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15.10.2012- Mulberry's Brilliant Britain

There's no doubt that this year has been an amazing year for Great Britain. From the Diamond Jubilee celebrations at the start of the summer, to the amazing achievements of the Olympians, Paralympians and Gamesmakers which made London 2012 so special, this year has been one which really has showcased the best of British. Determined to capture this spirit, those clever people at Mulberry last week launched their Brilliant Britain initiative, celebrating British craftsmanship, character and charm and showcasing an array of different elements which come together to make the nation so special. From Alexander McQueen to zebra crossings, the website aims to capture all the vision, quirks and creativity of Britain, so is well worth a look if you're after some inspiration. Mulberry are also eager to hear what makes Britain brilliant for you, so be sure to share everything you love with them via the website or on Twitter (using #BrilliantBritain.) I love the idea of this project, as it's not only a really great way to discover new things to do and places to visit (as well as an amazing array of things to eat!), but it's also a fantastic celebration British heritage and culture. So, inspired by the initiative, I've put together my own list of brilliant British things:

1) Tea: Fair enough, we can't take credit for discovering or growing tea, but there's no doubt that it's become culturally ingrained as being a quintessentially British beverage. Whether you're a fan of Earl Grey or English Breakfast, there's no doubt that a good cup of tea has the almost magical ability to soothe away any worries, particularly when enjoyed alongside a slice of cake. Afternoon tea rituals are also a core component of British culture- and we all know that finger sandwiches and scones are always best washed down with a good cuppa. I'll take mine with two sugars and a jap of milk please!

2) Shakespeare: Given that I did a drama degree, perhaps it's no surprise that Shakespeare is found towards the top of my list. You only have to look at this poster to see the impact which his writing has had on the English language, and the fact that his work is still so widely performed and read today is proof that he's made an unparalleled contribution to British culture. Not only do I love reading his plays, but I love seeing them performed, particularly at The Globe (hands down one of my favourite places in the world), where I was lucky enough to spend last summer as an intern. There's just something so unique about the space and the atmosphere there which really brings the plays to life, allowing actors and audiences alike to enjoy them just as they were intended to be seen. 

3) British History: There's no doubt that British history is some of the richest in the world. From invasions, conquests and beheaded monarchs to gunpowder plots, industrial revolution and abdication, our national history really does have it all. One of the things which I also love about British history is how tangible it is- so much of it has been preserved, either in museums, in palaces or on paper, so it never really feels that distant. From Shetland to Somerset, there are thousands of reminders up and down the country of how our past has helped to shape the country which we live in today, and it's amazing to be able to visit such a variety of places to get a real sense of the events and people which have proved so significant across time.

4) The Great British Bake Off: Whilst this might not be up there with the industrial revolution or the establishment of a democratic nation in terms of historical significance, there's no doubt that the whirlwhind phenomenon that is The Great British Bake Off is changing the face of Britain. Not only has it sparked a soar in the popularity of amateur baking (I for one have been inspired to be more adventurous in the kitchen!), but it's really got people talking to each other- perhaps even replacing the weather as the nation's number one conversation starter. Up and down the land people are discussing their favourite bakers, the perfect Victoria Sponge recipe and sharing their own baking triumphs and disasters. This is proper, feel-good, uniquely British television at its best.

5) Borough Market: Surprise surprise, the final addition to my list is another food inspired one. Borough Market is one of my favourite places to visit in London, and if you haven't been yet then I can't recommend it enough. Held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the shadow of Southwark Cathedral, it's home to some of the freshest British and international food around, as well as some amazing artisan traders. It's a wonderfully refreshing change to doing your food shop in the supermarket, and if you're there at lunchtime then you can more or less eat for nothing from all of the free samples which are offered as you pass between stalls. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it...

What are your favourite things about Britain? And what do you think of Mulberry's Brilliant Britain campaign?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)


  1. Love this post! Definitely agree that tea and cupcakes are so British!

    Sophie x

  2. Fantastic list - I blimming love being from Britain, we're by far the coolest nation! And I'm a masssive GBBO fan, can't wait for the final tonight! x

  3. My favourites are markets and the humour nothing like it lol
    NRC ♥


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