Events

Human Interest Feature

What’s new and British in the Greater Philadelphia region?
How to dress like a Brit, eat like a Brit, and live like a Brit
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Contributed by Samantha Hershman, BABC Summer Intern 2011

Can you remember those days when you were a child, and all you wanted to do was pick up and go to a faraway land?  Perhaps this was a mysterious place that was made up of a whole world much different from your own.  Well, the British are here to meet our needs and create a sense of adventure in our very own backyard.  Thanks to all of the new British businesses in the Greater Philadelphia area, you can live a traditional English lifestyle, without having to cross the Atlantic.

If you’re on the hunt for country style clothing to keep you warm this winter, visit Barbour, a fifth generation family owned company, located in Suburban Square Shopping Center in Ardmore.  Originally founded in South Shields in 1894, the Barbour brand will never give up its notability for producing classic wax jackets by hand.  Whether you are searching for a down coat or a simple scarf, Barbour will offer you a chic, English inspired, wardrobe.  To learn more about the Barbour lifestyle, visit http://www.barbour.com/us.

Everyone always wants to follow the latest trends.  With the help of a little British retailer, now you can with no problem.  Stop into Jack Wills, at 1617 Walnut Street, where you will get a real taste of stylish British apparel.  Jack Wills University Outfitters will provide the city with modern British prep fashion, from apparel, to accessories, to homeware, all of which are inspired by English history and culture.  Jack Wills is fairly new to American retail, and hopes to spread their fashion to colleges and universities across the country.  To dignify your preppy side, be sure to check out the fabulously British Jack Wills at http://www.jackwills.com/

If clothes are not what you’re looking for, then perhaps you need some new shoes.  While taking your stroll down Rittenhouse row this fall, do not miss the opening of the infamous Dr. Martens, a British footwear brand with a traditional English flare. Initially providing for factory workers and postmen with the practical and durable British-made boot, Dr. Marten’s boot took on a whole new meaning starting in the 1960s and began to define punk rockers, skinheads, and other rebels.  The Philadelphia location (scheduled to open in November 2011) will offer a new line of apparel and accessories and Dr. Martens is a great brand to rely on. Visit http://www.drmartens.com/ to make your next purchase.

While you’re out shopping for your new authentic British apparel, do not forget to grab a bite to eat at the gastropub, The Dandelion, located at 124 South 18th Street, in Center City Philadelphia.  The Dandelion is a new addition to the renowned Stephen Starr collection of restaurants, which you may have read about in the BABC Spring 2011 Human Interest Feature.  At the Dandelion, you will be transported to England and enjoy the comforts and cuisine of the English countryside.  Grab a friend, have a beer, and enjoy the traditional eats of British born and raised chef, Robert Aikens.  View the menu and make a reservation today http://thedandelionpub.com/.

If you’re up for a short drive, take a quick trip over the Bridge with friends or family to enjoy a British inspired day in the heart of Haddonfield, New Jersey.  Open seven days a week, and serving lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, the one year old British Chip Shop will make you feel like you are miles away from America, sitting in the British Isles.  With traditional eats such as authentic fish and chips, stews, and pastries, the Coleman family offers all of your seasonal favorites.  Visit http://www.thebritishchipshop.com located at 146 Kings Highway East to check out a delicious menu and British enthused specials and events.  After you eat, take a walk across the street and visit another Coleman family venue, The English Gardener Gift Shop.  Immediately before your eyes, you will notice a colonial British style building, sporting British flags and flare.  Stop inside to pick up a British souvenir, whether it is gifts for the home and garden, pub decor, or a distinctive good from the British food selection. The English Gardener Gift Shop carries Barbarian rugby Jerseys, along with an assortment of teas, sweets, and biscuits from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.  To take a closer look at all your British Isle inspired goods, visit http://www.shophaddonfieldnj.com/retailers/englishgardener.php.

At the end of your day, what could be better than a traditional English play that includes dinner and drinks for a reasonable price?  ‘A Play, a Pie and a Pint’ is a live arts concept imported from the UK that brings “brilliantly casual” theater to Philadelphians.  This concept is based on the successful performance phenomena from the UK.  Each one act play is served up with a pie (pizza) and a pint (beer or beverage of choice).  Theater company, Tiny Dynamite Productions, allows all audiences to appreciate the gift of British entertainment.  From the UK to Australia, and now Philadelphia, Emma Gibson, Producing Artistic Director, has worked as an actress and journalist for many years.  Currently residing in the Greater Philadelphia area with her family, she is the director of Shakespeare Productions at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr.  Tiny Dynamite Productions was formed in September 2008.  The Company presents the works of contemporary British playwrights to local audiences in Philadelphia. To learn more about Tiny Dynamite Productions visit their website at http://www.tinydynamite.org/companyprofile.htm.  To experience this entertaining cultural phenomenon, you can purchase tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/190364.  All shows will be performed in the Red Room of Society Hill Playhouse in Center City, Philadelphia during select dates beginning in October 2011.

The BABC is pleased to provide you with this special feature article, highlighting great new English inspired shops, restaurants and activities all happening in close proximity.  From gift shops to clothing and shoe retailers to fine dining with fish and chips and British delicacies, we encourage you to take advantage of traditional British culture around the Greater Philadelphia region.  Clear your schedule, grab your friends and family, and let yourself purchase and experience all things British.

One Response to “Human Interest Feature”

  1. Sara says:

    Very good article thanks for sharing.

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