Why we love Britain: Our ‘Best of Blighty’

For many of us, wherever we've ended up, Great Britain continues to play a significant role in our lives – and remains a huge source of pride.

Why we love Britain: Our ‘Best of Blighty'
Crumpets have long been a favourite of Britons and Anglophiles around the world. Photo: Getty Images

Whether you’re native-born, or simply a keen anglophile, there’s something about the UK – its music, food, culture and history – that is loved by many. That’s because the British Isles are, despite their relatively small size, still a global giant in many respects.  

Together with British Corner Shop – an online supermarket that delivers British food all over the world – let’s sit down with a nice cuppa and celebrate what’s (more than) OK about the UK. 

Music: From Music Hall to Acid House 

Music has always been the pulse of Britain. From the songs of bards, to bawdy music hall ballads, the British have always loved exploring the world (and themselves) through song.

For the rest of the world, it was the ‘British Invasion’ of the sixties that was the first real exposure to the sound of the UK. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Queen – each of these bands redefined popular music, along with the rhythm and blues sound brought from the US. Then came the raucous sound of punk – The Sex Pistols and The Buzzcocks defying social convention in their own unforgettable way. 

As time progressed, new waves of bands came to rewrite the songbook when it came to their specific style. In the eighties, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Motörhead hammered out a new metal sound, as The Smiths, The Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays pioneered the alternative Indie sound. 

During the nineties, the ‘Battle of Britpop’ between Oasis and Blur established the idea of ‘Cool Britannia’. Elsewhere, in warehouses and fields across the country, acts like The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim and Underworld played raves and club nights that shaped the endlessly evolving world of dance music. 

To this day, the UK music scene is a massive export, with new acts constantly storming worldwide charts – from Adele to Harry Styles, Dua Lipa to the King of Grime himself, Stormzy! – the Brits are a constant powerhouse when it comes to music.

What’s your favourite British export? If it’s tea and treats you’re missing, British Corner Shop has got your covered

The Rolling Stones, along with other ‘British Invasion’ acts, redefined popular music. Photos: Getty Images

Film: Reel Britannia 

While most of us automatically think of Hollywood when film is mentioned, Britain’s screen industry has been captivating audiences for over a century. 

Charlie Chaplin was truly one of the worlds’ first true movie stars and had crowds roaring with laughter in the twenties, while in the thirties, Cary Grant and Errol Flynn smouldered – when not doing a little bit of swashbuckling. 

You can’t talk about cinema for long without mentioning Pinewood and Elstree Studios, such are their legendary reputations as centres for movie magic. From Alfred Hitchcock thrillers to the spectacle of Star Wars, without these classic sound stages and the film professionals working there, we’d be without some of our favourite flicks. 

Today, James Bond continues to shatter box office records with his Walther PPK, while Harry Potter (and the Fantastic Beasts crew) enchant new generations of kids.

Comedy: Are you having a laugh? 

Ask people what shaped their sense of humour and Monty Python will be a very common answer. From a bunch of mates having a laugh in university reviews, they would go on to conquer the world with their absurd, surreal, yet insightful brand of comedy. They’re not messiahs though – they’re just very naughty boys! 

Brits are known for their wit, dry sense of humour and keen eye for satire. Subsequent generations would have their sides split by TV shows such as The Young Ones, I’m Alan Partridge, political satire show Spitting Image, the wonderful comical duo of French and Saunders, and of course the various iterations of Britain’s most cunning schemer, Blackadder

Recently, we’ve seen another renaissance in British comedy, with shows like The Mighty Boosh, Peep Show, Friday Night Dinner and Fleabag brilliantly skewering various aspects of British life. 

Comedy of all kinds remains one of Britain’s most potent cultural exports. Fringe festivals like the annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe (now in its 75th year!) and small-venue stand-up nights are fertile ground for new talent, with many of today’s biggest acts finding their big breaks that way. Today, stand-up comedy giants like Bill Bailey, Jimmy Carr, Russell Howard and Sarah Millican are loved by audiences globally.  

