From Tea to Tacos:  7 Riveting Contrasts Between Britain and America


The United States may have started as 13 British colonies, but today, it’s a vibrant, diverse, sovereign nation with its share of unique traditions and qualities. The years of independence from the U.K. mean there are notable differences between the two countries.

In the U.K., all workers receive at least 28 paid days off a year. That’s four full weeks off with pay! Some companies provide even more paid time off at their discretion, especially when workers hit specific length of service milestones.

1. Extended Paid Leave

The National Health Service (NHS) is the system of publicly funded healthcare services in Great Britain that offers comprehensive health coverage to almost everyone in the country at no cost, except for a few minor charges.

2. The National Health Service

Most towns and cities in the U.K. have public transit access that passengers consider safe, clean, and efficient. Conversely, in the U.S., the most wide-ranging public transportation systems are limited to larger cities.

3. Clean and Efficient Public Transit

The United Kingdom is much older than the United States, so naturally, the country’s history goes back much further. The U.K. also has a monarchy, and medieval castles are part and parcel of being ruled by kings and queens.

4. Medieval Castles

Although the name implies an upscale ritual, high tea began as the working class response to the afternoon tea enjoyed by society’s upper classes. Afternoon teas include light sandwiches with tea, while high teas typically include tea with more substantive foods such as meats, fish, and bread.

5. High Tea

These dishes use flour tortillas, beans, and meats such as beef, chicken, pork, shredded cheese, and chili peppers. Spicy Tex-Mex food may be too zesty for the British palate, but it’s a favorite in the U.S.

6. Tex-Mex Cuisine

Americans living in the United Kingdom lament the unavailability of certain foods they can only buy stateside. Little Debbie Snack Foods are several of them. It’s hard to imagine going to a grocery store and not seeing treats like Nutty Buddy, Swiss Rolls, Honey Buns, and Cosmic Brownies on the shelves.

7. Little Debbie Snack Foods