara sugar at Walmart. Although I’m convinced I’m the only one that buys it. Also you can find PG Tips tea at Cost Plus World Markets if they are in your area along with many other British fare such as digestives, Lion Bars, Flake Bars, and many other chocolaty delights!

  • http://www.facebook.com/BanburyGirl Jean Young

    Brilliant! You can keep the lamb. I think I’ve been away from Britain for so long that I’ve lost the taste for it. I have infact seen it in a NY supermarket but be prepared to take out a second mortgage & buy at least 10 chops to fill yourself up as they are so extreamly small.

  • Jo

    Pavements. Castles, Cathedrals, Bonfire night, high streets and of course the great british sense of humour (spelt with a u)

    • TheYearofHope

      No one does humour better than the Brits, or really most telly. Thankfully I am able to watch just about anything online via BBC i player, Channel 4 etc. Am completely in love with Line Of Duty, Mad Dogs and Graham Norton.

  • Sammy

    miss REAL Bacon…and REAL: sausages..plus decent Cheese and Bread too…and don’t get me started on the beer….But thank you Kroger for at least stocking Marmite and Salad cream plus Crumpets and mint Aero’s too.

  • Sammy

    oh..Walkers Crips…curry and Chips..and Donna Kerbab..
    Pub roast ..miss stuff being on human scale and not car scale…I carry “emergency” twinning tea bags with me where ever I go!!!lol

  • Nicki

    Most groceries in my area have a vast array of British teas at reasonable prices.

    • Linds

      Same here, there are shelves full of all kinds of teas at my grocery store.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.koscielski Susan Koscielski

    As an American of Scottish decent I want to apologize for the slutty nickers. I have 2 grown daughters and we also go through the search for decent undies that don’t look like lacey dental floss and are priced like they are dipped in gold. My kids love ethic foods of all kinds and they search for British items at a good price; we have Fresh and Easy stores now that do stock some things British items at resonable prices. Indan food items are a bit easier to find around LA. Plus grandma is from Japan so we have found some specialty Japanese stores to shop at but we pay double and triple the price in yen that’s on the package. The best thing you can do about resturant tea is do what my mother-in-law does; she carries her fav green tea with her and orders hot water.

  • nosp

    i can see that there are 9 things you can find just about anywere but universal health care god willing will be of the past. canada and EU will be the only places to be found!

  • Dave

    Megan Timperley. If you want to try some decent British tea, try going to World Market where you can get PG Tips. Another place is TJ Maxx, Home Goods or Marshalls where you can find London Cuppa tea in black boxes 40 or 80 tea bags. Problem with London Cuppa is you have to search for it as it could be hidden behind other items. My wife love that tea and she is American

  • Mark C

    This is my 40th year living in America, I left when I was 8. SAUSAGES! Decent sausages are so few and far between here. WALNUT WHIPS! Sweets, they only seem to use chocolate, nuts, caramel, nougat, and peanut butter in most of their sweets. I don’t like gummy, but I love JELLY BABIES, PASTILLES, and WINE GUMS. I have to agree with LAMB, the best I’ve been able to find is from New Zealand and expensive as hell. It’s also hard to find and you can’t seem to find anything bigger than a chop. And why oh why does everything have to be saturated with salt or sugar?

  • Myles…Cheltenham,Glos

    What really is a surprise that ‘s not on the list:
    Pork pies
    Bangers
    Bacon
    Bread…thick slice
    Butter
    Lardy Cakes
    Imperial leather Soap
    Actually most of the above items are available in America and more,much more.

  • dougie f

    As an American who lived in Brixton, South London for a few years, I miss everything that’s on this list! I went to England a fat man and came home a fat man. It was a delicious experience. Bless the internet for keeping me in those delicious treats.

  • alyceskye

    and what about Blood Pudding? Can’t get it in the USA>

  • Jim

    Meat Hook in Brooklyn sells lamb and sausages as good as i have ever had them. All the other meat looks amazing too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/favill Steve Favill

    Sams Club sells New Zealand lamb, both chops and leg roasts. Excellent quality

  • Merle

    Heinz Baked Beans, real bacon, drivers not turning right when pedestrians are crossing the road, savoury bread, extra strong cheddar, soft cheese that tastes of something, BBC radio.

  • Vic_T

    “Freshly Squeezed” orange juice! Ha – I’m an American, actually, and even grew up in California, and oddly enough, just was unable to get real, unpasteurized orange juice unless I picked it off a tree and squeezed it myself. When I visited London 20 years ago, I was amazed they were allowed to sell it unpasteurized in little bottles. It was delicious! I miss that so much! Especially now that I live in a state w/o orange trees.