Heritage: A real Game of Thrones

When George R. R. Martin was looking for inspiration for his series A Song of Ice and Fire, he borrowed heavily from the real-life ‘War of the Roses’ that raged across England in the fifteenth century. 

That’s because British history is cool. It’s full of heroic battles, vicious scheming, impressive castles and inspirational moments. It’s a story of family feuds and the struggle for greater freedoms – and often stranger than fiction! 

Of course, much of Britain’s heritage is still there to be enjoyed. From The Tower of London to Stonehenge or Hampton Court Palace, millions flock to historical attractions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to immerse themselves in the adventure. 

Fish and chips are a British invention and a favourite shared meal. Photo: Getty Images

Food: No, really, the food is pretty great! 

Honestly, for all the jokes that people make regarding its blandness and stodginess, British food has plenty to offer. 

The UK produces stunning cheeses, meat and ale, with farmer’s markets selling farm-fresh ingredients for the table each week. Who doesn’t love a good roast beef, with a crispy Yorkshire pudding? 

It’s not just fresh produce that Britons love. Whether it’s a toasty buttered crumpet, shortbread biscuits, or a sandwich with a spread of Branston Pickle, British snacks and bakery goods keep the world turning for Brits and UK-lovers.

When it comes time for a treat, for example, Cadbury chocolates are a classic that have been satisfying sweet tooths since 1831. For a wide range of high-quality, delicious dishes, snacks, sauces and staples, all Brits know and love Marks & Spencer – it’s long been the place to turn. 

The good news is, for those missing a taste of home – British Corner Shop can deliver thousands of the UK’s most loved food and drink brands right to your doorstep in the EU.

Plus, in 2018 British Corner Shop partnered with M&S Food, allowing them to deliver over 600 quality M&S products all over the world, including their famous Percy Pig sweets, delicious crumpets and quality hot cross buns within their bakery range, and beautifully unique seasonal products.

The best part is, you can order all these delicious treats into the EU without having to worry about paying additional VAT or customs fees, thanks to British Corner Shop’s new European warehouse.

So, whether you’re craving a hot slice of buttery toast slathered in Marmite, or a McVitie’s Hobnob dunked in a steaming cup of M&S Luxury Gold tea, British Corner Shop have you covered! 

Get a taste of the UK delivered to your front door with British Corner Shop

Member comments

  1. We used BCS for a time and they were very good until Brexit. They ran into supply and delivery problems and opened an EU operation to fix the issues. It’s fair to say we were sympathetic as many things were out of their direct control. However, when things are down to them, they take a very strange and poor stance to clients when issues arise. They commonly short shipped orders which are weight based for delivery but flatly refused to supply the missing items FOC and fulfill the original order. This meant we had to reorder the missing products but pay another delivery charge, totally unfair indeed! The products also rocketed in price when we last looked so we decided it wasn’t worth the hassle. We also managed to find Heinz baked beans at our local store for Euros 1.20 a tin and our choice in France is very very good for replacement UK favorites. The BCS is not a patch on its former self, a great pity but “C’est la vie”

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It’s still not too late to get a ticket to Denmark’s summer music festivals

For hundreds of thousands of Danish people, the big music festivals that take place across the country are the highlight of the summer, with many visiting more than one. It's still not too late to get your tickets!

It's still not too late to get a ticket to Denmark's summer music festivals

Denmark’s love of music festivals dates back to 1970s, when a string of huge rock festivals were held across the country in the wake of the Woodstock Festival in the US. 

The first was the Sound Festival, which was launched in 1971 at the dyrskuepladsen, the area of common land just outside of Roskilde, growing over the years in the Roskilde Festival, the biggest music festival in northern Europe.  

Then came the now discontinued Midtfyn Festiva in 1976, and then in 1980 came the Skanderborg festival just south of Aarhus, which has since mutated into Smukfest. 

While these festivals were all originally launched as not-for-profit ventures run by volunteers, with the exception of Roskilde, Distortion, and Smukfest, most of big festivals are now run by private companies. 

