Want to impress a newfound white British friend? Being able to tell a Chianti from a Merlot or a Chablis from a Pinot is no longer considered an achievement, so there is no better way to show off your alcohol sophistication than ordering a single malt whisky. This must be Scottish (preferably from Islay) and, needless to say, served without ice or mixers. For bonus points you may also specify the whisky’s age and, if you’re feeling confident, the type of wood it has been matured in. The more obscure the better: Glenfiddich 12 is a respectable stepping stone, but will mark you out as a relative newcomer to the whisky scene. Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Dalwhinnie, Ardbeg, Caol Ila and Bruichladdich will earn you fervent nods of approval, if not undying love.
White Brits savour their single malt like a fine wine, swirling it, smelling it, holding their glass against the light. The appropriate terminology when discussing whisky includes smoky, peaty, oaky, complex, salty, spicy, smooth, rich, mellow, or ‘like a Christmas pudding’.
When white Brits go to Scotland, they will almost certainly visit a distillery. On their return, they will take out their rare bottle of whisky and casually mention where it has been bought, and that it absolutely cannot be found in London. Even if you have just seen the same bottle in your local cornershop, you must not contradict them on this if you wish to retain their friendship.
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One of the restaurants white Brits love the most is St John’s Bread and Wine. Located in trendy areas Smithfield and Spitalfields, this expensive and slightly unorthodox eaterie encapsulates everything that white Brits love about food.
Choosing from a menu featuring delicacies such as ox heart, veal tongue, blood cake, sweetbreads and venison offal, white British foodies attempt to outdo each other by choosing the most outré dish on the menu. The diners will wash down their meal with fine wines, freshly baked bread, and comments that include the phrase “honouring the animal in its entirety.” Desserts for white Brits are best served with an ‘unexpected’ twist: salted caramel, salty chocolate tart, salt and nut brownies, or chocolate pâté with pig’s blood.
Eating food that is unusual, or “an acquired taste”, is a badge of honour in white British culture. The more shocking it will sound to the common person, the more appetising it will seem to the discerning white Brit. Heston Blumenthal cleverly perceived this eccentric trait and has used it to his advantage ever since. All white Brits dream of one day eating at his restaurant The Fat Duck, where they would be able to sample snail porridge and jelly of quail, but the £300 price tag makes this a rare treat. As a result, Heston’s range of desserts for Waitrose sold out so quickly that white Brits had to resort to spending £129 on eBay for them. In white British terms, this is a bargain.
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Not only a state of mind, Feeling Gloomy is a popular Saturday night event organised by two white Brits who met at a Costcutter in Wood Green. The weekly event is held in Angel, where it offers nights of The Cure, Joy Division, Nirvana and The Smiths (or tribute band The Smyths). White Brits put aside their dignity, dance, sing at the top of their voices, and occasionally utter the insightful comment “it’s just like being sixteen again.” The night is so well-loved that it is also held in Berlin and New York, which are white Brits’ favourite cities in the world.
The rival night, Club de Fromage, is also a must-go for white Brits, as their capacity for irony is inexhaustible. For New Years Eve, the two are pitted against each other in the sell-out event Feeling Gloomy vs Club de Fromage. This plays up to white Brits’ mixed love for irony and misanthropy, which may at times give them the appearance of being borderline bipolar.
White Brits may also find entertainment of a similar sort at the Bowie Bar. This happens at an Irish Pub in Stoke Newington, The Auld Shilelagh, which every second Thursday of the month plays music exclusively by David Bowie. White Brits will sit in admiration of the Bowie videos being shown on the walls, sipping their Guinness while discussing what Bowie’s best ‘era’ was. Invariably, they will decide that it was the Thin White Duke years.
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In recent times,
white Brits have become increasingly likely to pepper their speech with a lively assortment of abbreviations. Anything consisting of three or more syllables is a candidate for this sort of treatment, and will be cut and suffixed with an ‘s’.
Thus, obviously becomes ‘obvs’, probably becomes ‘probs’, blatantly becomes ‘blates’, totally ‘totes’, and whatever ‘whatevs’. Sometimes, two syllables are considered too taxing, and words like ‘sorry’ may be shortened to ‘soz’. White Brits use the word ‘deffo’ (definitely) almost daily.
