I’m not sure whether it’s the accents, the architecture, the shops or the food, but I love visiting the United Kingdom Pavilion at Epcot. It’s been my dream for decades to fly across the pond to see this part of Europe in real life and that dream has never dulled or faded ~ nope, not for a minute. It broke my heart when I was oh-so-close at the age of 15, but, alas, I am still waiting to see Buckingham Palace or the green grass of Ireland with my own two eyes. For now, though, I’m okay with jumping across (ahem) a few driveways to leave a few footprints in the United Kingdom Pavilion over at Epcot.
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Oh, we’re getting close, people!! We have this and one other pavilion to visit before Hubby and I can say we completed our Dating Around World Showcase series at Epcot! Can I get a clap or two? I hear you out there! Thank you, random stranger!
This particular afternoon date took us to the little pavilion located second to the right and tenth to the left (although there really isn’t any reason to go to the left unless you are simply trying to get those steps in before eating). If you are coming from the Epcot Resorts, it is literally straight up the hill and bear to the left. No need to take the ferry across Showcase Lagoon for this one.
Now, I say “little” because there just doesn’t seem to be much to it. There is no attraction associated with this exhibit and you can honestly walk through it in just under an hour or so. Throw in lunch and you may be able to squeeze out about two hours of fun.
Our Date “Across the Pond”
We had an early afternoon lunch scheduled at the Rose and Crown Dining Room, but we arrived to the park a little early to do some preliminary exploring. I’ve been trying to capture more video these days and learning how to better use my new camera stabilizing device.
Since the weather was perfect, we decided to take a comfortable stroll through the cobblestone streets that line the exhibit before checking in for our dining reservation. While again there is no attraction located in this pavilion, there are a variety of shops to explore and some entertainment to enjoy.
To be quite honest, though, our first stop was the bathroom. If you have to “go,” I highly recommend waiting until you get to these. For one, these are perhaps the largest bathrooms in the showcase and I have hardly ever encountered a line (though I am not saying it does not happen). I love that the building is fashioned after the Hampton Court Palace. Since I have always had a fascination with castles and cottages, this particular building has always intrigued me.
The Phone Booths
Since we were right there, we decided to try to grab that iconic photo in one of the UK phone booths. It’s one of those must-have memories to capture for any and all guests who visit the pavilion. I can remember snapping that very first photo with the boys way back when we first began our Disney vacations and I have wanted to recapture those memories for years. Sadly, the boys have not been cooperative (cue mama sigh) in my attempts to capture that retake.
At the time we tried to grab the initial photo during the date, however, the sun was beaming quite directly onto our subject. So, every time we tried to snap a picture with one of the phone booths, we seemed to get a major glare.
Since we could not grab what I would consider that “perfect picture” at that point (the one above caught later in the day), we decided to browse through the various shops that lined the perimeter of the exhibit. I love how you can start at one end and stroll through to the other, all while visiting various stores and nooks.
The stream of shops showcase items from Wales, Ireland and Scotland and include a wide assortment of merchandise. For instance, in the “Toy Soldier,” Guests can find toy castles and plastic swords. Littles can also find a Kidcot Spot in this store. In “Crown and Crests,” Guests can pick up a glass, mug, Rose & Crown t-shirt or Beatles paraphernalia. There is also quite the assortment of swords, daggers and knives, as well as an area to do a little research on family crests.
Hubby is a huge fan of Guinness. I mean, we don’t indulge often, but he prefers a good stout beer over anything he can see through. For years now, I’ve been meaning to pick up a shirt bearing the Guinness emblem on it from one of these shops as a gift for him. I’m really showing how bad of a wife I am ~ but I haven’t found the right one. So, I had intended on surprising him with selecting one during the date.
As luck would have it, they either didn’t come in his size or he didn’t like the shirt. Oh, well ~ I had good intentions, right?
The other shops sell everything from Celtic jewelry and London perfumes to loose teas and teapots. There is quite an array of items to browse and purchase. I’m surprised I didn’t come away carrying a million bags of goodies, to be quite honest.
Time to Dine
My tummy was starting to grumble, so we moved on over to the Rose & Crown Dining Room. We were still a little early, but we checked in, received a pager to hold and moved into the pub area so we could grab a few pictures in there.
The pub is always crowded – ALWAYS. I don’t think I have ever seen it quiet or empty. It’s a fun place to grab a drink, wait for your seat and/or visit with friends.
While we were there, a gentleman noticed my gimbal and began to ask questions about how it worked and how I use it. I showed him some of the tool’s features and explained that I use it for grabbing footage for my blog. That was when Hubby took opportunity to do a little spousal bragging. Awwwwwww…thanks, sweetie (the check is in the mail…)
Our name was called to be seated and we were led to a tiny little table at the bend of a corner in the outside seating area. Since I had every hope of grabbing some great location photos, I boldly asked if we could sit somewhere else. The Cast Member kindly obliged and found us a great seat outside and down below near the water.
Meeting our Server
Jamie made his way over and introduced himself to us fairly quickly. I immediately fell in love with the accent!!!! Jamie is from Northern Ireland, so I was really listening to EVERYTHING he said. (No, honey, you have nothing to worry about). Of course, part of that was because he was speaking into my “bad ear” and I have difficulty with articulation in that one.