What are the big festivals you can go to this year? 

May 31st to June 4th

Distortion, Copenhagen’s largest electronic music festival with a 25-year tradition, kickstarts Denmark’s summer festival season drawing in around 100,000 visitors each year.

Taking place from May 31st to June 4th, the festival (divided into Distortion X, Distortion Ø, and Distortion Club events) is run by a not-for-profit foundation, and it takes place in some of the best venues in Copenhagen.

The Distortion X events centre around big street parties catering to lovers of EDM, HipHop, House, and Trance (confirmed artists for this year include Bjerregaard, Djames Braun, Dø Chef Dø, Felix, Hedegaard, Helle Helle, and more). On the other hand, Distortion Ø revolves around a major forest rave and is promoted as the weekend finale of the festival. Some 36 artists (you can find the full line-up here) are expected to perform across four stages at Ø this year. You can find more information about the Distortion Club program for 2023 here.

A festival pass for Distortion Ø, X, and Club events will set you back around 1100 kroner, but daily tickets are also available.

June 1st to June 3rd.

Festival fever then moves north to Jutland for the The NorthSide festival in Aarhus. This year’s headliners include Muse, The Chemical Brothers, NxWorries (feat. Anderson .Paak & Knxwledge), Lukas Graham, The 1975, First Aid Kit, Sam Fender, LP, Yemi Alade, Pusha T, and the British rapper Little Simz. 

Prices went up on April 3rd, but at the time of writing you could still buy tickets here, for 2,545 kroner for the full three days.  

Unlike Roskilde, festival-goers cannot camp at Northside, with the majority of festival goers travelling back and forth from Aarhus every day. The festival recommends staying at the Blommehaven and Aarhus Camping campsites.  

Northside is a profit-making festival run by the British events company Superstruct Entertainment, which runs more than 70 music festivals and other events in Europe and Australia, including Denmark’s Tinderbox festival. 

June 8th to June 10th

The party moves back to Copenhagen in the second weekend in June with the Syd For Solen festival held in the Søndermarken park in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, which is easy to get to from anywhere in the capital by metro, bus or cycle. 

Headliners this year include Bon Iver, Aphex Twin, Peggy Gou, the War on Drugs, and Iggy Pop. 

At the time of writing you could still buy tickets for the Thursday, June 8th here, for Friday June 9th here, and for Saturday June 10th here, all for 740 kroner a day. All were all marked “few tickets remaining”. 

You are not allowed to bring your own food or drink to the festival, meaning you are reliant on the food trucks on site. 

The festival is arranged by the private Danish promotors Smash!Bang!Pow!, which arrange more than 300 concerts each year in Denmark. 

The other big event this weekend is the Heartland festival in the grounds of the stunning Egeskov Castle on the island of Funen.

This is a more upmarket festival aimed at an older audience, with food organised by gourmet restaurant Falsled Kro, and a series of talks put on by the Danish publisher Gyldendal. The music programme is arranged by Live Nation, the giant US promoter, which is the festival’s co-organiser. 

Headliners this year include Robbie Williams, Sting, Minds of 99, The Cardigans, Fatboy Slim, Mø, and Jack Johnson. 

At the time of writing you could still buy a three-day ticket for 2540 kroner, a two-day ticket for 1,840 kroner, and a one day ticket for 1,240 kroner. 

You can camp at the site for an additional 250 kroner, for 1,000 kroner for a pre-pitched tent, and 1,250 kroner for a caravan, although the last two were sold out.

June 14th to June 17th 

For lovers of hard rock and heavy metal the Copenhell festival is not to be missed. Held on the Refshaleøen peninsular in front of the famed mural of a wolf’s face, the festival has become a city institution. 

This year’s headliners include giants of hard rock history such as Guns n’ Roses, Def Lepard, Mötley Crüe, Slipknot and Pantera.

At the time of writing could still buy a four-day ticket for 3,855 kroner here, although it was marked “few tickets remaining”. Tickets for Saturday alone are already sold out.  

