How to have a U.K. vacation without ever leaving Toronto

This summer, it seems like everyone is traveling to Europe. Whether you’ve got your own European vacation planned this summer and don’t want it to end or are dreaming of getting a taste of Italy or France, we’ve got you covered. Here’s your how-to guide to summer like a European this summer — without ever leaving Toronto, this time with all things Portugal.

Watch some football

@torontofc/Insatagram

Football (a.k.a. soccer) has enjoyed enduring popularity in the U.K. for centuries, and its roots can be traced back to the country. Though the Brits can boast that they have the most-watched league in the world, it’s worth noting that football’s popularity extends beyond the U.K. Toronto FC, a prominent franchise in the MLS, has amassed a significant fan base and FC’s games at BMO field attract an average attendance of 25,423 spectators. Grab a friend, don’t forget to wear some red and experience the thrilling atmosphere first-hand.

Lift your spirits

@wheatsheaftavern/Instagram

If you’ve ever been to the U.K., you know that pub culture holds a significant place in British society. You can grab a pint (or three) at Toronto’s oldest bar, the Wheatsheaf. Situated at the southwest corner of King and Bathurst since 1849, the tavern is the ultimate destination for those seeking a combination of classic pub fare, live music, sports and a side selection of whisky.

Play with a Bard

Regarded as the epitome of literary greatness, Shakespeare’s enduring works are constantly revived to captivate successive generations. For a modernized, Toronto version of the Bard, visit the undersung Shakespeare in the Ruff. This not-for-profit outdoor theatre company in Withrow Park makes Shakespeare anything but boring. This summer, it’s Richard III, renamed Richard Three, that they’ll be revitalizing.  

Feast on Fish and Chips

@seawitchfc/Instagram

The combination of fish and chips is known worldwide as a quintessential English staple. The Sea Witch on St. Clair offers an authentically delicious experience reminiscent of the best fish and chips found in the U.K. The batter is light and crispy, the fish is always flaky, and tartar sauce enthusiasts will be pleased to discover Sea Witch’s homemade version, whipped up from scratch to achieve the perfect balance of creamy and zesty.

Shop till you drop

Kensington Market/Parentingtogo

North London’s Camden Market offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in a full day of shopping. This vibrant destination comprises various smaller market areas, boasting a staggering collection of over 1,000 establishments to discover. Though Kensington Market may not be a traditional marketplace, it promises an exceptional culinary adventure with its diverse range of dining options. The neighbourhood is adorned with picturesque Victorian-style houses, concealing hidden treasures such as vintage shops and independent boutiques.

Try some tea for two

@windsorarms/Instagram

Though afternoon tea may not be a common occurrence in the 6ix, thanks to shows like Bridgerton and a litany of British royal scandals that have hit the press in recent years, the idea of adopting this British custom doesn’t seem so far-fetched. Head to the Windsor Arms for English afternoon tea, in the Parisian-inspired lobby or by the fire in the historic, lush purple room. It was here that Richard Burton proposed, the second time, to Liz Taylor in 1967.  

For more of our Summer Like a European series, click here. 

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