Groceries in London

in All Posts, Trip to London

Hello again! πŸ™‚

 

This morning, we traveled from Manchester to London via the train, the Underground, and then a taxi.  We are now safe and sound in David’s flat (who is staying in our apartment in Orlando!).  Three cheers for an apartment swap – we are saving almost $700 in hotels!

 

Since we woke up late, I had a brunch instead of a breakfast during our train ride.  I grabbed another amazing baguette from a side shop – this one was brie, tomato, and basil.  Nom, nom, nom!

IMG_5177

And I also snacked on crisps and drank a latte.  I never got around to the banana.

IMG_5176

The train ride was uneventful, but I did finish Dan Brown’s The Last Symbol.  It was a good follow-up to The Da Vinci Code, and pretty much exactly what you would expect it to be. 

 

Once we arrived at David’s flat, we settled in, did some laundry, and walked to a corner shop to stock up on groceries and (hopefully) save some money over the next few days.

IMG_5180

Here’s our haul:

 

A bunch of fresh veggies, which we will use to make dinner tonight:

IMG_5183

Lunch basics, like cheese, bread, and beans.  I also grabbed some bulgur. Not sure what I’ll do with that, though!

IMG_5185

Breakfast basics, like my beloved Greek yogurt! I bought a brand of cereal that seemed closest to granola, which I have not seen once in England (probably just looking in the wrong aisle or something silly!).

IMG_5186

And last but not least, a HUGE thing of water and a bottle of champagne for tonight.  I also picked up a container of instant coffee, which is SO much better than the “blah” instant coffee in America.

IMG_5181

Random observations about Europe:

 

  • I miss large supermarkets with 20 different options for every food item.  I know that’s such an American thing to say.  πŸ™‚  The Husband says that London does have larger shops, but they aren’t on every corner.
  • Vegetarian options are everywhere – the food is so much better in general in England!  Even ‘fast food’ has better options.
  • I find it amusing how most Europeans have tiny fridges and not a big, massive fridge like Americans have.  The version of a fridge that David and the Husband’s grandparents have is the same size of my “beer fridge” in college.
  • People in flats do not seem to have clothing dryers, just washers!  Everything is hung up to dry. 
  • The public transportation in London is amazing.  Amazing!  I wish Orlando had a public transportation system that was half as good.

 

In short, every time I travel outside of America (I’ve been to Europe five times now), I’m reminded how big and convenient many things at home are.   We are definitely spoiled by how much space we have.  But bigger is not always better, of course – the way Europeans live is much more environmentally friendly!  Additionally, America is definitely lacking in other key areas – like public transport and quick, healthy food options!

 

What has traveling taught you?

 

See you in 2010!  Stay safe, and don’t forget to designate a driver!

{ 72 comments }

 

  • RhodeyGirl December 31, 2009, 10:59 am

    Bulgur wheat YUMMM! You can make a simple pilaf with it… Saute an onion in some oil or butter, add the bulgur and toast. Add water or veggie broth (same proportions as rice). Cover and cook! Top with some toasted nuts and enjoy! Yum.

    I am really enjoying your posts on this trip. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your vacation. It makes me miss overseas traveling so much. I can’t wait for Jordan in June!!!

  • Sara December 31, 2009, 11:03 am

    That cereal is actually really good, I think you can get it at whole foods.

  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee) December 31, 2009, 11:10 am

    I am eager to see what you fix with the foods you picked up – I’ve heard that bulgur makes a good breakfast! I hope you have a great New Year’s Eve – stay safe!

  • Carolyn December 31, 2009, 11:13 am

    That sandwich is making me drool…

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels December 31, 2009, 11:17 am

    London is sounding better and better!

  • MarathonVal December 31, 2009, 11:18 am

    That struck me as SO odd that they don’t have regular sized fridges!! Even when I was living by myself, I filled up my entire fridge. Hmmm… does that mean they just eat out more often or do they go to the grocery store more often during the week? Or maybe they just simply eat less than us Americans, haha….

