Quintessentially British: A guide to Britain

Oh England, the land of Shakespeare. Those polite gentleman that appears in romantic movies, the charming accent and the eternal rain… well, you would think that if you aren’t British. It is true that every country has its own stereotypes, and that generalisation can be wrong in practice but… sometimes it can be quite funny and endearing

Quintessential literally means: ‘representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class’.

This may read as though it is referring solely to the ‘upper’ end of the UK class system, but I think ‘Quintessentially British’ now goes far reaching into all layers of our diverse population and showcases the heart and breadth of British culture. From Sunday footie and then the pub, to roast dinners; Wimbledon Tennis, to smiling in the face of adversity and having a sense of humour. British culture captures a diverse spectrum of foods, events, activities, behaviours and psychology.

Throughout this article, I am going to reveal some of my thoughts about what being quintessentially British means. As a Brit, I have an intrinsic capacity to make fun at everything, including myself, and therefore, below are some of our traditions that can be seen as funny for the rest of the world or NOT. In addition, I will reveal some of the  traditions that we have in Quick Cargo Service UK.

Are you ready?  Let the fun being!

Tea

How would you react if I tell you that the average Brit drinks about 5-6 cups of tea per day? Crazy, isn’t it? If you haven’t ever tried tea and you come to England for a visit, be ready to receive thousands of tea propositions. Do you know what’d be lovely? A ‘cuppa tea!!

Tea is a hidden pleasure here in QCS UK. Frequently, you can hear the magic sound of the spoons hitting our empty coffee cups. This means that we want more tea! Ipso facto, our lovely Raymundo (the tea chief) will prepare it.

Fish and Chips

Who hasn’t heard about the famous fish and chips? It’s consolidated as the favourite British dinner, specially in the coast. It’s made, as its name literally indicates, with fish and chips as a side. It might sound quite simple compared to other countries’ gastronomy. Nevertheless, here in England, we are too busy talking about the poor weather to actually have time to sit in the sun, on the beach eating Fish and Chips.

Obsession for the weather

“It’s such a miserable day. Ohh, absolutely mate!” This conversation could be seen as normal in any country’s winter, but here in England you can hear it quite often. Even in surprising days in August!! When it is meant to be our summer – what summer?

It is true that we Britons live beneath a “giant shower”. Now you can understand why we put on summer clothes and sunglasses at the first glimpse of sunshine. Don’t be surprised if you see someone walking in flip-flops and short in the rain (even when it’s still freezing cold!)

Cakes and baking

Who doesn’t love cakes? Okay, we might not have a great gastronomy (compared to countries like Spain or Italy), but if there is something where we Brits are (one of) the best, then that is baking!

An example of this, so you can understand how crazy about baking we are: “The Great British Bake Off” is award-winning British television baking competition first shown byBBC Two on 17 August 2010, and it’s still kicking! Personally, this TV shows is one of my guilty pleasures, I could say – as I love baking! – but really I just love eating cakes baked by my mum! Maybe one day she will participate, who knows!

Cakes are an essential part of the QCS UK culture. At least every month, I bring a magnificent cake to the office, cooked by my mother, who bakes amazingly well. This is a great way of rewarding the hard work that we do in the office. You have to try the carrot cake, it will change your life indeed!

Queueing and apologising unnecessarily

We actually hate queuing. I mean, who likes it? It might be something intrinsic to us, we don’t really know! In the same way, politeness is a real British thing. If you are visiting the United Kingdom, be ready to queue, in order and in line, no pushing in. Hear repeated words: sorry, please and thank you/cheers mate, doors being held open, seats being given up on trains and hands shaken! We see this as a natural way of communicating with the people in many situations, but it might be a shock for someone who isn’t used to saying sorry when you nearly bumped into someone in a narrow street!

Our industry is all about people and relationships, understanding what makes people tick and what we like and dislike.