  • Liv Chapman

    Gosh, where to start? Other than the walkability of British cities, and the lovely old buildings, I’d say the lack of an equivalent to “Boots,” leaves a big gap in my life! Walgreens and Rite Aid are soul-wearying stores. Tea, of course (regardless of milk/tea bags used, it’s not the same), proper bacon. And, more profoundly, that island spirit of community: you know, everyone watching the same show, knowing the same issues. I missed “The Guardian” terribly (American newspapers are awful) until I got the app. on my phone, but the website’s not really a substitute. You can download it on Kindle too, but again- not quite the same!

  • Liv Chapman

    Oh, Gosh, I forgot to mention- SAINSBURY’S!!!! American supermarkets are not a patch on it!!

  • Liv Chapman

    One more (plus, I really don’t say “gosh” in real life!): good, thoughtful documentaries!!

  • squark

    Marmite, Bisto, proper cadbury’s, hobnobs and so much more can often be found in Indian supermarkets here (found all of the above in similar little stores in CA and TX).

    Some ‘british’ pubs sell scotch eggs, but expect them to be served hot…urgh.

    Oh yeah, Marks and Sparks pants…thank you mum for sending me some!

    Here’s what I miss most:
    proper crisps (meat flavoured)
    monster munch
    black pudding
    decent sized pickled onions
    tizer
    Eastenders (yes it’s on PBS, but they show episodes from 03…and dish is way too expensive to indulge in frequently)
    comedy that’s actually funny

    And, of course, the NHS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ewen.d.young Ewen Young

    a good fish and chips.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michaela.shannonsank Michaela Shannon-Sank

    Pork pies, sausage rolls, Cornish pasties, green grass, roses that have an odour, being able to understand what people are saying ( whutevs bra ),Boots… I could go on and on. I wish I were in England.

    • barblibrarian

      Now, when I was in England I attended a private party at a friend’s house and found I could not understand a thing people were saying. Must just be what we are used to.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonas-Vesterlund/699391628 Jonas Vesterlund

    Heck, I am Swedish and i miss most of those things! Especially the NHS and balanced news coverage.

  • Marie13

    Apparently, I need to move to the U.K.
    That place sounds way better.

    • Cornish Pixie

      It is!! I lived there for three years in the early 90′s and felt I had truly found my “home”. My grandparents are from Cornwall so I had some idea of what I would experience before I went. I would be elated to be able to return forever, not just a fortnight. I am a much happier, calmer person when there and I LOVE the shopping!! I also find that I get a better picture of what is happening here in the States by reading British newspapers and watching British news programmes. They aren’t afraid to tell the truth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JC.AzBrit.TriumphRAT John R. Collings

    I miss steak & kidney pies, back bacon, lamb chops.. the list could go on for quite a while!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonas-Vesterlund/699391628 Jonas Vesterlund

    Acctually, Winding city streets is what I miss the most. Driving cars in towns with no sidewalks going from Walmart to Bestbuy to Mc Donalds isn’t my cup of tea.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Limeybean Nicci Hartland

    crisps, bacon, sausages, pot noodles, chocolate,

  • http://www.facebook.com/Limeybean Nicci Hartland

    I forgot salad creme

  • Hannah Nance

    I miss fanta that tastes like fanta. Also, innocent smoothies. Try as I might, I haven’t found ANY smoothies in the US that compare.

  • Cynical

    They sell lamb in a grocery store called Wegman’s. And why the hell would anyone like winding city streets? Grid pattern cities are much more practical.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jessicaebowen Jessica Symmes Bowen

    I’m American, but the inability of American restaurants to make a decent cuppa is maddening. And Lipton! Ptui, ptui! How did they gain that monopoly?!?

    If you want windy streets, New England will satisfy you.

  • oregon based

    What about pot noodles ..

  • DannyJDC

    Shoulder of lamb for a Sunday roast, real, crusty whole grain bread, red currants and green gooseberries, church bells, family farms where there are cows to be milked and hens running around and eggs to collect, hedgerows with wild flowers, Cumberland sausages, free range chickens that taste like chicken, pork with the crackling still on it, Marks and Spencer’s stores, quality BBC tv and other British TV channels, and really good bitter orange marmalade , English butter and bread that isn’t sweetened!

  • http://www.facebook.com/clark.lydia Lydia Clark

    For anyone living in the Los Angeles area there is a little shop on Wilshire in Santa Monica called The Continental Shop. They have a great selection of all things British.

  • http://twitter.com/InfiniteRegress RM Pieri

    Can I add ‘a sense of irony’ to the list, please?