  • Danielle (Coffee Run) December 31, 2009, 11:18 am

    That’s good that England has a lot of vegetarian options- def. something America could improve on. But not having a dryer would drive me nuts!

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers December 31, 2009, 11:18 am

    i love brie & your baguette looks ah-maze-ing! yummy. you are making me want to travel so badly! i thought a eurpoean honeymoon would be so romantic, but i think we’re probably going to do a tropical one & save europe for a time when we have more $$$ b/c i wanna go all out! πŸ™‚

  • Anna December 31, 2009, 11:19 am

    Oh man, what HASN’T travel taught me? Two major things:
    1. To be endlessly grateful for the opportunities and conveniences that I have as an American.
    2. The value of forging real and true connections with people. It’s easy to travel and remain on the surface, without becoming invested in the people you meet and relationships you form, but the whole experience is SO much better when you do!

    On a different note, bulgur is delicious! Serve it underneath a veggie stirfry maybe?

  • EatingRD December 31, 2009, 11:19 am

    Love seeing your travels! My dream is to one day travel around Italy. I love how everything is so fresh and the day’s meals are purchased that day and not packed into a giant fridge or freezer for weeks πŸ™‚
    I’ve learned to just go with the flow when traveling and savor all that a new place has to offer, especially the food!! yum!

  • Erin December 31, 2009, 11:21 am

    Traveling has taught me *so* much: to value the basic conveniences we have in America (even being able to communicate with employees), that we over-consume, and not to take anything for granted.

    In my London flat, we had a washer-dryer combo in the kitchen that wasn’t great at washing OR drying. πŸ˜‰

    Happy new year!

  • rungirlrunn December 31, 2009, 11:21 am

    Traveling has taught me what little value “things” actually have. While they are wonderful and I appreciate them, traveling to less fortunate countries makes you realize that things are not essential for happiness. A tough lesson to remember sometimes!

  • emily December 31, 2009, 11:23 am

    Interesting observations! I was totally shocked at the size of my fridge when I arrived in my apartment…I can fit about 1 small package of frozen-veggies in my freezer!
    I had to buy extra hangers to hang my clothing everywhere in my apartment–it’s like a battlefield trying to weave through everything that’s hanging up!!
    Funny, I think the exact opposite about the food! Maybe it’s because I grew up in NY, but I generally think that the food isn’t as good (quality-wise, and getting more bang for your buck–which is a very american mindset…lol). But I certainly agree, vegetarian options are in abundance! I know that Pret is definitely in the states–you should take a look for it once you’re back home–maybe there’s one in Florida πŸ™‚
    If you think the transportation is great in England, you should head to Switzerland! I just got home from a mini (very mini…) trip there and I have never experienced such a well-organized and timely public transportation system–it must be all the watches they have!
    I’m very happy you’re enjoying your trip, you seem to be having such an amazing time, good for you!!

  • Kirsten December 31, 2009, 11:24 am

    I agree with all of your observations about Europe! I miss living over there. It gives you good perspective though. Have you tried EAT at all? I like it better than Pret!

  • Mama Pea December 31, 2009, 11:25 am

    I love reading your observations, mostly because I haven’t traveled outside of the US much. Can you imagine how much energy the English save by using mini-fridges and not running dryers? I know public transportation is big too. I wish we could make similar changes over here (so does Al Gore) but we are just so accustomed to our wasteful lifestyle!

  • Mellissa December 31, 2009, 11:26 am

    I am up to about 25 countries now and I have learned a lot of the same things you have- the fridge size and tiny markets. Depending on where you go fresh veggies can be hard to find- I love being able to go get carrots, cucumbers etc from a market.

    We always try to eat as much local food as we can but sometimes I can only eat so many rice and beans!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg December 31, 2009, 11:26 am

    Ahhh, so nice to be able to do laundry while traveling!!! Traveling has taught me SO much…big things, like not to worry about staying exactly on schedule and not freaking out when your original plan goes awry, and small things, like how to steal enough shampoo and conditioner from a hotel to last you a year, and how to “shower” in places like fountains and the ocean.

    Happy 2010!

