Tuesday, 29 May 2018

96 Differences Between American And British Culture

Hello Lovelies! As most of you know I've now lived in England for 6 glorious years with my beautiful wife (plus our adorable puppy and gorgeous cat). Last year, I was granted citizenship to the UK so now I am a dual citizen to both the US and UK! Throughout my years in the UK, I have naturally observed the differences between American and British culture, so I thought it would be fun to list them. Let me know if you think of any others! 
1. The British can be (not always) judged on which supermarket they shop at and the hierarchy often goes like this: Waitrose/M&S, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Aldi.
2. You may hear a British person ask for “tomato ketchup.” As opposed to the onion ketchup?
3. Getting “pissed” means drunk, but it can also mean angered. Confusing. 
4. In restaurants, British people always insist on sitting by the window despite the views; even if it’s pouring (pissing*) down the rain and in the middle of a busy car park. (*Another use of “pissed!”)
5. If you don’t ask your British colleagues if they would like a cup of tea or a coffee when you go to make yours, then you instantly get the stink eye.
6. Drinking alcohol profusely is encouraged at most work events and the rejoicing together the next day with a unanimous hangover. 
7. If you need to pee then it’s a “wee,” and if you need the bathroom then it’s “the toilet” or “loo.”
8. The weather is a true topic of conversation, and you will discuss it with at least two people every day. (I now actively join in with this.)
9. In addition, the weather is often overcast, so it’s interesting to discuss...and when it's sunny, it's even more interesting and amazing! British summer evenings are truly magical. 
10. The roads are small and the cars are often smaller.
11. There’s a high volume of hatchbacks on the road and the majority of people drive a manual car. If you have a driving license to drive automatic, then you cannot drive a manual. Oh, and an SUV is immediately called a 4x4.
12. Five-week paid vacations and amazing maternity leave is a real thing and does exist. Hats off to the British for that.
13. Be prepared to pack your own shopping bags and being asked if you would like to pay for a 5p bag (or upgrade to a “bag for life”) otherwise you’re left carrying your items in your hands as all shopping bags now cost 5p to save the environment- which is a wonderful thing. 
14. When greeting someone you may hear “you alright?” rather than “how are you?” It’s the same thing, but it can get confusing.
15. The British are brand savvy. The vacuum is called the “Hoover;” cream cheese is “Philadelphia;”
16. Band aids are “plasters;”
17. Q-tips are “cotton buds.”
18. Parking lots are called “car parks,” and you will rarely find one that is free. Especially at hospitals! 
19. The doctor’s office is known as the “GP Surgery.” There are no operations happening there! You have to go to A&E (accident and emergency), not the ER (emergency room.)
20. Nurses don’t wear scrubs, and you’ll often see them in the traditional uniform (still a dress for women!) 
21. British people don’t say they have “errands to run,” rather they have “things/ bits to do.”
22. The police don’t carry guns; therefore, the general public do not carry guns (for the majority.) This is truly amazing!
23. British people  (typically in the South and close to London) do not make small talk with strangers, and they would never strike up conversation with someone on public transportation.
24. Occasions and get-togethers can sometimes drag on and end awkwardly because no one likes to make excuses to leave. The British are very polite. 
25. Everyone talks about getting home extensions, and it’s the norm as most houses are very small in comparison to American-style homes due to the sheer size of America vs. England. 