In conversation, the white Brit will also clearly enunciate textspeak abbreviations such as ‘omg’, ‘wtf’, ‘fml’, ‘tmi’, ‘lol,’ ‘lolz’, and, occasionally, ‘lmao’. White Brits are convinced that if they use these terms in a knowing and self-aware manner, it will give rise to a comical effect that combines irony with nostalgia for 1990s internet chatrooms. You must never suggest that they may have crossed the narrow line between mockery and genuinely sounding like an 11-year-old Californian Belieber. If you do so, they will emphatically state that you have no sense of humour, although it might give them pause for thought the next time they plan on ending a sentence with ‘obvs’.
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Back in 2008, Secret Cinema exploded onto the white British scene. By ‘secret’, it basically means there isn’t a Wikipedia page for it, which makes it mysterious and virtually unknowable in the eyes of white Brits.
Secret Cinema tapped into the largely untapped market of white Brits who are willing and able to pay £30 for an evening of mystery, fancy dress flashmobs and general wonderment. Offering “challenging and groundbreaking” films, often in pop-up venues such as disused warehouses, it fuses theatre, film, entertainment and cupcakes. It gives white Brits an excuse to dress up, play-act according to the theme of the night, and call people ‘darling’. Above all, it’s interactive, therefore allowing white Brits’ innate creativity and individuality to shine through.
Even just attempting to guess what film it’s going to be will keep them entertained all evening, by showcasing both their knowledge of cinema and their adeptness at picking up clues, so actually sitting down and watching the film is optional. Nevertheless, the film is carefully chosen to both please and flatter the white Brit. Classics such as Blade Runner or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest are popular enough to please a large audience, albeit a relatively pretentious white British one. The white Brits are likely to have seen the film before or, at least, they will have “always wanted to see it but somehow never got round to it”.
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It is no coincidence that, in an endeavour to win over white Brits, Lady Gaga appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross with a tea cup and saucer. Along with a pestle and mortar, a cafetière, and novelty egg cups, all white British kitchens have space for a set of teacups. With its quaint air of mock-aristocracy, the teacup is the perfect device for white Brits to drink out of. Along with tweed and cardigans, teacups also make the white Brit resemble a pensioner from the neck down, which is a highly attractive look to other white Brits.
Drinking alcohol out of fancy teacups is considered deliciously kitsch in a retro way (‘adorable, darling, it’s just like the prohibition’), and is common practice in trendy white British bars. White Brits like teacups so much that they will put literally anything in them. A chocolate mousse eaten out of a teacup is infinitely more charming than in a humble bowl, and teacups make for terrific candle holders. Using teacups for drinking tea is also strongly recommended, although it does require the whole shebang of teapot, loose tea leaves, strainer and milk jug, and is therefore usually confined to the weekend. Impress your white British friends by finding new things to put in teacups, be it risotto, jewellery, soft toys or a small plant.
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It is an established fact that all white Brits go through a phase of loving Oasis around the age of 13. They will learn every single lyric to (What’s the Story) Morning Glory and, incredibly, perceive Liam Gallagher as an engaging and interesting human being. Oasis may even have been the first live concert they ever went to. The ensuing shame will cause the white Brit to momentarily disown the entire sub-Beatles genre of Britpop, throwing perfectly inoffensive bands such as Suede and Supergrass out with the bath water as well. Pulp – obviously – are immune to this backlash, as, to a lesser extent, are Blur.
Later on, the hatred is directed only at Oasis. The white Brit will scoff at drunken singalongs to Wonderwall, and would never dream of giving money to a busker singing Don’t Look Back in Anger. The only Oasis song it is acceptable to like is The Importance of Being Idle, which the white British community has unanimously deemed pleasing. To see them as anything more than an entirely mediocre stepping stone is anathema to the white Brit’s entire ethos.
Liam’s new band, intriguingly named Beady Eye, is not even acceptable in an ironic or nostalgic way.
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