  • Claire December 31, 2009, 11:27 am

    I’m loving those baguettes. Hehe…cc

  • ellie December 31, 2009, 11:28 am

    I laughed at the coffee comment- the biggest difference I noticed when I was in the US was how gross the instant coffee was and how cheap real coffee was compared to the UK! We do have granola here, but it’s VERY expensive and not that good… I stock up on Bear Naked granola whenever I visit the US! Out of all the places I have travelled (Dubai, Frange, Germany, UK and US) I noticed that vegetarian options are best in the UK, but healthy options are easier to find in the US (and restaurants are far more accomodating over there when it comes to special requests!) My view of the US might be slightly tainted since I have only ever spent significant amounts of time in NYC, however! After living in London for 8 years and relying heavily on public transport, I would say that NYC’s transport system is the best I have found. We do have plenty big grocery stores in the UK but for the most part, they are slightly outside of town centres- you often find smaller versions of the big chains (Sainsbury’s, Tesco, etc) around cities with higher prices, smaller selections are more geared towards pre-packaged sandwiches for lunches than everyday groceries.

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) December 31, 2009, 11:30 am

    Woot for finding a nice little grocery shop. Hopefully that saves ya some bucks!

  • Leah @ L4L December 31, 2009, 11:35 am

    My whole life has been spent traveling. There is no way I could start in on all that I have learned.

    Have you found a Tesco? Usually they have a large selection of food items.

    Oh, and please bring me back some S&V crisps and tomato soup and baked beans.

    Thank you,

    Love Leah

  • Lo December 31, 2009, 11:40 am

    I have never been to Europe but I have been to Mexico, Costa Rica and Montreal Canada. I agree with you that going abroad shows you how convenient we have it. In Costa Rica I had to turn on the electricity to take and shower and get warm water–I took cold showers all the time because I couldn’t fig it out and got shocked every time! It also seems like fast food tastes better abroad. Even though it is more convenient here, I would still choose to live overseas, because life in other places seems slower and less stressed. ENjoy your new years and champie tonight!

    xoxo
    lo

  • susan December 31, 2009, 11:47 am

    just taking a moment to give a plug for MY favorite US city… PORTLAND, OR!!
    it’s so odd to me that people talk about having a hard time finding vegetarian options in their cities b/c i rarely feel that way… so i looked it up, several sites have PORTLAND listed as the best vegetarian friendly city in the states!
    i guess that explains it… SO if you’re a veg-head and need options, haul your cookies to portland!! =)

  • Heather @ The Joyful Kitchen December 31, 2009, 11:52 am

    Traveling has definitely taught me how little I know about our amazing world, and makes me want to travel even more! I love the brunch pic…nom nom nom is right!

  • Anna December 31, 2009, 11:53 am

    I love the public transportation found in Europe. It helps to have the buy-in of the people and the government (and closer communities instead of sprawling suburbs). I loved the introduction of the Oyster Card for the Metro – a true example of “look, just ride the metro, we’ll figure out what would’ve been the most economical option for you to purchase and we won’t charge you more then that.”
    Tesco cookies/biscuits… I remember loving those when I was in Ireland… of course I was on a limited budget but still – I just think the British/Irish do ginger cookies better, even if it is the store bought kind.

  • Jamie (A Healthy JD) December 31, 2009, 12:00 pm

    I lived on Brie, Tomato and Basil sandwiches when I studied abroad in Oxford. I am not a vegetarian but I ate vegetarian when I lived abroad because it was cheaper and healthier. I’m not a huge fan of meat products anyhow and I didn’t miss them over there. I actually love the supermarkets in England because of the lack of canned and processed foods and because everything is fresh and restocked daily. I also love how most food is organic or natural and not priced higher because of said title. One thing I found weird was that Marks and Spencer has a grocery store inside, its like going into Macy’s to buy milk, haha. Since I lived in a very college like atmosphere abroad (we lived in dorms and shared a mini fridge with the whole dorm floor) we pretty much shopped for meals daily and I grew to love it. Oxford is teeny tiny compared to London though and it was much easier to walk to a local grocery stand daily.