26. The British do not embrace the fall (aka Autumn) and completely by-pass the pumpkin spice craze like Americans. (Though thank you, Starbucks, for your Pumpkin Spice Lattes!)
27. A large coke at McDonalds is equivalent to a medium in the states. A regular coke is equivalent to a child’s coke in a kids’ meal. No complaints here. 
28. There are only three main fast food restaurants, and those are McDonalds, Subway, Burger King, and the occasional KFC.
29. You will rarely see drive-thru banks, Starbucks, fast-food restaurants etc.
30. It’s called a “take away” rather than having “take out.”
31. You rarely receive a lot of (if any) ice in your drink, British people would rather drink a warm coke rather than ice as they see it dilutes their drink and/or they do not get as much coke. This would be because there is no such thing as “free refills” (apart from Nandos or American restaurants like TGI Friday’s.)
32. Pickles are “gherkins” and “pickle” is a type of condiment. 
33. Milk is put into coffee. There are no delicious endless flavors (flavours) of coffee mate. Oh, how I miss Amaretto Coffee Mate. And Cool Whip. 
34. Biscuits are essentially cookies and not delicious baked goods (though biscuits are similar to scones, which you have with jam and clotted cream.) There is also a clear distinction between what they see as biscuits and cookies in the UK.
35. Bath & Body Works does not exist here. Where am I meant to get my seasonal candles?!
36. It’s “jumpers,” not “sweaters.”
37. “AC” is known as “aircon” and it’s not common to have in British homes and a lot of pubs, shops or restaurants. There are hardly any ceiling fans either.
38. If it’s cold, you turn on the radiators (which are attached to the wall), as opposed to central heating, which provide fantastic heating. 
39. Everyone still loves Obama, hates Donald Trump 
40. There are no plug-ins in the bathrooms, so good luck drying or straightening* your hair in there. (*These are called GHD’s, again its a brand thing.)
41. Stores are referred to as shops and grocery stores are supermarkets.
42. All ‘shops’ close early and it’s not convenient at all to do any shopping after work hours.
43. It’s petrol, not gas, and it’s by the litre not the gallon. You have to go inside the ‘petrol station’ to pay still, the pumps often still don’t take card. 
44. As the British are typically polite people, the rage can often come out in emails- aka the keyboard warrior. i.e. 'as per my last email.' 
45. Also if you don’t put any kisses ‘xxx’ at the end of a text/ email/ message to a friend/ loved one (or potential love interest) then they think you don’t like them. They will always put the same amount of kisses that you send them. You can analyse these to see if they’re mad at you also. No kiss means big trouble. 
46. People read the newspaper on the tube to avoid small talk and eye contact.
47. As most British homes are incredibly old, you will find no built-in closets. You have to buy them and they are called ‘wardrobes’.
48. The ‘garden’ is your backyard and a garden, as Americans know it, is an ‘allotment’.
49. It’s weird to get a to-go box or a doggy bag at a restaurant. Typically, because you are given the right amount of food per person.
50. The British follow the rules- no speeding, means no speeding. NO talking or texting on your phone, means just that.
51. Eggs are not sold as refrigerated.
52. You rarely see pick-up trucks nor large American style cars.
53. The British value their time outside of work and do not hesitate to book holiday (aka vacation) and take time off when needed.
54. It’s rude not to comment on someone’s tan after they’ve returned from holiday.
55. It’s so easy and and can be cheap to go to Italy or Greece for the weekend.
56. No matter how rich or poor you are- your accent defines you.
57. Full stop = period. 
58. It’s not the norm to have a standard coffee pot, rather the British have great kettles (the plug in kind, not the whistling kind).
59. The tea is superb and coffee in general isn’t the best. You will find instant coffee in most house holds. Not ours though, we're big cafetière and Chemex fans. 
