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Anglophiles can find British flair in pubs, grub and stores

Mad Dogs and Englishmen aims to kill the notion that English food is blah, serving dishes from both England and its former colonies, chicken curry, hummus and tempura shrimp included. Shown here is shrimp in red curry paste.

KERI WIGINTON | Times (2005)

Mad Dogs and Englishmen aims to kill the notion that English food is blah, serving dishes from both England and its former colonies, chicken curry, hummus and tempura shrimp included. Shown here is shrimp in red curry paste.

The British are coming, this time to theaters on Christmas Day. Sherlock Holmes and The Young Victoria open Friday, much to the delight of Anglophiles everywhere. So grab some tea, a pint of Boddingtons and a few scones. Here are some local pubs, tea rooms and shops to get you in the British mood.

Bars and restaurants

Cockney Rebel Pub: British owner Taina Brabant leads trivia night here every Wednesday starting at 8:30 p.m. Answer the most questions correctly to win bragging rights and a bottle of wine. Taina and Larry Brabant, who used to own Limeys (now Three Birds Cafe), opened Cockney Rebel two years ago. It serves traditional British food and beer. Try a shandy, a half pint of Bass topped with Sprite. Brits love it. 6395 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach; (727) 360-4840; cockneyrebelpub.com.

Cricketers: If a single helping of fish and chips isn't enough, try Cricketers' all-you-can-eat deals every Monday and Tuesday night. The Dunedin bar and grill also serves colcannon (a mixture of potatoes and cabbage), Scotch eggs (hardboiled eggs wrapped in seasoned ground pork) and mushy peas (no explanation needed). Mike Ioannou, a Greek-Canadian, took over the pub with his American wife, Lisa, three years ago. It airs British soccer matches on many of its 30 TVs and brings in a Rolling Stones tribute band four times a year. (The next show is Jan. 23.) On the walls near the restrooms are photos of England's other musical sons: the Beatles. 2634 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin; (727) 736-1322; cricketerspub.com.

Horse & Jockey: Don't be surprised to see a few Brits sipping a Bass at this longtime pub and restaurant. Many attest the Horse & Jockey is king of local British pubs. Brits Lea Doyle and his wife, Emma, bought the place in 2008 after frequenting it for years. It serves high tea upon request and offers nightly British dinner specials. Its miniature red phone booth and two knights in armor stand out among all the British decor. 1155 Pasadena Ave. S, South Pasadena; (727) 345-4995; horseandjockeypub.us.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen: This restaurant aims to kill the notion that English food is blah, serving dishes from both England and its former colonies, chicken curry, hummus and tempura shrimp included. Co-owner Wilton Morley hails from England as does his nephew, Hugo Morley, a 12-year bar fixture. Check out the artwork by famed British photographer David Bailey or ask Hugo about the photos of prominent Englishmen that decorate the dining room. Next to the front door is a framed Christmas card from the queen and her family sent to Hugo's grandparents in 1953. Charles looks so cute. 4115 S MacDill Ave., Tampa; (813) 832-3037; maddogs.com.

Yeoman's Pub & Grill: It's hard to miss the red (nonworking) British telephone booth outside Yeoman's Pub on Davis Islands. The story told around the bar is that original British owners got it as a gift in the '80s from Def Leppard, the English rock band, when it was on tour in Tampa. The new owners have no British connection, unless you count their last name: Bond. The bar is best known for its live music and Wall of Foam Challenge, achieved by drinking 90 different kinds of beer in 90 days. British choices abound. 236 E Davis Blvd., Tampa; (813) 251-2748; myspace.com/yeomansdi.

Others of note

Moon Under Water: A British Colonial tavern well known for its Indian dishes. 332 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg; (727) 896-6160; themoonunderwater.com.

Rose & Crown: A British pub and restaurant with large dining room, patio and extensive collection of Queen Elizabeth memorabilia. 12850 Walsingham Road, Largo; (727) 593-7673.

Shops

A Corner of England: Feel like a queen for the day with a trip to this tea room, restaurant and gift shop. British owner Thelma Halawy serves high tea with finger sandwiches, scones and Princess Diana's favorite dessert, Bread and Butter Pudding. Gloves, boas and hats complete the full English experience. The shop sells British gifts and art, plus stationery, custom invitations and cards, some of them from English artists. It's also available to rent for special parties and events. All the tea comes from a private, organic tea garden in India. 6297 Central Ave., St. Petersburg; (727) 345-5353; acornerofengland.com.

Britan's: You'd be hard-pressed to find a shop that sells frozen yogurt next to frozen steak and kidney pies, but here is it, tucked in a Northdale strip mall. British native Tania Reed opened the yogurt shop in 1991 and later expanded it to include British and South African groceries. Now owned by Reed's daughter, Adria Reed, Britan's does high tea from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. daily with homemade scones for $7.50 per person. Customers can sip tea while reading a copy of the "Goodbye, Diana'' issue of People magazine from 1997. The store sells British teas, pickles, biscuits, sauces and candies, as well as teapots, license plates and other English novelties. 3861 Northdale Blvd., Tampa; (813) 968-5373; britans.com.

London Pride: For the ex-pats craving a bit of home, there's London Pride. This shop sells food and gifts from around the British Isles, from frozen pasties, bangers and bacon to tea sets, candy and gift baskets, most of which is available on the store's Web site. To keep up with news from across the pond, the shop has copies of the Daily Mail and the Sun. 14100 Walsingham Road, Largo; (727) 517-3550; londonpride.com.

Anglophiles can find British flair in pubs, grub and stores 12/23/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 24, 2009 11:11am]
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