  • Christa December 31, 2009, 12:01 pm

    Things I’ve learned from the UK:

    1. I don’t need 3/4 of the stuff I own (this after living out of a suitcase with my 2 month old daughter in the UK after a family emergency).

    2. Rutabega/Swede actually tastes good!

    3. Processed food in the UK doesn’t have as much preservatives/filler. I eat more but tend to lose weigh abroad.

    4. Shandies (1/2 lager, 1/2 lemonade) are wonderful when you want a pint to last the evening.

    5. White wine spritzers are a trendy low-cal drink as well.

    6. Stop and eat your food. I was amazed that there aren’t drive thru food places. Was told because you aren’t meant to eat in your car.

    7. Public transportation rocks! And you can walk to pretty much anywhere.

    8. Best chocolate anywhere! American chocolate tastes too chalky now.

    9. Pub culture. I could easily take my daughter into a pub for a quick family lunch and it felt so warm and welcoming. We’ve got brew pubs in Portland now that are getting that same feel.

    10. Nothing beats UK tabloids and mags. I always come back with about 10 magazines and reread them all year!

  • Kristin December 31, 2009, 12:23 pm

    Bulgur is basically cous cous. I’d prepare it exactly as you would cous cous.

    I live in a small flat in a very large US city and desperately wish for a washer under the kitchen counter like I had when I lived abroad in Paris. I think hang drying my clothes actually makes them last longer- no snags or getting beaten up in the dryer. I think the color stays brighter too.

  • Erin December 31, 2009, 12:24 pm

    Oooh you need to find a Tesco while in the UK. I lived in Dublin for 6 months and loved doing my food shopping there!

  • Julie December 31, 2009, 12:25 pm

    I love all your vacation posts!! I want to go back to London so bad!!
    You must feel like a real live Londoner staying in a flat!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing December 31, 2009, 12:54 pm

    I love alpen!! It’s got powdered milk in it which sounds weird but tastes delish. We don’t have any big grocery stores in downtown DC either – it might be a city vs. suburbs thing but I also miss the 20+ options for each item :O).

  • jen trinque December 31, 2009, 12:54 pm

    When I went to New Zealand I was amazed at how small the frozen foods section in the grocery store was – in a good way! The stores were smaller and they seemed to have more “real” food and way less processed food. Ketchup tastes different there, too!

  • The Hot and Fit December 31, 2009, 12:55 pm

    Salt and Vinegar crisps are my absolute favourite!! Europe does not actually have that many “healthy” options…I am sure in America there are more…But then the UK is quite different from the rest of Europe. If you want a bigger grocery store, find a Tesco or Sainsbury’s…they will have everything you want!

  • Courtney December 31, 2009, 12:58 pm

    Oh, you make London look SO GOOD! Happy New Year!

  • Orla December 31, 2009, 1:02 pm

    Alpen isn’t really like granola as I don’t think the oats are toasted. It’s muesli πŸ™‚ You can get granola in 99% of supermarkets but you were unlucky not to have one near you.

    It’s very odd to have you blogging on GMT rather than me reading about your breakfast when it’s the afternoon here πŸ˜€

  • Britt - Runnerbelle December 31, 2009, 1:08 pm

    Oh how I wish the US had better public transportation like Europe! I love how easy it is to get around and how easy it is to get to other countries!!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 31, 2009, 1:20 pm

    That baguette looks amazing! I haven’t traveled much – so that has taught me I need to travel more!!!

  • Emily December 31, 2009, 1:48 pm

    You probably already know this, since your husband is British, but if you get the chance, you should try to check out a Tesco. They are definitely megastores with everything from clothes to electronics, but the grocery selection is amazing! I think the array of vegetables and interesting dips/sauces/spreads there were better than any U.S. grocery store I’ve ever seen. Truly foodie paradise.

  • meagan December 31, 2009, 2:25 pm

    traveling has taught me to be grateful for the status of women in america. i’ve been to several countries were i didn’t feel safe unless i was with a male–sometimes two.

    on the other hand, like you, i’ve always been impressed with the lack of need for BIG THINGS in other countries. fridges are tiny, markets are small and every block, people hang up their laundry…it all makes so much more sense than a huge walmart, three fridges, five tvs, and a dryer.

    have a happy new year!!