60. British people will always use a knife and fork to eat their dinner. Some even eat ribs and burgers with a knife and fork.
61. Fries are ‘chips’ and chips are ‘crisps’.
62. KFC does not have mashed potato’s, mac and cheese, green beans or biscuits- they have fries as the main side.
63. Hidden Valley ranch has yet to arrive in the UK. 
64. They do eat crumpets and they are delicious- especially with loads of butter and mature cheddar (my personal fav).
65. The British love mature cheddar and it’s the norm to always grate it freshly.
66. Having a dance is often called a ‘boogie’.
67. Sweet corn, tuna and mayo are just some of the toppings you’ll find on a jacket potato (baked potato), along with baked beans and cheese.
68. Chips are typically served with steak, no matter how ‘posh’ the restaurant. Often triple cooked aka thrice cooked. 
69. The date is the opposite way round (day, month, year)
70. They drive on the left side of the road so make sure you look correctly when crossing. You can’t make a turn on red, even if its clear. You’ll come across many roundabouts. 
71. Jay Walking isn’t illegal, they just go for it, but they’ll often wait patiently at the zebra crossing. 
72. If you watch TV then you must pay a monthly bill for your TV, it’s called a TV licence.
73. VAT (tax) is already included in your purchase and it's 20%. So if something is £0.99, it’s simply that.
74. They pronounce a fillet (as in steak) like ‘fill-it’ rather than ‘feel-lay’). 
75. They have separate boys and girls schools, and the uniforms to go with it.
76. A fag is known as a cigarette and it’s not an offensive term in this context. Therefore, you’ll often hear men say “I’m going out for a fag”. 
77. No one really knows what a typical grilled cheese sandwich is, instead they’ll have cheese grilled on toast, or a ‘toasty’ (toasted sandwich). 
78. You would ‘grill’ something in the oven rather than ‘broil’ it. 
79. British bacon is amazing, and there is nothing better than a bacon sandwich aka bacon roll, bacon sarnie, bacon bap. 
80. Baked beans are a typical breakfast favourite and you’ll often find it in a “cooked breakfast,” along with scrambled egg, sausages, bacon, fried mushrooms, hash browns and fried bread. There may also be black pudding, which is essentially a blood sausage (no, thanks.) 
81. Baked beans and cheese on toast is a normal thing the Brit’s eat.
82. Coke has real sugar in it, rather than high fructose corn syrup.
83. Built-in swimming pools and hot tubs are rare due to space.
84. It’s taboo not to take a holiday.
85. In the winter, it starts to gets dark at 3:45pm, however in the summer it doesn’t get fully dark until after 10:00pm.
86. Apart from fish and chips, Indian food is probably the most loved dish — it is delicious. Chicken tikka masala is actually a British dish! 
87. Deliveroo was founded in UK by an American due to the lack of great quality food that you can get delivered. They now deliver restaurant food to your house on bicycles — amazing!
88. You often get paid once a month vs bi weekly.
89. If a food is “quite” good to a British person, then they hate it.
90. Health care is free, which is awesome.
91. The idea of painkillers in the UK is different and mainly consist of ibuprofen and paracetamol. For instance, “I just broke my leg.” “Here, take some ibuprofen.”
92. Time is an interesting one — it’s a 24-hour clock and it’s rare to hear the exact time. It’s either ‘half past’, ‘quarter past’, or ‘quarter to’. 
93. You can’t buy milk by the gallon rather it’s by the pint.
94. Going to the movies is “going to the cinema” and you cannot get freshly popped popcorn, or melted butter. (It’s often dry and stale, you can only get salt or sweet.)
95. There are no mailboxes, just letter boxes built within the front door. 
96. Brits will cheers to a toast, but they will also say “cheers” to say thanks, and sometimes goodbye. 

