Top British Comfort Foods to Give You a Boost

In the depths of winter or just on a grey, rainy day - and there are plenty of those in Britain - or only when you feel you want a boost, there are many ways to lift your mood, not least eating comfort foods. Studies have shown that eating foods which are comforting, wholesome and nourishing can significantly alter the way you feel.

The memories usually associated with these types of food often come from childhood, so no surprise that a Sunday roast or sticky puddings (also referred to as nursery puddings) will feature on most Britain's comfort food list. 

  • 01 of 09

    The Sunday Roast

    british roast leg lamb
    Elaine Lemm

    Undoubtedly, the traditional Sunday Roast comes high on any comfort food list. In Britain, sitting down to Sunday lunch is a century's old custom and so has many, many associations with childhood. The cooking of the lunch may have waned in recent times but not the eating of it; pubs throughout the land are full to bursting with families enjoying a good roast and Yorkshire Puddings.

  • 02 of 09

    Fish and Chips

    British Fish and Chips

    The Spruce

     An absolute classic of favorite British foods is a plate of British Fish and Chips (with or without the mushy peas). Whether by the seaside or (a great tradition) eating them outdoors straight from the paper, fish and chips are a national institution and no wonder they are an all-time comfort food. 

  • 03 of 09

    Curry - No Matter Which

    Indian Piri Piri chicken curry
    Paul Williams,FunkyStock / Getty Images

    The popularity of curry is not a newcomer in Britain; it has been eaten here for centuries from when it was brought over during the British involvement in the Indian subcontinent. Curry now can be from anywhere on the globe, and all are welcome comfort foods despite their non-indigenous origins.

  • 04 of 09

    A Full English Breakfast

    Full Irish Breakfast
    Getty Images

    For the sake of your heart, it may not be a good idea to eat this breakfast every day, but a full English now and again is a real treat so certainly deserves to be on this list.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Comforting Food on the Go

    Traditional Cornish Pasty Recipe

    The Spruce

    In need of quick comfort, then reach for a pie or a pasty. The perfect to hold in your hand for a quick snack or can even be served for dinner is the Cornish pasty. Once the food of choice of Cornish tin miners, this old favorite is eaten and enjoyed all over the UK.

  • 06 of 09

    Hot or Cold You Can't Beat a Pork Pie

    Hand-raised pork pie

    The Spruce 

    Be they hot or cold, one of the top pies for a quick, comforting snack has to be the pork pie. They have been a British favorite for centuries and are one of the first types ever made and always will be as they are so delicious. 

  • 07 of 09

    Marmalade Sponge Pudding - The Perfect Nursery Food

    Date and Walnut Sponge

    Steamed or baked and usually served with custard are the nursery puddings of childhood. There isn't a child who does not have memories of these warm, wholesome puds bathed in a silky, custard sauce. The stuff of dreams with a marmalade pudding right at the top of the list.

  • 08 of 09

    Make it a Crumble

    Traditional Apple Crumble Recipe
    Darkscott/Getty Images

    For the ultimate in comforting foods, it is hard to beat a fruit crumble.  Soft, tasty fruit compote topped with a buttery crisp crumble hits all the right spots. Finish it off with ice cream, and you will feel even better. 

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Turn Leftover Bread Into the Best Pudding

    Bread and Butter Pudding

    The Spruce

    What more can be asked of leftovers than to make them into one of the best puddings, ever? Stale bread with the addition of milk, cream, vanilla and dried fruits turns quickly and easily into a luscious, comforting dessert with its built-in custard. Perfection.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Wahl DR, Villinger K, König LM, Ziesemer K, Schupp HT, Renner B. Healthy food choices are happy food choices: Evidence from a real life sample using smartphone based assessments. Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):17069.  doi:10.1038/s41598-017-17262-9