  • Tonyne @ The Unlikely Success Story December 31, 2009, 2:28 pm

    Traveling has taught me that “there’s no place like home” I know it sounds silly and I love to travel but there is a great feeling in returning home at the end of a trip. πŸ™‚

    Happy New Year to you and The Husband! I am so happy you are having such an amazing trip. Thank you so much for sharing this trip and your life in general with us! You inspire sooo many, myself included, and I know we are all grateful to you!

  • Katy December 31, 2009, 2:57 pm

    In England, they call granola “toasted muesli”!

  • Madeleine December 31, 2009, 2:57 pm

    That foreigners can’t do good tea, but that people, in general, are amazing. And that you can’t expect to learn things by being gentle: you have to get stuck in and get utterly lost before you get the full picture. Seeing a country through a white shiny window does not give the same story as plunging ones hands into the underbelly of the city and diving in.

    Happy New Year! Try and get to big ben for the bells, its fabulous. πŸ™‚

  • Amanda December 31, 2009, 3:05 pm

    Is this in Hackeny, London?

  • joaniΓ© December 31, 2009, 3:11 pm

    It seems you are comparing suburbs to city moreso then country to country. NYC has wonderful train/subway/bus options, tons of small markets, and is extremely veggie friendly. Time to visit more US cities for you!

  • Cheryle December 31, 2009, 3:14 pm

    Travel has taught me that Americans (in general) are totally ignorant about other parts of the world. And that bigger is definitely NOT better – I would much rather ride a bicycle and live in a tiny flat in Copenhagen than drive a huge SUV and live in a McMansion in middle America any day.

  • Cheryle December 31, 2009, 3:18 pm

    Oh! Thanks Susan (#23) for the shout out to my hometown – Portland, Oregon USA! We are very vegetarian/vegan friendly, have great public transporation and a very walkable city in general. Loads of natural beauty with the mountains and beach just an hour away. Many people have commented that Portland feels “European” to them and having travelled to several cities over there, I concur.

    I still long to live abroad though, if just for a year or two!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie December 31, 2009, 3:26 pm

    I love seeing those groceries! I’m sometimes disgusted by our large everything in America. I like small local things and I think it’s awesome that they have more of that there.

  • Courtney December 31, 2009, 3:33 pm

    I feel lucky to have the opportunity to study overseas as well as travel overseas…because it teaches you to appreciate what you have here in America, as well as appreciate other cultures. It is an opportunity that every student should have to open their eyes! Happy New Year…enjoy your English adventure!
    Courtney
    adventures in tri-ing

  • Jenny December 31, 2009, 3:50 pm

    I definitely see what you are saying about the conveniences of America. In my European travels, I could see myself getting very used to and happy living a “smaller” lifestyle. I love that they go buy groceries several days of the week, instead of one big weekly haul like we tend to do. I love the transportation in Europe, especially just being able to walk everywhere! What I would give to walk down the street to buy a bottle of wine! πŸ˜‰

  • Erin December 31, 2009, 3:52 pm

    This is really making me want to visit England! I’d say traveling has taught me to plan, plan, plan and then forget the plans because the best moments happen when you’re caught off guard and least expect them too! I really want to travel more this year.

  • Kalli December 31, 2009, 3:58 pm

    I have not traveled much and can’t wait to. I think how the Europeans live is so cool. I think Americans have too much at their disposal. Have a great New Year!

  • Kailey December 31, 2009, 4:09 pm

    everytime you post a baguette for your sammie I always get hungry! all of the food in London looks ahmazing! totally jealous right now : ) thats so cool that you can find fresh markets!

    happy new years eve!

  • Kelly December 31, 2009, 4:45 pm

    Traveling has taught me how glutinous America is in EVERYHTING! Just like you said…everything is bigger in America and bigger doesn’t always equate to better!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) December 31, 2009, 4:48 pm

    The things I remember about living in Europe were the small fridges, eggs aren’t kept in the fridge, milk is in small shelf stable boxes until you need to drink it.

