July 23, 2012
Uwishunu’s Guide To Being British In Philadelphia, Just In Time For The London Olympics Opening On Friday, July 27
At its origins, Philadelphia was one of the biggest cities and busiest ports of the British colonies.
Even today, it’s impossible to miss Philly’s British influences, with Independence Hall the home of the original inkstand used to sign the Declaration of Independence, America’s separation from Great Britain.
Revolutionary War battles have even taken place right in our backyard.
With the opening ceremony of this year’s Summer Olympics in London around the corner, we bring you a slice of Great Britain right here in our own city. (Don’t worry. We’re still rooting for you, Team USA.)
Check out our guide to exploring Philadelphia like an Anglophile, and stay tuned for our guide to where to watch the 2012 Summer Olympics:
• The Dandelion: Stephen Starr’s London-style pub, The Dandelion, hits Center City with selections from the land and from the sea. They also feature an “Afternoon Tea” menu for the summer filled with delicious cocktails and sodas. Bonus: they’ll be screening the Olympic Opening Ceremony as well as round-the-clock coverage of the games.
• London Grill: After checking out the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s impressive British collections, stop by London Grill in Fairmount. Co-owners Terry Berch McNally and Chef Michael McNally serve up a mean fish-n-chips with plenty of beer and cocktails to go along. Or try the signature London Burger.
• Pub & Kitchen: Head over to Pub & Kitchen in Rittenhouse and taste their famous Churchill and Parliament Burgers for a pub-style meal that brings you across the Atlantic. Also, enjoy an extensive list of cocktails, bottles and draught beers and wines.
• Elephant & Castle Pub: At the heart of Center City, you’ll find one of London’s signature red telephone booths in front of Elephant & Castle Pub. Serving up classics like shepherd’s pie, fish-n-chips and bangers and mash, this British-style pub is the perfect place to feel like an Anglophile.
• A Taste of Britain Cafe and Tea Room: Located in Wayne, this cozy red cafe and tea room offers some British favorites like Cornish pasties and chicken pot pie. A Taste of Britain also serves afternoon tea, featuring scones, an assortment of tea sandwiches, pastries and a pot of premium loose-leaf tea.
Read on for where to take your tea, pick up British candy and more.
A Spot of Tea
• The Four Seasons Hotel’s Swann Lounge: From Monday-Friday, 2-3:30 p.m and Saturday 3-4:30 p.m., the Four Seasons Hotel’s Swann Lounge offers a “Social Tea” and “Royal Tea.” Both options include tea, scones, finger sandwiches, desserts and fruit tartlets. The “Royal Tea” includes the addition of an alcoholic beverage like sparkling wine or the signature cocktail, the Pink Swann.
• The Rittenhouse Hotel’s Mary Cassatt Tea Room: Located inside the famous Rittenhouse Hotel, the Mary Cassatt Tea Room serves afternoon British tea and cocktails in a beautiful parlor or outside in the garden. You can even add a glass of champagne to couple with your “Queen Victoria Tea.”
• Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop: The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop serves more than 40 artisanal teas and house-blended herbal infusions. This quirky, community-oriented tea spot in Northern Liberties also features interesting vintage and antique pieces for sale.
• Cups and Chairs Tea Cafe: Located in the heart of Queen Village, Cups and Chairs features a selection of more than 55 kinds of loose-leaf tea, which can be brewed at home or enjoyed in the cozy, multi-room cafe along with light snacks.
• Premium Steap: For a quick stop for all of your tea needs, Premium Steap in Center City offers the finest, full-leaf, premium teas from around the world. More than 100 varieties of tea are also available from the take-out tea bar.
British Sweets and Treats
Next to the Peanut Chews and Tastykakes, check out these great food stores in Philadelphia serving up some your favorite British sweets and treats from Cadbury to Nestle Rowntree:
• Jay’s Deli: 1228 Spruce Street
• Old Nelson Food Company: 701 Chestnut Street and 35 S. 13th Street
• Serve-Rite Food Market: 239 S. 10th Street
• VIP Food & Produce: 1314 Walnut Street
Dress to the Nines
• Duke & Winston: This Northern Liberties boutique owned by Seun Olubodun and his English Bulldog, HRH the Duke, features a Philadelphia-based men’s clothing line (and a limited dog line!) inspired by refined and simple UK clothing styles. The Duke & Winston name pays homage to both HRH the Duke and Sir Winston Churchill.
• Bus Stop Boutique: London-born Elena Brennan opened Bus Stop Boutique on Fabric Row in 2007, dedicated to carrying hard-to-find designer labels and styles for men and women. Brennan opened the boutique with the mission that every person should can dress in the styles of the fashion capitals of the world without having to travel there.
And like we said, keep an eye out for our upcoming roundup of Olympics events and specials in Philadelphia.