I’m with George Orwell on a lot of things, but In Defence of English Cooking is an essay I have always been a bit ambivalent about. Nonetheless, in London at least, I can see his point. If someone says that the Brits can’t cook, the capital has plenty of Berkeley-style refutations (kick optional).
Ah, the slippery, denigrating bastard says. I never said Brits can’t cook anything. What I mean is, they can’t cook seafood, and they can’t cook it in a British style.
That’s a bit harder to refute in London, where seafood is generally (and mystifyingly) woeful. But now I have a refutation for that too. It involves taking the critic to Brighton, and then taking them into one of the small back-alleys near the city centre. I’m not advocating violence. I’m saying you take them to Riddle and Finns.