The Quintessential British Experience

10 Things British Expats Miss The Most

Living abroad opens up new horizons but what do British expats miss the most from home? This article cuts directly to the heart of expat cravings: from the unmistakable flavour of a proper cuppa and the weekly ritual of Sunday roasts to the irreplaceable atmosphere of a local pub. Without spoiling the rich list of British treasures to follow, we dive into the essence of what makes Britain so dearly missed by those who have left its shores.

Key Takeaways

  • British expats crave familiar foods and drinks from home like Cadbury’s chocolate, fish and chips, and a proper cup of British tea for the comforting nostalgia they bring.
  • Social and cultural experiences like pub day drinking and attending British sports events are deeply missed for their camaraderie and unique British atmosphere.
  • Seasonal traditions, particularly around Christmas, and the tranquil beauty of the UK countryside evoke a strong sense of longing and homesickness for expats.

A Taste of Home: The British Foods Expats Yearn For

The British Foods Expats Yearn For

Food is undeniably at the top of the list of things British expats miss most, including their favourite food. It’s no secret that our tastes and preferences are deeply entwined with our experiences, memories, and cultural background. For Brits living abroad, a bite of Cadbury’s chocolate or a sip of traditional British tea can transport them back home, to that familiar British corner shop down the street, or a cozy, warm kitchen filled with laughter and classic British humour.

1. Brits Abroad and Their Favourite Foods

Home and belonging are evoked by the comfort foods that populate the British culinary landscape, including the iconic British food, fish and chips. Consider the classic fish and chips, a meal that is arguably as British as the Queen. The crispy batter, the succulent fish, and the crunchy chips, all come together to create a symphony of taste that is hard to replicate outside of the UK.

Other British staples, such as the Sunday roast and the full English breakfast, are deeply missed by expats. The thought of a roast dinner complete with Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings or a plate full of sausages, bacon, eggs, and Heinz baked beans can evoke a powerful sense of nostalgia, making these among the most loved food items by Brits abroad.

2. Tasty Treats That Trigger Nostalgia

It’s not only the main meals that Brits abroad find themselves longing for. The longing for those tasty treats that remind them of home is real. Consider the humble biscuit – whether it’s a Digestive, a Hobnob, or a Custard Cream, there’s something about these little rounds of deliciousness that scream ‘Britain’. And let’s not forget the classic British spreads like Heinz baked beans, HP sauce, Heinz salad cream, and Marmite, these condiments are a staple in many a British kitchen and are sorely missed when living abroad.

Snacks also form a significant part of what is missed. Crisps, chocolates, and of course, Bacon. British bacon is just, well, different. And it’s these little tastes of home that British expats miss the most when they’re living abroad. So, whether it’s a Cadbury’s chocolate bar, a packet of Monster Munch, or a slice of British bacon, these tasty treats trigger a wave of nostalgia that is hard to resist.

3. Beverage Items That Are Sorely Missed

Not to forget, drinks occupy a special place in the hearts of Brits abroad. A good cup of tea, for instance, is a rite of passage in Britain. Yorkshire tea, PG Tips, Tetley Tea – these are not just brands but a part of British life that expats sorely miss. There’s something about the ritual of tea-making and the comforting warmth of a well-brewed cuppa that is quintessential British.

More unusual items like Irn Bru, a Scottish carbonated soft drink, are also missed by many. These drinks, with their unique flavours, offer a taste of the UK that is hard to come by in other countries.

Be it a refreshing cold drink on a sweltering summer day or a piping hot cup of tea on a frosty winter night, these are the beverages Brits miss greatly when residing abroad as drinks expats.

The Quintessential British Experience

The Quintessential British Experience

However, it’s not just tangible items like food and drinks that British expats find themselves missing. There are certain experiences, unique to Britain, that are missed too. The idea of spending a lazy afternoon day drinking in a traditional British pub, or the thrill and camaraderie of watching a football match in a packed stadium, these quintessential British experiences are hard to replicate in another country.

4. Day Drinking in a Traditional British Pub

The British pub transcends being just a spot for a quick drink. It’s a social hub, a community gathering spot, and a place where friendships are forged over pints of beer. Day drinking in a traditional British pub is a cherished pastime that Brits abroad miss. Enjoying a pint of lager in a pub garden on a sunny afternoon or hopping between pubs on a pub crawl is a distinctly British experience that is hard to find elsewhere.

From Tennent’s lager to a glass of Pimm’s in the summer, the array of beverages available in British pubs is a testament to the UK’s rich drinking culture. Beyond the drinks, the camaraderie, banter, and classic British humour that fill a British pub, contribute to the overall experience. It’s these experiences that expats miss when they’re in a foreign land.

5. The Thrill of British Sports Culture

Additionally, sports are firmly lodged in the hearts of Brits. Football, rugby, cricket – these are not just games, but a part of Britain’s identity. The chants, the singing, and the spontaneous bursts of enthusiasm at British sporting events are experiences that are missed by expats.

