As my earlier post, please let me know next time you’re visiting, so I can recommend places for lunch and dinner. FWIW, I find that a good cooked breakfast here is a rare treat - most are very indifferent - so , if you rate those the best meals you’ve had, then you have really experienced poor choices. And similarly with the ploughman’s lunch - I understand the UK now produces a greater variety of cheese than France, yet so many ploughman’s lunches are served with uninteresting factory produced Cheddar.
Of course, you’ll appreciate that British restaurants tend to cater for British customers. The use of chilli doest feature in our traditional cuisine, as it might with Cajun or Tex-Mex food. As such, it can be difficult for, say, American visitors used to chilli to eat here - you’re absolutely right in that they won’t find the sort of food they are used to However, you will easily find dishes using native herbs and/or the spices that come from our traditional trade routes - I always struggle with the concept that “British food is bland” that visitors, like yourself, sometimes describe it as. It’s a remark that you rarely see tossed in the direction of the cuisines of neighbouring north European countries which draw on identical produce and cooking methods, yet do not have the wider range of spices that you find in British food. On the other side of the coin, I wonder how often Americans dismiss the cuisine in New England as being bland - yet it is probably the closest to British cooking you’ll find in America. As such, I confess to usually being very dismissive about references to “bland British food”. It may have been a fact in my youth during the 1950s, when food rationing was still in place after WW2
But you are, again, right that modern British food does not have the “bold flavours” of some American regional cuisines - I think our many of our chefs would pride themselves on presenting local, seasonal produce without too much cheffing about with it. They let the flavours of the produce speak for themsleves. And I am so glad that’s the case - a significant improvement from my youth when “good food” had to be French influenced.