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Old 16.01.2017, 15:59
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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and my nan's homemade piccalilli and brandy snaps.
Not together I hope.

My mum's homemade piccalilli was amazing and I still have her 'secret' handwritten recipe should I ever feel the urge to make some myself.
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Old 16.01.2017, 18:56
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

I miss English Pubs..something like Wetherspoons. Where there's a carpet (well..that's just my thing) and where you can have a Sunday roast. In my opinion there's a market for that.
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Old 16.01.2017, 19:02
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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I miss English Pubs..something like Wetherspoons. Where there's a carpet (well..that's just my thing) and where you can have a Sunday roast. In my opinion there's a market for that.
A carpet that your feet stick to! No thank you.
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  #64  
Old 16.01.2017, 19:07
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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I miss English Pubs..something like Wetherspoons. Where there's a carpet (well..that's just my thing) and where you can have a Sunday roast. In my opinion there's a market for that.
You mean like the Oliver Twist, Shamrock, Paddies and Kennedy's? (OK the last one doesn't have carpet)
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Old 16.01.2017, 19:09
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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THAT, I'd do only with bought mint sauce, there's too much of my heart and soul in my preserves to smear it on the floor.

I didn't list cottage or shepherds pie in my earlier posts, I like them very much and prepare them often ( Great Budget meal!)!

This dish is known as Hachis Parmentier in the french speaking part of CH, at home, in my family, we called it "Buureghackets", roughly translated "ground= Ghackets, farmer= Buur", so the joke in regards to the preparation of shepherds pie, would work here too.
Mint sauce works very well in a quick side salad of thinly sliced red onion and cucumber. You need to dilute the mint sauce with malt vinegar.

British food is great. Lots of diversity. Obviously it has to be done well.

My Nan often makes a Shepherds type pie with caramelized onion and corned beef. Or a short crust pie with the same filling. Or cheese and onion pie ( you need to boil the onions first). Yum. Pie...

And, for the record, I love bread and dripping. And a decent black pudding!
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Old 16.01.2017, 19:09
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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A carpet that your feet stick to! No thank you.
Of course, depends on your experience. Wetherspoons in Clapham Junction have always had a perfectly hoovered carpet. No issues there
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Old 16.01.2017, 19:11
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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You mean like the Oliver Twist, Shamrock, Paddies and Kennedy's? (OK the last one doesn't have carpet)
Precisely.
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Old 16.01.2017, 19:12
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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I miss English Pubs..something like Wetherspoons. Where there's a carpet (well..that's just my thing) and where you can have a Sunday roast. In my opinion there's a market for that.
You need to widen your experience of English pubs! Whetherspoons doesn't count IMO. You need an independent one with either its own brewery or a lot of different real ales. And and open fire. And that allows dogs.
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  #69  
Old 16.01.2017, 20:28
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

Not sure where to start, so I'll start with the OP (and for those that don't know me, I have spent the last 9 years selling British cheese to the Swiss - so i know a bit about this subject). I very much doubt a British style eatery would work in the sticks, you need a city with an international and internationally minded audience (as I have said many times here, don't start something to target the specific expats, the locals are the biggest client base and they are happier to spend more on high quality). But, further to my comment about a "British style eatery"....

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Agreed. I wouldn't call it British food either. That seems to have negative connotations amongst the ill-informed.

Good food will sell without a label. A British sounding restaurant name would probably help though.
Something like "Brown's" for example (though that's already used).

Food I miss here but is freely available in more gastro-type pubs in the U.K. is stuff like braised lamb-shanks.
Exactly. A restaurant opened last year in Zürich, a friend of mine is the chef (the kitchen is run by an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman - no joke) and they have done just what Tom suggests. It is not a "British" restaurant, but a lot of the menu is British influenced and part of the name is British (but that comes from one of the partner companies, Smith & Smith wine). I haven't eaten there yet but I have heard good reviews about them. Their web site is only in German (although the menu is in English too).... they carefully slip some British and Irish dishes "under the radar" so to speak.

