visiting uk, need help!

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Replies

  • fay_pigu
    fay_pigu Posts: 125 Member
    The UK has seen a renascence in food over the past decade, not just in London but all over. It's easy to eat buttery, creamy salt filled loveliness but equally possible to eat well.

    Eat local produce (if available), in season vegetables and pick organic (closely regulated here).

    timeout is good site to find places like:
    www.timeout.com/london/feature/997/londons-best-cheap-eats



    But if you want to go for chains look at areas like below that will list places to eat (following is near liverpool street station, has market as well):

    http://www.spitalfields.co.uk/restaurants.php
    Places include:
    http://www.leonrestaurants.co.uk/menu/ (healthy, cheap, fast)
    www.canteen.co.uk/ (not so healthy but nice)
    http://www.giraffe.net/classic/menus/ (not bad, good range)
  • londoneye
    londoneye Posts: 192 Member
    Oh the horror! I'm from London, and to see people recommending Nandos and Weatherspoons to visitors makes me cringe! Why would you want to seek out mediocre, unhealthy chain food? When I travel I want to try fresh local produce, not mass produced crap! Just check out some restaurant blogs, use your instinct, and talk to the waiters!

    Also, if you're from the US, you'll find pretty much anywhere in the world easier to eat low-cal than where you are now. The portion sizes are way smaller, for a start!
  • londoneye
    londoneye Posts: 192 Member
    The UK has seen a renascence in food over the past decade, not just in London but all over. It's easy to eat buttery, creamy salt filled loveliness but equally possible to eat well.

    Eat local produce (if available), in season vegetables and pick organic (closely regulated here).

    timeout is good site to find places like:
    www.timeout.com/london/feature/997/londons-best-cheap-eats



    But if you want to go for chains look at areas like below that will list places to eat (following is near liverpool street station, has market as well):

    http://www.spitalfields.co.uk/restaurants.php
    Places include:
    http://www.leonrestaurants.co.uk/menu/ (healthy, cheap, fast)
    www.canteen.co.uk/ (not so healthy but nice)
    http://www.giraffe.net/classic/menus/ (not bad, good range)

    Good advice, though I hated giraffe. Time out is a great source of good recommendations.
  • arl999
    arl999 Posts: 5 Member
    I live in London. It might be helpful if you could give us an idea of where you will be visiting, what sort of food you like and perhaps your budget - since this will help us give you better options.

    Generally it is pretty easy to eat out on low calories. Not all restaurants have the calories on the menu but if you Google them in advance you can find them on line (eg Wagamama and Pret a Manger). Ping Pong (dim sum) have a healthy lunch - 312 calories and really filling and fun coz lots of different things to eat.

    All restaurants will swap the potato/starch for veg and/or salad. These days lots of restaurants have a lighter choice - smaller portion plus a salad is quite usual.

    Safe options are things like Chicken Ceasar (I have mine with no cheese and no dressing but fresh lemon wedges which you can squeeze on) or egg white omlettes (I have mine with spinach and mushroom) which you can get most places.

    Here is a link which talks about some of our chains http://www.allaboutyou.com/health/diet/healthiest-restaurant-meals-in-britain

    I hope you enjoy your visit and ask if you have any more questions
  • graelwyn
    graelwyn Posts: 1,341 Member
    As many have said, portion sizes here in the Uk tend to be much smaller than the US when eating out, and some are actually pretty tiny portions, depending on where you eat. I never have an issue finding something healthy as most restaurants tend to do some sort of grilled or baked fish dish with vegetables, and many now even do gluten free. Pizza express has a nutrition guide, and they do a gluten free, aubergine based dish as well as yes, their leggera pizza which is 500 calories or less, and sort of has a bit cut out of the middle and replaced with salad. They even have a low calorie sorbet dessert.

    Wetherspoons now list 600 calorie and less dishes on their menu, including a bean chilli and they are reasonably priced if you don't mind a pub environment.

    Prezzo is another who do fish dishes and also have lighter options for pizza and pasta, believe it or not.

    Cafe Rouge is another chain that has healthier choices and makes those known on the menu.

    Bella Italia - another one that now marks off the lower calorie dishes on their menu, also a chain restaurant.

    Plenty of places where you can just get a baked potato with a toppng.

    I have always found staff in Uk restaurants generally pretty tolerant of requests for changes to their dishes. I remember a time when I was anorexic and would only eat steamed vegetables, and no restaurant ever had an issue or turned the request down, so you shouldn't have any issues at all.

