I’ve said it many times: I’m a britophile. I love all things British (I’m including Scotland and whatever half of Ireland is part of the UK here) and spend hours working on my fake accent (which I would never use in front of a real British person for fear of offending them), often ending up sounding like an extra in Harry Potter (or, alternatively, a member of You Me At Six).
So while I’m by no means an expert on the culture (I think I’d actually have to move to London to get the full experience), I have an understanding of their pop culture. Thus, without further ado, here are some of my recommendations for the britophile in your life.
Harry Potter, obviously. But also Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant mysteries which present a (mostly) contemporary London that is clearly written by someone who knows the city like the back of his hand. Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman) if you want a list of Tube stations to visit, and Jane Austen if you (like me) have an interest in the Regency era. If you want something younger, Philip Pullman often sets his middle grade/YA books in England, and you can't go wrong with Roald Dahl; plus V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series takes place in (multiple versions of) London.
Doctor Who is probably the most British thing to exist (which explains why I fell in love with it) so it’s a good place to start. If you’re more of a mystery person, I deduce that you’d be interested in Sherlock and/or Broadchurch, though there are literally dozens of English detective-y shows on Netflix. For the comedy lover, The IT Crowd is hilarious, or The Delivery Man, or classic A Bit of Fry & Laurie (and Fawlty Towers) while the historian might want to take a visit to Downton Abbey. Oh, and Very British Problems because obviously.
Arguably my area of expertise, over half of the bands I listen to are British, so if you're looking for recommendations, I got you. I've probably talked about most of these bands on this site at some point, so they may seem familiar to you by this point.
- Alternative rock fan? Try You Me At Six (or Twin Atlantic or Deaf Havana or Mallory Knox or Young Guns or Royal Blood or Arctic Monkeys).
- Prefer indie pop? Bastille or The 1975 (I actually don’t know what genre The 1975 considers themselves, but “indie pop” is close enough).
- Pop-punk? Neck Deep (or Moose Blood or Roam).
- Metal/post-hardcore? Bring Me the Horizon (or Bury Tomorrow or Architects or Enter Shikari).
- Grunge? Milk Teeth.
- Something more dance-able? Don Broco.
- A weird mix of genres? Biffy Clyro.
- Stadium rock? Muse, of course (but also Nothing But Thieves).
- Irish (seriously, which part of Ireland is included in the UK?)? Two Door Cinema Club or The Script.
- Straight up pop? Olly Murs.
I’m probably forgetting someone, but I think you get the point.
What's your favourite quintessentially British thing?