But, if one was to open a British restaurant, do it properly. Go upper stylish not pub style, no pictures of London taxis and red telephone boxes, make the menu stylish with some international dishes with a British twist (like my Scottish Fondue, the locals love it) and target your marketing carefully. And have a very British front man - the Swiss love the Brits, especially our humour and charm.

If I was to very broadly generalise, I would split the locals into 3 categories/age groups for marketing and targeting.

60's - 70's and over - a lot of this age group traveled and worked in the UK in the 50's and 60's, either as au pairs or businessmen and most have very fond memories of the country, including the food. They know Stilton is the "King of Cheese", they loved Roast beef and Yorkshire Puddings and they still dream about Scones and Clotted Cream

40'5 - 50's - this is the age group where many went to Brighton to learn English during the 60's and 70's and experienced bad food, these are a tough lot to crack (but they still love Scones and Clotted Cream)

20's - 30's - Many may have heard of our bad food reputation, but they admire Jamie Oliver and Britain is cool - the music, London, the arts, fashion, TV etc etc and they will gladly buy into the cool factor (the Gay community of all ages fall into this camp too)

Above all have confidence in your offer, in the face of derision calmly explain about the history and culture of British food, that it's not all bad (and admit that in the 60's and 70's there was a lot of bad stuff) and you could win enough of the locals over (and get the press involved, they love a good story like this).

.................................................. .................................................. ....

And now just a little about our bad reputation. As Eastenders very well points out, a lot of this comes from WW2 and rationing (mostly ended by 1952) and into the 60's the country was still suffering from food shortages. But I would go further. There is a puritanical streak in the British (that is much weaker these days) that was strengthened after WW2 - "we mustn't enjoy ourselves too much, we need to rebuild, we don't need all that fancy food that they eat over the channel, beans on toast and egg and chips was good enough for us during the war, nothing wrong with enjoying that now" (I often thought it was only a post WW2 phenomenon but I read a book about British cheese published in the 30's and the author was complaining about the British consumer being too puritanical to enjoy special food even then).

Then after WW2 supermarkets started opening in the UK bringing cheaper processed food.

Going back earlier though, the Industrial Revolution was started in the UK. We were the first country that separated large numbers of the population from the land and moved them into the cities and factories. Generations followed that couldn't remember where food really came from (unlike in France, Italy and Spain today where many city based families still have small plots of farm land in the family) and became suspicious of too earthy agricultural food. And at the same time we were the first country to industrialise food production.

Also, Britain is a large group of islands separated from mainland Europe and our food dishes developed differently so in the main British dishes are different to continental european traditions - many people of all countries identify "different" with "bad".

But a lot of this has been changing since the 80's, traditional British food was back on the menu, British chefs were cool, Marco Pierre White (my old school mate BTW ) was the first British chef to win 3 Michelin stars, famous foreign chefs started opening restaurants in the UK (and not just cooking their French and Italian dishes, but re-worked traditional British recipes) and traditional British pubs (starting in London) rebranded themselves as "Gastro-pubs". Britain now makes more different styles of cheese than any country, sparkling wine from the south coast of England is among the best in the world and there is more and more food confidence in the educated population and more and more visitors from overseas are learning that there is great food in the UK, and that their own home grown variety is not necessarily better, it's just different.
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Last edited by grumpygrapefruit; 16.01.2017 at 21:19. Reason: clarity
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  #70  
Old 16.01.2017, 21:30
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

What happened to the Welshman?
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  #71  
Old 16.01.2017, 21:45
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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What happened to the Welshman?
I'm sure there's a joke there somewhere, but I might have look for it Caerphilly.
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  #72  
Old 16.01.2017, 21:54
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