  • Kathleena

    i miss the pasties. oh how much i loved pasties. and everyone in the uk in relaxed. they don’t get worked up about every issue in the media.

  • Scott Crain

    Tesco does have a US branch in, mostly on the west coast now. It’s called ‘Fresh & Easy’. I have no idea how much British inventory they stock but it’s a good place to check.

  • http://www.facebook.com/smaccallumdunlap Sandi MacCallum Dunlap

    I go to the farmers markets for lamb. I get PG Tips, Barrys or Lyons tea at my local supermarket, Scottish square sausage at a butcher in Kearney. NJ. Meat pies and such at the same butcher or British market in lower Manhattan. A wide selection of REAL Cadbury and Galaxy bars in the Bronx in the Irish markets there. It is around if you know where to look.

  • ukelaine

    I Soooo miss my Fish & Chips, I used to eat plaice and chips. No plaice here and never found a chip to come close to the English chips :(
    Miss having a chat with people when I go shopping, even if it’s just to complain about the cost of stuff. When I came home to UK a few years ago, I spoke to more people in UK just in casual chatter, than in the WHOLE 20 years I’ve lived here. I do live near the border (Mexico) so that probably doesn’t help. But, I do have a nice house, great kids and the sun. But, the friendliness of Brits is missed, even though many Brits living in uk may disagree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.richcreek Jason Richcreek

    im not brittish but i know walmart supper centers sell lamb

  • ZoneDaiatlas

    I’m going have to disagree with the NHS. I rather have the US healthcare system than NHS or any other Universal Healthcare system. I get access to superior quality of care unlike NHS or any other Universal system because I don’t have to wait months or years for the Government or administration to approve my treatment, plus I get the treatment I need which you can’t get in NHS or Universal because of rationing or cost cutting….

    • RJ

      As an American, I have to disagree with you on rationing: we’ve got it here too, we just don’t like to call it that, and instead of distributing the available services randomly we sell them to the highest bidder. Personally, I’d much rather have to wait than go without care altogether, like many Americans do. And are you seriously saying private insurance companies don’t deny people treatment in an effort to cut costs?!? IMHO everyone getting okay healthcare is preferable to a lucky, rich few getting really good treatment, but I guess you’re one of them so bully for you!

      • ZUmber

        I also think these insurance companies are in it for one thing and that is money. I’ve always felt that as a or the first world country, it’s a black stain on America not to offer universal health care.

  • Jesse

    I think Ruth missed the entire South. Yankees can’t do anything right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jmarkleonard J. Mark Leonard

    Try getting out of NYC once in a while (the south does not count). Colorado and Dakota lamb are delicious, but it doesn’t get sent back east. Mostly, because it’s delicious. Also, many places in the US sell beer at the correct temperature, but those places are in cities you probably have not been, such as Omaha.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.spencer.1671 Sarah Spencer

      And maybe also because a lot of it gets shipped to the Navajo Rez.

  • http://www.facebook.com/HopeJustMe Hope Hughes

    Loads of things to love about the UK,television programming is the best, especially the sit coms and dramas. Also the men, who other than a British chap can use the words lovely or jumper and not sound like a tosser. lol

  • English Lady

    I miss Clotted Cream, Jam and Scones and wonder why the American’s haven’t latched onto this wonderful treat. Anyway I decided to open my own tea shoppe in the fall in a rural town called Thibodaux, LA. No Lipton Tea on the Menu!!!!!! but maybe Marmite???

  • Jim

    Here in Michigan we can get it all, even Fish and Chips, except M &S small things!

  • patricia

    Elderflower cordial and drinks in the summer. Blackcurrants and gooseberries. (Even redcurrants are hard to come by.) Broad beans and Claytonia/Miners’s lettuce. Potted shrimp. Good mealy wholewheat bread that doesn’t fall apart and isn’t cloyingly sweet. Double cream — American “heavy” cream is gummy and still weeps after whipping. As for M&S they could open US stores selling just knickers, socks, prepared food and Millionaire’s shortbread.

  • Jen

    I think most of you need to move to Chicago, here we have lamb in the supermarkets, there is an Irish butcher who sells (overpriced) British style sausages and bacon, and sausage rolls, and most of the Irish pubs serve a roast dinner. There is also World Market/Cost Plus for all your other Brit food needs. And tea emergencies on the go are cured with an Awake Tea at Starbucks, tea latte if you like it milky. Trust me.

    I will admit that the first thing I did in NYC was visit A Salt and Battery for real fish and chips.

    And don’t get me started on the healthcare. I miss Holland, where I paid my “price fixed by the government” insurance premium, and got all the care I needed, at no extra cost to myself. Sound familiar? I’d be a millionaire if I hadn’t ever needed to visit the doctor here!