Jamie is 26 and from Portrush, Northern Ireland, which is where I’m told a bulk of Game of Thrones is filmed and the British Open is played. This is the second time Jamie has participated in the Disney International Program and, at the time of our meeting, he was ten months in to his twelve month stay. He is quite the adventurer, as well as traveler, having already toured ten states since his arrival to the country. He has been to such locations as New York City, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Yosemite. The state of Utah has also been on his itinerary. However, his favorite places to explore are The National Parks and he is an avid mountain biker.
Jamie went to college for film production, but has been around bars and restaurants his entire life. That lifetime exposure has inspired him to continue working in the industry with his next pursuit being bartending. While he can participate in the Disney program up to four times (he is actually employed by Disney), he thinks one more trip through will be it and then he plans to move forward with his dreams.
What did we eat?
As we always do, we like to get two appetizers and then one entree to share. That usually helps us to leave room for a shared dessert.
For our appetizer, I had the Crock of Potato Leek Soup, while Hubby had the Scotch Egg. We actually love both these options, so we shared them between us. The soup is always so creamy, but I will admit that this one seemed to lack a little flavor this time. We’ve had it before, so I’m thinking it was just this batch. We still devoured it and loved every bite. The Scotch Egg is always good ~ a little dry for my taste ~ but always delicious. We love taking a bite of the egg and sausage, and dipping it into the mustard before picking up a piece of garnish ~ always makes for a flavorful bite of yumminess.
For our entree to share, we chose the Welsh Pub Burger. Why the burger, T? You can get that over in American Adventure!! Well, this an Angus beef patty with beer cheese sauce, bacon and beer-battered leeks served with a side of Branston mayonnaise. It just made for a great pub burger and, well, we were eating in a pub. It made sense. Fortunately, Hubby and I also like our red meat cooked the same way, so we have no problem sharing a meal like this. At previous visits, our family has enjoyed the Guinness-Braised Beef Short Ribs (made food allergy safe for eggs, peanuts and tree nut allergies!!!), the Bangers and Mash and the well known basket of Fish and Chips.
To be honest, the wait for our entree was a bit longer than expected. My guess is that they overcooked the first burger and decided to do it over right from the get-go instead of having us send it back. Who knows? Needless to say, it still came out to us fresh and hot and our mouths began watering as soon as we saw it. As we were cutting it in half, I swear we were both drooling in anticipation!
Care to take a peek at the rest of the menu options yourself? Click here.
What about Dessert?
Oh, this was a no-brainer for us. While we have had the Chocolate Nougat Bar before, the Sticky Toffee Pudding is our top choice when dining at Rose & Crown. I crave this every time I dine here. The cake is moist and the sauce is warm. It is the perfect combination and literally melts in my mouth with every bite.
Time to be Entertained
So, dinner was done ~ what next? We once again strolled through the shops and then nestled into a spot in front of the beautiful copper-roofed gazebo tucked away in the back of the pavilion. Since there is no true attraction in this exhibit, we knew we wanted to enjoy the music that is showcased. We had actually never really stayed to listen to them for a full show in the past, so we were eager to watch and listen.
The British Revolution is a five member ensemble covering various British bands including The Police, Rolling Stones, The Who, Queen and Simple Minds. Hubby and I were in our glory because we knew all the songs and were singing right along with them.
In addition to the musical entertainment, the pavilion also has a few meet and greets on the main promenade. Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Mary Poppins come out to sign autographs and pose for pictures on a scheduled basis. In the past, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger could be found in the back of one of the shops, In fact, I can remember stumbling upon them completely by accident during our very first visit to Epcot back in 2007. What a memory that was! The youngest was only 18 months (he will be 13 in a few weeks – gulp!)!!
Just so you know….
While we dined at Rose & Crown and shared our experience there, there is a quick service in the UK Pavilion just in case you are trying to keep costs down. In fact, I’ve got a great tip for you in a minute.
Yorkshire County Fish Shop is located right next to the Rose & Crown Dining Room and just before the bridge that leads to the France Pavilion. Here is where you can get some of the best fish and chips on property! I absolutely LOVED devouring a basket of these ~ until my system decided that white fish was no longer going to be kind to me (c’mon…we’re friends now!). In any case, it is honestly a great value.
Now – ready for the tip?? Grab some fish and chips from Yorkshire County Fish Shop and then walk behind the building towards the water to find some great seats. It’s not a well known spot for those who are just visiting, so you can feel like you are dining at Rose & Crown (who also serves fish and chips) without paying table service prices. (wink, wink)
So, tell me, friends. Have you been to the United Kingdom Pavilion in Epcot? What about it strikes your fancy the most? Have you dined at the Rose & Crown Dining Room and, if so, what is your preferred order? Oh, I so wish I could enjoy the fish and chips again, but it’s all good. I love so many other things on the menu and look forward to visiting the “country” several times in the future. In the meantime, I would love for you to share your UK Pavilion stories below and stay tuned ~ Canada’s up next!!!!
Like the series? Check out our other date nights around World Showcase:
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