Mexican restaurants line nearly every block in most Northern California cities, but restaurants serving authentic British cuisine are hard to come by, as there just aren't many of them in NorCal. Yes, there a few of British-style pubs, but British restaurants are few and far between. If you're in the greater Sacramento area, and you're in the mood for authentic British cuisine, look no further than A Touch of Britain in North Highlands.
As with all of my reviews, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: After spending near four cold, rainy hours enjoying the first "open cockpit" day in the history of the Aerospace Museum of California, I was ready for some hot food and drink. It has been at least 10 years since I've visited Touch of Britian, so on this early Saturday afternoon, April 08, 2017, I wanted to get a "fix" of authentic British cuisine.
Photo: As you walk in the front door, it looks more like a store than a restaurant. That's no surprise, as the retail store occupies about two-thirds of the entire building; the restaurant is to the left. The store features the best selection of imported British food, and even features a freezer stocked with British meat pies, scones, pasties, pudding, bangers and more.
Photo: The dining room is clean, comfortable, and, as the staff told me, very "British." If you've enjoyed the pleasure to have visited the U.K., judge for yourself, and let me know.
Photo: I love the slogan on the menu that reads, "Tea time is anytime." The menu is small, and rather basic, but it covers many classic British favorites. There isn't another restaurant that even comes close to Touch of Britain in the greater Sacramento area.
Photo: I'm not a big fan of tea, but since I was dining at Touch of Britain, and enjoying authentic cuisine, tea seemed appropriate. Not to mention, I'd been hiking around in the cold, wind and rain checkout the nearby aerospace museum, so I was looking to put something warm inside me. After delivering a pot of tea, the amazingly friendly owner of the restaurant, Lilian, brings a plate of buttered bread to my table with a smile. Lilian asked me if I'd heard the story of why she only has one "L" in her name, as the common spelling of the name has two "L's." Naturally, I had no idea. She told me, "it's because I grew up poor in England, and my folks didn't have enough money for two Ls..." No, I'm not making this up! Of course this lovely lady speaks with a very charming British accent.
Photo: Tea for one, and tea time is anytime the restaurant is open. You get a pot of hot tea, a little decanter of real cream, and a piece of buttered bread. Normally, I'm not a fan of tea, but this was the best tea I've ever had; in fact, it tasted even better than coffee! I asked my server, Peggy, what was the secret, and she said they serve PG Tips tea, which is sold in the store. This tea is remarkably delicious!
Photo: Since today was my first visit to the restaurant with my camera, I just HAD to go with fish and chips, although steak and kidney pie tugged at my heartstrings, and at my stomach. After placing my order, it was ready in less than 15 minutes, and delivered to my table, with a smile, by my friendly server, She and I chatted quite a bit about the restaurant, my web site, and food in general. She told me that she'd just returned from a trip to London, and the fish and chips produced by Taste of Britain are even more "British" than the fish and chips sold in London. Sounds good to me!
Photo: Thanks, Peggy, for snapping my photo, as I prepare to take a trip to London, via my stomach, and the fine cuisine offered at Taste of Britain.
Photo: I was hungry, so I didn't go a la carte, as I went the full route and ordered two pieces of fish, chips, and mushy peas. Am I ever glad I did!
I've never had mushy peas before, but they were so good that I could have eaten four times as many. Basically mushy peas taste like thick split pea soup, without any ham or carrots. They are a staple in the British diet and are amazing delicious! My eyes bugged out when I saw the chips... Can I say steak fries?
Peggy told me the fish is Icelandic cod, deep fried in their original recipe batter. It's the owner, Lilian's recipe, and she grew up in the U.K., so she knows a thing or two about British cooking. The fish was amazing, as it was juicy and tender inside, cooked perfectly, and not at all greasy. The ratio of batter-to-fish was perfect, and the delicious batter enhanced the taste of the fresh fish to make for some of the best fried fish that I've enjoyed for a long time.
Photo: Close up of fish, chips and mushy peas. At $12.95 the lunch isn't cheap, but it's delicious, authentic and worth every penny... errrr.... shilling? I can't wait to visit this restaurant another time!
Photo: Early Friday afternoon, May 12, 2017, my wife Sharlene and I enjoyed an early afternoon lunch at this wonderful restaurant, and as in the previous photos, were treated to the fine service of Lilian and Peggy. I ordered "Steak and Kidney Pie," and Sharlene ordered "Fish and Chips," which was identical to the "Fish and Chips" I ordered during my previous visit. As always, the food was delicious!
Photo: My lunch of "Steak and Kidney Pie," along with the included sides of chips and mushy peas. I absolutely loved my lunch, as it was prepared perfectly, and was about as British as British can get. As much as I loved this dish, my favorite is still fish and chips...
You don't have to travel across the pond if you want to get a "touch of Britain" in your life, as all you need to do is to head over to Touch of Britain in North Highlands for an authentic, British dining experience. Lilian and her staff will treat you like British royalty, and serve you a satisfying meal.
When you're in the mood for authentic British cuisine in the greater Sacramento area, head over to Touch of Britain, and, as the British say, "And Bob's your uncle!"
Touch of Britain
Copyright(c) 2017 eRench Productions. All rights reserved. We've been on the web since December 22, 2002.