The other big festival of this weekend is the Tinderbox Festival in Odense, Funen, which like NorthSide is run by Superstruct Entertainment. 

Held in the Tusindårsskoven forest, southwest of the city, this year’s headliners include Black Eye Peas, Dean Lewis, George Ezra, Jada, Lukas Graham, Maroon 5, Nik & Jay, Tobias Rahi, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. 

At the time of writing, three-day tickets were still available for 2,595 kroner on Ticketmaster here, with two-day tickets for 2,195, and one-day tickets for 1,595 kroner. 

June 24th and July 1st 

The Roskilde Festival is Denmark’s oldest and biggest music festival, with over 130,000 visitors annually. It is run by the non-profit Roskilde Festival Charity Society, with any profits going to their programmer of charitable, non-profit and cultural work focused on children and young people. 

This year’s headliners include Kendrick Lamar, Queens of the Stone Age, Lil Nas X, Blur, Rosalia, Christine and the Queens, and Lizzo. 

You can buy an 8-day festival pass for 2,400 kroner here on Ticketmaster, with one-day passes selling for 1,200 kroner. Tickets include access to the vast but somewhat chaotic camping area, where you can choose where to pitch your tent. 

For an extra 1,600 kroner, you can rent a pre-pitched tent, with two mattresses pushing the price up to 2,200 kroner.  

The stage at Smukfest in 2022. Photo: Scanpix

June 30th to August 6th 

Taking place from July 13th to July 15th at Syðrugøta, Faroe Islands, the three-day-long G! Festival gathers thousands of indie rock lovers from all over the world.

Both media and festival goers describe G! Festival as a unique experience. It takes place in Syðrugöta, a quaint village on the island of Eysturoy. The festival sets up its stages on the beach and the football field, in close proximity to the houses of the village.

The 2023 line-up includes 200, Annika Hoydal, Antti Paalanen, Beharie, Benjamin Rajani, Jada, Lucky Lo, and many more.

Tickets are around 1495 kroner (available for purchase on the festival’s page – Stripe payments are accepted), and you can also pay for several add-ons, such as tent spaces (also available in family options).

Smukfest, Denmark’s second largest camping festival that boasts a crowd of 60,000 guests a day, is a somewhat different animal – it takes place in a forest outside Skanderborg, and it caters to heavy metal, rock, blues, electronic music, pop, and folk. It takes place from July 31st to August 6th, and roughly 200 artists from Scandinavia and abroad visit Smukfest each year.

Big names that are part of the program this year include Imagine Dragons, Megadeth, Ava Max, Sigrid, Christina Aguilera, David Guetta, Christopher, Jason Derulo, Sean Paul, Suede, and many, many more.

Daily passes start from 1495 kroner and can be found on the festival’s website. At the time of writing, passes for Friday and Saturday are already sold out. The 5-day tickets (August 2nd – August 6th), priced at 3295 kroner, have already been sold out.

August 24th to August 27th

Over the last four decades, Tønder Festival has emerged as a prominent music extravaganza in Denmark. It has witnessed continuous expansion over the years while remaining closely connected to its original charm and handmade music, such as folk, blues, country, old-time, cajun, and roots.

The festival takes place from August 24th to August 27th, and the festival site – which has nine stages – is located close to the Tønder town centre. The 2023 line-up is already live.

You can buy 1-day tickets for 700 kroner, or a pass for all four days for 1975 kroner, on the Tønder Festival website.

Karrusel, a three-day festival dedicated to house, disco, and techno, takes place (almost) at the same time (from August 24th to August 26th).

This event is held in central Copenhagen, close to an abandoned shipyard at Refshaleøen. Around 30 artists are expected to perform across three stages.

Confirmed acts for 2023 include Haensen&Gretel, Kölsch, Mira, Acid Pauli, HAAi, RSS Disco, and many others. Daily passes can be purchased on Ticketmaster for 450 kroner, while the festival pass is priced at 950 kroner.