Cheers!
Whitney xxx

Please note, this is being re-purposed and edited from my original article for the Huff Post. On a side note, I definitely realise I am becoming more 'British' since I originally wrote this article!...

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Sunday, 27 May 2018

When Harry Married Meghan: The Royal Wedding 2018

Here's a re-cap of our Royal Wedding day from the viewpoint of Whitney!

To us, the Royal Wedding was everything we thought it would be and the vibe in Windsor was incredible and had such a buzz. Being local residents to Windsor, we enjoyed going into town in the days leading up to Windsor to see what was happening. 

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On the big day, we were fortunately invited to Megan's Uncle's to watch the Royal Wedding, as he lives literally right opposite the long walk of Windsor Castle and would provide a great view of the procession.  This gave us an incredible, once in a lifetime view of something spectacular in person. It was crazy to see so many influential people in our town and amazing to have our home town  represented in such a great way. Also, can I just say I couldn't contain myself when I saw on TV Oprah rocking up to the Windsor Castle in her beautiful blush pink ensemble by Stella McCartney. I was even more excited for the day!
The only hiccup we encountered was getting to Megan's uncle's... In what typically would have been a 10 minute walk, it took us over an hour with the crowds and security. I (Whitney) am claustrophobic and thought at one point I was going to have a panic attack. Luckily, we bumped in to one of our followers in the queue who kindly distracted me with great conversation whilst we waited to go through the metal detector. We did make it to Megan's Uncle's eventually and were greeted with a (much needed) chilled glass of bubbly!
It was also a beautiful and sunny day, which is often rare in the UK, so we had an amazing day with family, copious amounts of champagne, the sun and we all shared such happiness for the new addition to the royal wedding, Meghan Markle, now known as the Duchess of Sussex. 

We also, had the most amazing view of when they went by in their carriage. However, it was unbelievably fast at the speed they went by. We expected them to trot by and we barely had time to get our camera's ready to film or take photo's. Somehow my iphone pulled through! You can see the footage Megan captured in our vlog below. 



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We also had two super nice armed police / snipers (aka Rifle Officers) on the roof to protect the royals and the general pubic. After the wedding was over and they received the all clear, we are able to chat to them and even have a picture wearing their hats. Megan's mum also briefly joined the polce, haha. 

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Lauren married Harry, and Whitney married Megan! We beat you to it ;)

Watch our vlog to join us as we attend the Royal Wedding in Windsor. Get to see some of the lead up and behind the scenes before the actual day. You'll get to see our reactions to seeing Meghan's dress and the wedding. Plus, find our how & why Megan ends up with champagne in her SHOES!...


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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The Ultimate Local Travel Guide to Windsor!




WINDSOR: SLEEP, EAT, DO!

As locals to Windsor, and with all eyes on Windsor at the moment due to the upcoming Royal Wedding, we thought we'd share some of our tips on our guide to Windsor! This blog post will be updated frequently with more content so please do bookmark to revisit before your trip.

STAY

Being locals, we haven't had the pleasure (or need) to stay in a hotel, but we hope to soon so that we can offer you advice! If you want to be right opposite the castle, then Harte & Garter is the closest hotel to the castle. They also do Afternoon Tea's here!





We also recommend you check out Macdonald Hotel (we often go here for a drink or hold meetings in the bar, and it always has a great smell when you walk in) and Christopher Wren (which overlooks the River Thames).



EAT:

You of course will have to eat during your time in Windsor and we have some great local restaurant suggestions. Whilst Windsor has predominantly chain restaurants (especially opposite the Castle), we want to focus on the local ones to enhance your experience and to support local business. As the UK is incredibly diverse, this leads to an eclectic range of cuisines from all over the world. 


Located in the heart of the town centre, Sebastian's is serving up authentic and delicious Italian food, with their very own open wood fire kitchen. It's our favourite restaurant in Windsor, not only for the food, but the ambiance is great with friendly service.


Nam Kang Korean Restaurant:

If you fancy Korean food, then we highly recommend Nam Kang which is located on the high street through Kokoro and down the alley way next to it.  The food is fresh, authentic and very flavourful as well as friendly service.


This is definitely also one of our favourite restaurants in Windsor. If you love flavour and Turkish/Greek style food, then this is a 'must eat.' The food is very authentic, vegetarian friendly and also the staff are so lovely and friendly. We recommend the vegetarian platter, so tasty!









Located just a couple miles outside of the town centre, GoGo's definitely has one of the most beautiful views as it's situated on a water marina and provides a beautiful scenic backdrop. We recommend GoGo's for drinks as they have a fantastic range of unique cocktails and a very great gin selection (2nd biggest in Windsor). They also have free parking on site, a rare thing in Windsor!