I'm sure that there would be a good market for a fish and chip shop here in Basel, especially if you set it up near the University and got all the students at lunch time. There was one set up a while ago in the Markthalle here in Basel but it was awful. Don't know what kind of fish it was but it was so bad I ended up just eating the batter. The "chips" were just country cuts, not proper deep fried chips. My experience of fish and chips in England was not so good either. Don't like cod. In Australia the fish is usually "flake" (school or gummy shark).
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Old 16.01.2017, 22:33
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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I'm sure that there would be a good market for a fish and chip shop here in Basel, especially if you set it up near the University and got all the students at lunch time. There was one set up a while ago in the Markthalle here in Basel but it was awful. Don't know what kind of fish it was but it was so bad I ended up just eating the batter. The "chips" were just country cuts, not proper deep fried chips. My experience of fish and chips in England was not so good either. Don't like cod. In Australia the fish is usually "flake" (school or gummy shark).
So you didn't support the other "proper" British fish and chips shop that closed last year? (not the one in the Markthalle)?
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Old 16.01.2017, 22:55
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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A restaurant opened last year in Zürich, a friend of mine is the chef (the kitchen is run by an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman - no joke) and they have done just what Tom suggests.
I'm drooling over the thought of their 'watermelon ketchup and horseradish mustard'.

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...Marco Pierre White (my old school mate BTW ) was the first British chef to win 3 Michelin stars...
But he's...well I hadn't pegged you down for his age group
I've dined at Marco's Stamford Bridge Grill, Rhodes W1 and Turner's when he was at the Millennium Mayfair (perk of the job at the time) along with many others. Never had the patience to wait for a booking at The Fat Duck, but a friend got Heston to cater his housemate's 40th.

Are you saying that success within the Swiss market needs to be in that category/level or close to?
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Old 16.01.2017, 23:14
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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I'm drooling over the thought of their 'watermelon ketchup and horseradish mustard'.

But he's...well I hadn't pegged you down for his age group
I've dined at Marco's Stamford Bridge Grill, Rhodes W1 and Turner's when he was at the Millennium Mayfair (perk of the job at the time) along with many others. Never had the patience to wait for a booking at The Fat Duck, but a friend got Heston to cater his housemate's 40th.

Are you saying that success within the Swiss market needs to be in that category/level or close to?
It doesn't need to be crazy expensive or exclusive like that, just a hint of class, of "Britishness", most Swiss customers I have like to think of eating their scones in the garden of Buckingham Palace, not in a pub.

And Marco? I think he's a few months younger than me (but at school behaved like quite a few years younger)
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Old 16.01.2017, 23:24
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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So you didn't support the other "proper" British fish and chips shop that closed last year? (not the one in the Markthalle)?
Tramways - or something like this.
They did everything perfect - real deep fat fryers, battered sausages and lots of battered varieties of fish, mushy peas, crispy chicken, Sarsons malt vinegar, really good chips - across the road from an English Bar, 5 minutes from Basel main station.
I went 6 times. OK - there were no pies and gravy. But they did try hard and they ploughed mega bucks into the place.
I cannot believe that it went tilt so quickly.
Where were all the EF supporters at this time - I travelled 80 minutes each way and paid a lot on the train to go there.
Maybe this is the problem - Logistics.
It will be interesting to to see how the KFCs takes off in spring - after 2 or 3 initial visits - maybe you just go just another 2 or 3 times a year.
Going back to the initial point of the thread - it is all to do with repeat business. This is how you maintain your turnover. Pubs tend to be easier than food.
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Old 16.01.2017, 23:29
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

I understand.

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And Marco? I think he's a few months younger than me (but at school behaved like quite a few years younger)
What skin cream do you use? Us girls need to know. Just told my fella and he's gobsmacked too.
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Old 17.01.2017, 09:58
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

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I understand.

What skin cream do you use? Us girls need to know. Just told my fella and he's gobsmacked too.
Blue Cheese.
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Old 17.01.2017, 14:33
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

.....and there's another use for mint sauce, especially in summer....when I don't have enough fresh mint on the balcony (it gets used regularly for making syrup,tea, icecream/sorbet and Mint sauce)

I use some mint sauce for my Taboulé to give it the minty zing and use a little more lemon juice to balance out the sweetness, tho' the home made sauce is not very sweet.
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Old 17.01.2017, 15:26
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Re: British food in Switzerland - would it work?

I bought six of those "LePie" pies because of this thread. They're lovely!
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