  • Jen

    And I really miss BBC Radio 1 – it’s not the same since Sirius dropped it. There’s a Facebook campaign to get it back.

  • Luisa

    Let’s see…cathedrals, castles, cobblestone roads, pretty villages, tea shops, pubs, four seasons, Wimbledon, Brit celebrations like guy Fawkes and boxing day, fish n’chips, proper sausages, pork pies, English fry up, crisps, biscuits, pup strawberries…just to mention a couple of things ;)

    • Luisa

      Oops that was supposed to be pick your own strawbs!

  • Dan

    I can get marmite in my local supermarket. What I miss is the bread to put it on… Freshly cooked bread, with a crust, that isn’t full of sugar…

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.spence.524 Steve Spence

    Real Ale should be served at Cellar Temperature 55-55f (11-13c) which is not warm! When I’m in a US brewpub drinking Ale I ask for a glass straight from the dishwasher so it warms the chilled beer up to the correct temperature.

  • Dave

    Brown Sauce!! I was married to a Brit and believe it or not, Sainsbury’s store-brand brown sauce is the bee’s knees for me! I also miss the McCoy’s crisps in the grilled steak flavor — yum! I have a friend send me a few precious bottles of brown sauce every year, and that seems to do the trick. Cheers, Dave.

  • gary

    I always get a graving for a good Pork pie

  • RJ

    Football(soccer) banter! I got hooked on the game while living in London and though it’s easy enough to watch matches online, it’s just not the same when you’ve got no one to argue with over refereeing decisions or make fun of you Monday morning after your team loses!

  • Me

    Jonas, you’re Swedish and you miss the UK national health service? How does that work?

  • Jeanette318

    Custard, Marzipan, Hob Nobs, snowballs, non American Dairy Milk…….are you seeing a theme here? :-)

  • Jeanette318

    ………….and how could I forget Christmas Cake!

  • Adrian Gee

    I miss being proud of BBC America which has degenerated into a dreary series of repeats of Top Gear, Gordon Ramsay and, unbelievably, Battlestar Galactica – dreadful! I know it is a franchise arrangement but the BBC should be ashamed to have its name associated with the channel

  • Emma

    It would never bother me again if I never see a jar of Marmite ever again, however, I do miss fish, chips & mushy peas at the seaside, black pudding and my beloved Man City.

  • Carissa

    If you live in the midwest try going to a Meijer store. They have a British section in the “International Foods” aisle. And lamb in the meat department. And as for underwear try Target and look for the Gilligan & O’Malley line.

  • Hope

    #2 Isn’t true. All of my friends and family and I say sorry when it isn’t our fault. You must’ve never been to the south.
    #5 Isn’t exactly true either. Where I live, winding roads is all we have. Again, it sounds as though you’ve never been to the south.
    But that’s okay. Nobody ever bothers to come to the south. :)

  • Jennie Barnes

    Just in reference to point ten, Target makes not horrible underwear, and most of the time they are 5 for $25 and they have some not frilly, and not slutty. Hopefully there is a target near where you are. I hope this helps.

  • Deb

    Prawn cocktail flavoured crisps, scotch eggs, jelly babies. Being able to go outside in the summer without either boiling to death or being eaten by mosquitoes. Leaving the windows open all the time. Being able to actually walk around town rather than having to drive between each store. Free healthcare.

  • Brit in Phoenix

    Hi, I have lived in the US since 1979 and I used to miss most of the things mentioned here until Fresh & Easy came to town (owned by Tesco). I now buy Ribena, Marmite, British back bacon, Weetabix, Custard power, tinned spaghetti, HP sauce and many other things in their British section. Other that the Ribena their prices are great too.

  • Elizabeth1981

    For #10, try Target. Also the Victoria’s Secret sales – their Pink line tends to be a bit more normal (i.e., cotton) and affordable. As an American expat living in the UK, Target is probably the number one thing I sigh for here… although if I ever do go back to the US, I will be sorely missing nos. 3, 5,6, and 7.

  • S

    Author, I think you need to properly acquaint yourself with Target/Walmart, and many of your complaints in your posts will become unfounded.

  • Chris

    If you are California / Arizona or Nevada based you can get lots of British style food (bacon, marmite, mint sauce, cadbury’s chocolate, birds custard powder) at Fresh & Easy stores – not surprising at F&E are Tesco. Good (Australian) lamb can be found at Costco. I miss the British “all-in” prices for cars and everything else and the heavily subsided university education.

  • gi

    is it possible to buy a chicken kabab in the states? U can get gyros in greek restaurants which is kinda like donner meat

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