We recommend going here for the cocktails, and if it's a sunny / hot day, then you're in for a treat if you manage to grab a table outside! If you opt for the food, we recommend brunch or their mezzo sharing platter. Personally we think that their vegetarian food needs improving but we hear the ribs are great!










Gilbey's Eton: 

Situated on the High Street of Eton, close to the River Thames and between the historic buildings of Eton College and Windsor Castle, Gilbey’s is open from 12 noon for lunch (excluding Mondays) and 6.00 pm for dinner every day.


Originally an old butcher’s shop, they created one of the first wine bars outside London in 1975 – The Eton Wine Bar.  After 25 years of success, they changed the name in 2000 to Gilbey’s, recognising that their food had outgrown the original wine bar concept. Fun Fact: We celebrated our first Civil Partnership anniversary here!

We love Windsor Grill and have been several times for different occasions. It's very quaint and is only short stroll from Windsor castle. 


A much loved local cafe that's mission is to bring great quality coffee to Windsor. 



Located inside Daniel's (see 'DO' section) is Heidi Cafe, offering lots of delicious pastries that are made on sight. You can even get a mini Harry & Meghan's Wedding Cake! We recommend the nuteella filled donut, yum!





UPDATE:

Heidi's Bakery now iw selling #Megharryccinos ... We kid you not! & yes, we are obsessed. They will be selling them all week long so hurry!




Quintessentially British and one of the oldest pubs in Windsor, the two brewers offers a very British experience with their beer selection and their good eats. Plus a super cosy atmosphere and right by the entrance to the Long Walk (great place for photo's of the Castle).



DO

Well, of course the number one thing to do is to take a tour around the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world! Keep an eye on their website to find out about exhibitions. (Please note that the castle will be closed 17 - 19 May 2018, but how exciting you can go round the very next day on 20th!) We also recommend taking a walk down the Long Walk, that leads from the castle to the Copper Horse statue. 

Changing of the guard happens at 11:00am on Tuesdays, Thursday & Saturdays. Keep an eye of their website to double check. (Please note that there will be no music or ceremony on Saturday 19 May).

Shopping! There's a few great places to do some retail therapy. Opened in 1901, Daniel's department store has over 40 departments (& you'll find lots of fascinators as you walk in on the left). 


Windsor Royal Shopping offers a unique dining and shopping experience since 1997. You'll find the likes of Jo Malone, Links London, Molton Brown & Space NK. Full list can be found on the website.  You'll also find Windsor & Eton Central train at the end, which takes 6 minutes to Slough & then you can catch a fast train (19 minutes) straight to London Paddington. 


There is also a modern part, known as Windsor Yards, where you'll find Waitrose, Zara, H&M, Topshop & New Look. 


Windsor & Eton Brewery is just a few minutes walk out from the centre of town, where it has a bar onsite and you can take a tour of the brewery. & yes, it's where we brewed our collab beer, BABE IPA! You can also get your hands on their limited edition beer, Windsor knot, brewed especially for the Royal Wedding!

Eton is located just a few minutes walk over a bridge that connects Windsor & Eton (it can only be accessed via foot). 


It's most famous for the iconic and prestigious Eton College (where both Prince William and Prince Harry attended).  On the high street, you will find an array of different shops, pubs and restaurants. Also, don't forget to look out for the gold phone box. Fun fact: telephone boxes are traditionally red & Eton College painted it gold to honour ex-pupil Constantine Louloudis, who won gold at the olympics. 


ROYAL WEDDING:
If you're attending Windsor for the Royal Wedding, then you'll definitely find your fair share of Royal memorabilia, from champagne at Daniel's, to a specially brewed beer at Windsor & Eton Brewery and places to pose with the couple themselves (such as Paperchase as pictured below). We are looking forward to attending & capturing it for you the best that we can! 


We hope this guide helps you plan your stay in Windsor, and if you spot us, please say hi!
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