    Most major supermarkets have their own lower calorie ranges, including Asda, Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencers (brill sandwiches) and Tesco, so I really don't think you have cause for concern.
  • TiffanyAching
    TiffanyAching Posts: 50 Member
    you really won't struggle. we have good food here! my husband is a chef ;) we have plenty of perfectly ok chain restaurants but you can find something to suit your tastes at zillions of independent places. explore and enjoy!
  • Uxorial
    Uxorial Posts: 38
    Thanks for all the tips. I have been to the UK before but not when my diet was so restricted. I'm mainly concentrating on not sucking back my weight in battenburg cake :love:

    I think I asked for chains and such, mainly because I'll have my 4 year old with me. I find we can eat one sit down meal a day and for the others we will probably be grabbing something more on the go and having a picnic, etc. I also find that people in general seem more tolerant of children in a chain than in a fine dining establishment. Of course, that is dependent on the time, child, etc.

    We'll be around Birmingham (family from Wolverhampton) and London. Also visiting some of the kid-friendly attractions (Birmingham aquarium, Drayton Manor, Cadbury World).
  • I live near glasgow but subway can be very healthy if you make it right (without too many sauces)
    Wagamama's in glasgow is also really good and fresh food, dont knnow if they have a chain anywhere else though
  • SUBWAY!!!
  • RoosterB
    RoosterB Posts: 214 Member
    You won't find the huge retail parks full of the fast food chains that you have in the US. Also the UK is generally about quality over quantity so don't expect to take your leftovers home in a box.
    Most places have a good range on the menu and so long as you avoid the fastfood places, it's generally cooked to order so they'll accomodate your specific requests.
  • Don't know how reliable it is, but this website might be helpful, just ring the restaurants to check they're there if the reviews are very old i guess http://www.veggieheaven.com/uk/england/birmingham/
  • fteale
    fteale Posts: 5,330 Member
    Food in the UK is in general a lot healthier than in the US, so I think you will find it pretty easy to eat well while you are here. We don't have HFCS for a start! There are a lot of chains, As you say, Yo Sushi and Nandos are good, especially for vegetarians, but they aren't on every street corner. You'll find things to eat without bread everywhere. There are a million and one Indian and Chinese food places, pretty much wherever you are. There is a big difference in food by area. Presumably you are going to London, where you will find anything you have ever dreamed of to eat. The further out you go, the less choices there are, but I don't think wherever you are you will have a problem.
  • JoATurnbull
    JoATurnbull Posts: 2 Member
    Beware of Cadbury World!!
    Went there a few years back when the family was younger, they handed out samples as you went round.
    You may need a lot of self control.
  • paulaviki
    paulaviki Posts: 678 Member
    I'm going to the UK soon, and I need some help determining what some good food choices would be for me.

    I'm trying to steer away from fat and sugar, I'm okay to eat carbs although I mainly want protein, fruits and veg. This is just for personal illness issues, I know most people need a balance of these things, but basically I have to eat like a diabetic with high cholesterol.

    There don't seem to be many food chains in the UK, so having nutritional info isn't always a given.

    So far, I've determined a few things I can eat at Yo Sushi and Nanos.

    I'm thinking of eating vegan at times and talking to the servers/chefs. Any other ideas?

    I'll have lots of salads with dressing on the side. But any other tips and ideas?

    There are loads of chain restaurants in the UK just as there is in America. There are pub type chains such as Beefeaters, Weatherspoons (although personally I would avoid them as I think the food is poor quality!), Chef & Brewer pubs, Harvesters. Then there are loads of Italian chains like Pizza Express, Zizzi, Bella Italia. American style places like TGI's, Frankie & Benny's etc. and the random ones like Wagamama (noodles), Nando's, La Tasca (tapas), Wahaca (Mexican).

    Then there will be loads of Indian and Chinese restaurants and local pubs who will serve varying types of food.

    I live in England and actually think its quite easy to eat healthily when you eat out. Most places will have lighter or healthier choices on their menus. And most chains foods are already in the MFP database.
  • Vailara
    Vailara Posts: 2,312 Member
    I've just remembered The Slug and Lettuce. I wouldn't particularly recommend the food, but when I ate there once, they were happy to give me extra vegetables instead of chips.
  • fteale
    fteale Posts: 5,330 Member
    Prêt a Manger do good breadless sandwiches. Also my children love Dimt (dim sum and noodles). I think you get the best food from independent restaurants and gastropubs, though.