    There is so much more but I loved being there.

  • Jenna December 31, 2009, 5:07 pm

    Have a great new years eve!!

  • skinnyrunner December 31, 2009, 5:47 pm

    loved reading your european observations! i definitely noticed how small everything was in spain when i lived abroad… the portions, the living spaces, the fridges, and the people too! not as many fat people like in the us…

  • Cyclist Kate December 31, 2009, 5:53 pm

    I lived in Madrid for a semester and was way under-impressed with the food options. It was a fabulous experience overall, but it was so.hard. to find good produce. The grocery stores didn’t have it (try as I might, I couldn’t find non-iceberg lettuce), and little fruit/veg stands were really expensive. I also was unable to find decent organic produce. However, the oranges were the best I have ever eaten in my entire life. I guess overall I just thought the quality was lower than what we’re used to here.

    On the other hand, I LOVED the public transportation. It was so easy and reliable–it was wonderful to not have to drive a car. It was also so walkable, with just about everything I needed within a 10 minute walk from my flat.

    Still, it was so wonderful to get back home. I think the experience, more than anything, taught me how much I take for granted here. Yes, there are a ton of problems with the U.S., but there’s also a sense of intimately knowing my culture that is so…comforting. I’d love to travel more and spend more time with other cultures, but there really is no place like home.

  • Leslie December 31, 2009, 5:55 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, but I think this is the first time I’ve commented. Your England posts have been a lot of fun. I am definitely impressed that you find time to exercise and do amazing blog posts on top of exploring England.

    I love learning about how people live, eat and think in different places. It seems there’s always something fun and educational to bring to life at home. I certainly had no idea being able to walk to a pub and everything else could be so amazing before I lived in Germany.

  • Hangry Pants December 31, 2009, 9:24 pm

    That’s really interesting about the food in England because I’ve always heard it was nasty. I noticed you didn’t have to resort to meat, which I think you thought about doing on the trip. I think that’s awesome – seems there are more varied options than lots of places here. Anyway, have a wonderful New Year Caitlin!

  • Harriet December 31, 2009, 11:50 pm

    Trust, you will never have better crisps than walkers crisps!
    How was The Last Symbol? I was thinking of reading it.

    What i’ve learnt from travelling?
    I love England huuuge amouns, i love the people, the culture and the comfort of england, as much as i love travelling it always feels great to come home, i couldn’t live anywhere else! It’s amaze!

    Also, I’ve just started a blog so check it out if you wish! πŸ™‚

  • Leah @ Simply fabulous January 1, 2010, 6:14 am

    I LOVED the list of differences you pointed out and can agree with each and every one of them!!

  • Leo @ cupcakes in Paris January 1, 2010, 6:26 am

    Happy New Year, Caitlin!

    I’m European, French to be exact and I have to say your observations are spot on.
    Everything is so much smaller here. The flats, the fridges, the couches, the cars and sometimes the dreams too…. But that’s another discussion.
    My husband and I recently bought an appliance that can be used as a washer AND a dryer and is the same size as a normal washing machine. Pretty inventive. It changed our life! No more clothes hanging in our tiny bathroom!!!!
    I love traveling to America, to visit my husband’s family! I’ve been there so many times that I am used to the “hugeness” of things (from SUV to Supermarkets). Even the people are bigger and I’m not just talking about being overweight. Americans seem taller and often stronger/ more muscular. French guys are puny in comparison πŸ˜‰

    I would love to be in a Whole foods store right now…… πŸ™‚

  • Miz January 1, 2010, 6:29 am

    happppy 2010.
    Im embarrassed to say Im so with you on the groceries/health food stores etc.

    a few years ago I lived in guatemala for 5 months and, while there are MYRIAD things I miss daily about my life there, the foodoptions arent one of them πŸ™‚

  • Lilly January 1, 2010, 7:06 am

    As a dual-national of both France and the US, i really hate it when people generalize and use the word “Europe” to describe one country in Europe. I live in Sweden and have traveled vastly within Europe from Spain to Russia and as any “European” will tell you, every country in Europe is fantastically and unbelievably different. In fact, in France the UK is often considered extremely “Americanized”! Just wanted to remind everyone that Europe is not a collection of states that comprise a country like in the US, but a collection of individual countries that make up a continent, and also to be a bit more sensitive about countries outside the US.