The atmosphere at a British sports event is unlike anywhere else in the world. There’s a camaraderie, a shared sense of passion, and an electric energy that is hard to replicate. From belting out ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ at a rugby match to joining in on the collective cheer at a football game, it’s these experiences that expats long for when they’re far from home.

The Little Things That Mean a Lot

Beyond food, drinks, and experiences, expats also miss the small, quirky facets of British life. These may seem trivial to some, but to a Brit living abroad, they can mean a lot. From the use of ‘cheers’ as a thank you to the simple pleasure of a meal deal, it’s these little things that often tug at the heartstrings of British expats.

6. Unusual Items Missed by Many

Polos mints and Branston Pickle are among the more unusual items that Brits find themselves longing for when overseas. These items, while common in Britain, are often hard to find in other countries. For expats, these items not only satisfy a craving but also hold a certain nostalgic value that reminds them of home.

Polos mints, with their unique peppermint flavour, are a comfort to many Brits living abroad. Similarly, Branston Pickle, a quintessential part of a ploughman’s lunch, is another item that expats miss. These items, despite being small, often invoke strong feelings of nostalgia and longing for home among expats.

7. Quirks of British Etiquette Abroad

Another aspect of life that expats miss is the unique set of rules and norms that compose British etiquette. For instance, the use of ‘cheers’ as a thank you is something that many expats feel embarrassed about when interacting with non-Brits. It’s these little quirks of British life that expats often miss when living abroad.

Moreover, British expats often find it amusing when people expect them to know their cousin in London or feel a sense of pride when mentioning a British celebrity. These interactions, while sometimes awkward, are a reminder of their roots and a testament to the global influence of British culture.

Seasonal Sentiments: Holidays Away From Home

Seasonal Sentiments

The holiday season often brings a twinge of homesickness for British expats. The magic of a British Christmas, with its traditions and festivities, is something expats deeply miss when they’re far from home. Some of the things they miss include:

  • Pulling Christmas crackers
  • The excitement of unwrapping gifts
  • Traditional Christmas food like mince pies and Christmas pudding
  • Watching the Queen’s Christmas message
  • Carol singing
  • Festive decorations and lights

These seasonal sentiments often evoke a sense of longing for the UK.

8. The Magic of a British Christmas

There’s something truly magical about a British Christmas. The festive ambience, the warmth of homes adorned with twinkling lights, the scent of Christmas pudding wafting through the air – these experiences form an integral part of a British Christmas and are missed by expats living abroad.

The traditions, too, hold a special place in the hearts of expats. Some of the traditions include:

  • Decorating the Christmas tree
  • Indulging in a hearty Christmas dinner
  • Watching the Queen’s Speech on TV
  • Participating in a pantomime show
  • Strolling through a Christmas market

These experiences truly encapsulate the magic of a British Christmas and are sorely missed by Brits living abroad.

The Countryside and Beyond: Missing the UK Landscape

Apart from food, drinks, and cultural experiences, the picturesque UK landscape is another facet of British life that expats yearn for. The rolling hills, the quaint villages, and the serene countryside – these are the sights that expats long for when they’re miles away from home.

9. Rolling Hills and Rural Charm

The sight of the British countryside, with its rolling hills and rural charm, is truly captivating. The tranquillity of the countryside, dotted with quaint cottages and rustic farms, offers a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of city life. This peaceful ambience is something that Brits abroad deeply miss.

From the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands to the picturesque villages of the Cotswolds, the UK landscape is truly diverse. It’s this diversity, coupled with the rich history and culture of the country, that makes the UK landscape so unique and memorable. It’s these landscapes, with their rolling hills, serene valleys, and tranquil lakes that British expats long for when they’re living abroad.

Connecting With Compatriots: The Social Aspect of Expat Life

Residing abroad presents its own set of challenges, with the social aspect being one of the major ones. While it’s exciting to meet new people and experience different cultures, many British expats miss the familiarity of fellow Brits and the shared understanding of their home culture.

10. The Value of Familiar Faces

Particularly when living in a foreign country, the value of familiar faces cannot be understated. For British expats, connecting with other Brits provides a sense of comfort and companionship that can be hard to find in a new place.

These connections serve more than just social purposes. They offer a support system and a network of people who understand the unique challenges and joys of being a Brit abroad. These connections can make the transition to living in a foreign country easier and less daunting. They offer a slice of home, a familiar face in a sea of new ones, and are a constant reminder of the shared bond of being British.

Frequently Asked Questions


From the comforting taste of familiar foods to the thrill of British sports culture, from the magic of a British Christmas to the serene beauty of the countryside, it’s these little things and big experiences that Brits abroad miss the most. But it’s also these very things that make them uniquely British, reminding them of their roots and keeping them connected to home, no matter where they are.

No Comments

Post A Comment