When I started writing The Thirteenth Hour, I wanted to include as many random British references as I could. This book is written using American spelling and grammar rules, however, thus I considered scrapping the British snacks and changing them for American ones – swapping biscuits for cookies, for example.
But my beta readers were insistent I keep my biscuits as they are!
So instead of changing them, I’m going to provide a handy guide to the British food and drinks which appear in The Thirteenth Hour!
Tea and Biscuits
Is there anything more British than tea and biscuits?
British tea is often brewed via an electric kettle in many homes. It is prepared by adding a tea bag to a cup or mug, then adding boiling hot water and allowing the tea bag to steep for a minute or two before taking it out with a spoon. We then add a splash of milk and two sugars, though the amount of milk and sugar added varies between tastes!
There’re different varieties of tea, starting with the classics such as English Breakfast and Earl Grey. Herbal teas like peppermint or chamomile don’t need milk or sugar.
It’s traditional to have a biscuit when drinking tea, and to even dunk your biscuit into your tea. What you may refer to as a cookie, we refer to as a biscuit. There are many types of biscuits with different flavours, though we also have cookies, usually with chocolate chips! The type of biscuits you’ll find in The Thirteenth Hour includes round digestive biscuits, chocolate bourbon biscuits (as seen above!), and custard creams. These are all perfect for dunking in your tea.
Afternoon Tea and Cakes!
Afternoon tea is a grand affair! There’s no better way to spend your afternoon than with your own tea party. While there are different ways to host your afternoon tea, the classic afternoon tea set up consists of small sandwiches or savoury scones, such as cheese scones, as well as a variety of tea as mentioned above, and cakes! Lots of cakes!
Cakes often come in individual portions or slices, and in The Thirteenth Hour you’ll find a reference to some of my favourites, including Battenberg and Cherry Bakewell. Though I missed off Victorian Sponge, which is a must for all tea parties. Cream scones with jam (AKA jelly) are also popular.
For fancy afternoon tea parties, you can swap out the tea for wine!
The Full English Breakfast!
Nothing gets the day started like a full English breakfast. You may have seen these before and felt the pangs of jealousy because we British know how to do a greasy breakfast! A proper English breakfast consists of eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, and toast. Modern versions include hash browns. You’ll find the main characters of The Thirteenth Hour tucking into a similar breakfast, but since their world is largely vegetarian, they forego the bacon and sausage.
Other Snacks and Drinks!
Other British food and drink you’ll find referenced in The Thirteenth Hour:
Candy Floss = The British name for cotton candy!
Crumpets = Oh god, I have no idea how to describe crumpets – I guess they are muffins with holes in them? They’re delicious with melted butter!
Dandelion and Burdock = A dark drink quite similar in taste to root beer!
As The Cruel Gods series goes on, I’ll be introducing you to more fantastic British snacks, but if you ever come across a food you don’t recognise in my books, give me an email and I’ll happily explain 😉
What’s your favourite British snack?