    • caitlin January 1, 2010, 8:53 am

      Good point!

  • Laura January 1, 2010, 7:25 am

    HAPPY NEW YEAR CAITLIN! I meant to comment yesterday and tip you off about the fireworks display they have over the river Thames, not quite Sydney harbour, but… I’m not sure exactly about granola- I heard that what Americans call granola is different from what British do- Alpen is museli not granola. We have a plethora of granolas in the UK- really cool ones like goji berry and yacon (Alara?) but your bog standard yummy ones are Jordans- Country Crisp etc. The supermarkets you will see in inner cities are sooo much smaller than out of town ones- due to space (there is a big one in Kensington). Waitrose and M and S are the best, but more expensive- I can get some American foods in Waitrose! Britain is getting better for healthy food availability, but it seriously lacks outside of London- I miss London! Kebabs and deep fried Mars bars anyone?!
    I couldn’t get over how BIG everything is in America when I was there- the cars, the houses, the huuuge fridges all with ice machines and especially the highways, so scary. So much choice aswell in everything. Also the police all with guns! I’d love to stay in America some more, but the flights are so expensive…

    Thank you so much for all that you have given this year and I wish you and your family a healthy, happy 2010 πŸ˜‰ Truly an inspiration! My New Years resolution is to write shorter comments!
    P.S. If you can, it might be worth popping to Planet Organic before you leave- lots of great foodie and lifestyle stuff and a great little cafe, always popular!
    http://www.planetorganic.com/

  • JAG January 1, 2010, 7:27 am

    You know Caitlin, it’s so refreshing to see someone saying such positive things about my country. I read such bad things from people that travel here, moaning about everything rather than seeing things for what they are – you look at everything so positively and it is quite refreshing to see.

    The supermarkets here are pretty huge but as your hubby said, they aren’t on every corner. Granola isn’t something that is that big over here, I have rarely seen it in supermarkets.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip πŸ™‚

  • Adi (oatonomy.com) January 1, 2010, 8:45 am

    I like your random observations. πŸ™‚ I’ve never been to Europe so it was interesting to read that stuff! I knew Europe was more environmentally friendly than the States, but sounds like it’s also much more that way than Canada.

    Happy 2010!

  • Stephanie January 1, 2010, 12:50 pm

    hello! I’m just a random reader and that Alpen cereal is muesli! I’ve never tried the Alpen brand, but there are other types such as Jordan’s, Alara’s (there’s lots of selections in England) and I highly recommend mueslis over granolas! They are not coated with sugar and oil so I guess it’s healthier; it tastes great as well! hope you like it! πŸ™‚

  • Foy @ Foy Update January 1, 2010, 1:17 pm

    I do think we as Americans over use space and resources. When I lived in Central America it was really easy, not to have a refrigerator and to not heat or cool a space, to buy locally produced food and walk or take public transport everywhere.

    Now that I am back in the States, I struggle to keep my spending in check and to walk to stores that are in walking distance. I have made some New Years Resolutions to help me work on curbing my consumption. We’ll see how it goes.

  • Susan January 1, 2010, 2:06 pm

    I did a big trip of Germany, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France a few years ago. One thing I loved were the bike lanes everywhere!! It’s great that every bikes everywhere to begin with, but I really appreciated that all the cities had the infrastructure to support it. Where I live in Canada, you’re basically risking your life to bike on the busy streets.

    Also, as a Canadian, one thing I’ve noticed when I travel to the States is that restaurant portion sizes are HUGE. I suppose they’re still quite big in Canada, but in some places in the U.S. it’s just ridiculous.

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) January 3, 2010, 9:53 am

    I love going to grocery stores in other countries! I just went to one in the Dominican yesterday … it is so interesting to see the different kinds of food.

Healthy Tipping Point