Celebrating the Best of British

Celebrating the Best of British - #ItStartsWithTea

At Tetley we love celebrating Britain’s greatest moments – the people, icons and events that fill the nation with pride. We know tea is a British institution however we wanted to know what you thought so we worked with NatCen Social Research to get an insight into how Brits feel about the country and all things British.

Topping the list of the best British icons was a delicious roast dinner, fish and chips, the BBC, the Union Jack and the tennis at Wimbledon. As Britain is built on tea we weren’t at all surprised to see a cup of tea in the list too!   



Roast Dinner


Fish & Chips




Union Jack




Cup of Tea


The Tube


The Royal Family


Only Fools & Horses


The Beatles






Buckingham Palace


Red Buses


Winston Churchill


The Queen




Cream Tea


James Bond



The Queen becoming our longest serving monarch and the 70-year commemoration of VE Day also make the top of the list of events that make us feel most proud of Britain.

We are so excited to hear that tea is such an iconic part of Britishness, right up there with the Royal Family, James Bond and Big Ben. In fact, when asked what the country’s national emblem should be, most Brits said a cup of tea. Nothing in the UK starts without a cuppa – and we’d like to invite you all to raise a cup to celebrate the very best of British!

When it comes to recent events, the poll shows that British pride was at its peak during the 2012 Olympics, which was voted the most rewarding time to be British. Go team GB!

2012 Olympics

We also curious about what traits made us British. Talking at length about the weather, needlessly apologising, and making a cup of tea in response to a crisis are all things we could relate to! The famous British stiff upper lip is also highlighted in the top 10, as well as declaring “its fine” when faced with poor customer service and queuing politely for absolutely anything!

Our most common national behaviour though was wearing summer clothes at the first sign of sun….!


1. Wearing summer clothing at the first sight of sun
2. Apologising automatically
3. Ability to talk at length about the weather
4. Making a cup of tea in response to a crisis
5. Finding queue-jumping the ultimate crime
6. Forming a queue for pretty much anything
7. The typically British 'stiff upper lip'
8. Grumbling throughout a meal, but not telling staff so as not to cause a fuss
9. Making sarcastic/dry jokes
10. Having a beer at the airport even though it's before 8am
11. Giggling at innuendos
12. Making a cup of tea when you have no time to drink it
13. Getting sunburnt on the first warm day of the year
14. Finding the American forwardness 'a bit much'
15. Avoiding eye contact on the tube
16. Binge drinking at the weekends
17. Insisting the other person goes through the door first
18. Searching for a fry-up when on holiday abroad
19. Mistaking brightness for warmth
20. Finding nothing better than a bacon sandwich

TOP 40 BRITISH TRAITS 21. Not asking for help so as not to 'put anyone out‘ 
22. Insisting the barbecue will still go on despite rain
23. Bringing out fancy biscuits on a plate for visitors
24. Feeling extremely patriotic during sports events
25. Indulging in a pint and a packet of crisps
26. Reading newspapers in the morning
27. Feeling at home to the tune of EastEnders or Coronation Street
28. Wearing extra layers rather than putting the heating on
29.Feeling appreciative that the person in front put the 'next customer' barrier on the conveyor belt
30. Doing anything possible for a light tan
31. Owning a picnic hamper but only ever using it once a year
32. Starting a controversial statement with 'I'm not being funny, but...'
33. Being vague about your plans rather than decline an invitation
34. Thanking someone when you've done them a favour
35. Not correcting someone when they pronounce your name wrong
36. Loving your cat/dog more than your child
37. Searching your pockets when asked for spare change
38. Feeling extreme excitement over a Sunday roast dinner
39. Having mixed feelings towards the ill colleague who is still coming to work
40. Being skilled in writing a letter of complaint

Fry up
Tetley Teacup

The NatCen report also revealed that 82% of Brits are proud of their nationality and 62% of people who live in Britain say they’d rather be citizens of Britain than anywhere else.


Did we miss anything? Let us know by joining the conversation on Twitter @Tetley_Teafolk #ItStartsWithTea