With April upon us, St George’s Day is just around the corner and here at The Lion we’re looking forward to celebrating the best of what our nation has to offer.
Though we’re just a few miles from the border with Wales, we’re proudly situated in the North West of England and so in anticipation of the day of England’s patron saint, we decided to dedicate our latest blog to hailing the nation’s favourite dishes available on our menu.
History of St George’s Day
St George’s Day is celebrated on 23rd April in honour of Saint George, the patron saint of England. While he may be the English patron saint it’s believed that Saint George was, in fact, a Roman soldier of Greek origin who lived in 3rd century AD.
Saint George is best known for the legend of him slaying a dragon, which symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. According to the legend, which has helped to inspire many a fairy tale, Saint George was a brave and chivalrous knight who rescued a princess from a dragon that was terrorising her kingdom.
His defeat of this malevolent dragon led to the creation of a day dedicated to the victory, which has been celebrated since the 13th century.
Despite waning in importance, in recent years, there has been a renewed interest in celebrating St George’s Day, and there are now many events and festivities held across the country to mark the occasion.
The Best Of Our British Dishes
Garlic mushrooms on toast
For many Brits, a collection of earthy, plump mushrooms piled atop of a golden slice of toast is the ultimate comfort dish. The humble mushroom is a beloved native of these shores and has been foraged for centuries for its magnificent taste.
The beauty of our garlic mushrooms on toast lies within its simplicity. Ultimately, this dish does what it says on the tin, but it still makes for a delightfully delicious light bite or starter to whet the appetite.
Our mushrooms are sauteed in garlic and served on top of a crunchy slice of warm toast… A popular starter among our diners!
A no-nonsense Yorkshire favourite! The Barnsley lamb chop is, in essence, a double loin lamb chop that became popular in the early 1900s, when Barnsley was a thriving industrial centre with a large population of coal miners and steelworkers.
These workers had demanding physical jobs in South Yorkshire’s mines and steel mills and needed a hearty meal to sustain them. The Barnsley lamb chop was an affordable and filling option that quickly became a local favourite.
Today, it’s popularity has outgrown the boundaries of South Yorkshire and is a cut of meat that’s enjoyed across the UK. Our succulent cuts of lamb sit among thyme garlic roasted field mushrooms, luscious tomatoes and minted butter.
Fish and Chips
Fish and chips is commonly regarded as our national dish and for many, the iconic seaside favourite personifies the very essence of Britishness. Enjoyed as part of a ‘chippy tea’ on a Friday night or on the beach in Blackpool, it’s a truly beloved double act.
However, despite the seeming intrinsic link between fish and chips and a wet and windy English seafront, the dish is of more sun-kissed Mediterranean origins, with the concept of fish being battered and fried in oil being introduced by Spanish and Portuguese Jewish immigrants.
Like many of our nation’s favourite dishes, fish and chips’ popularity burgeoned during the industrial revolution and by the end of the nineteenth century it had become a staple part of our diets.
Here at The Lion, we treasure this quintessentially British dish. Our shimmering golden battered cod and thick-cut chips are perfectly complemented by cool minted peas and the essential creamy tartar sauce.
Quite simply, there isn’t a food out there that’s as synonymous with England as beef. To this day, when Royal Navy officers sit down to eat, the ‘Roast Beef of Old England’ is sung:
When mighty Roast Beef was the Englishman’s food,
It ennobled our brains and enriched our blood.
Our soldiers were brave, and our courtiers were good
Oh! the Roast Beef of old England,
And old English Roast Beef!
Beef has, for centuries, encapsulated the English ideals of being tough and all-powerful but fundamentally it’s also a meat that we’ve always loved.
British beef is also held up as by far and away the finest quality due to the grass-based diet that our cow’s enjoy. Grass-fed meat is always the tastiest and it’s filled with beneficial vitamins and fatty acids.
Sourced from the rolling grass-laden Shropshire countryside, our 28-day old prime 8oz beef is cooked over hot coals and laid atop juicy, plump tomatoes and thyme garlic roasted field mushrooms.
Despite its presence on the dessert table since the eighteenth century, the re-popularisation of carrot cake came from the need for a dessert that could meet the strict rationing criteria set out by the Food Ministry amid the stark food shortages of the Second World War.
Carrot was a readily available ingredient during the war period, thanks to the Dig for Victory campaign that saw many gardens producing a wealth of vegetables, and as such it was a great addition to cake recipes thanks to its sweet flavour.
However, despite its austere roots, the cake has developed into one of the nation’s favourites and is an essential item for any cake stand worth its salt.
Our luxurious carrot cake is topped with a majestic crème chiboust and a magnificent, candied carrot and is the perfect way to round off a gloriously British meal at The Lion, this St George’s Day.
If you’re licking your lips at the thought of these national favourites, then why not book a table with us today?!