The bus company wants to celebrate the sweet taste of freedom - and it tastes of fish 'n chips
The National Express coach company is launching an unusual homage to the great British road trip with a collection of untraditionally flavoured travel sweets to honour our reintroduction back in to the big wide world. The new confections, dubbed the "Tastes of Normal" are more likely to spark up a conversation on a dull road trip than that ancient tin of chalky boiled sweets rattling around in your parents' glove box.
A celebration of regional delights - and more reminiscent of Heston Blumenthal than an intercity bus company - the tastes in the tin will surely transport you to your favourite British holiday destinations before you even get a chance to book your ticket.
Allow us to indulge you - fine-dining style - with a six-course menu inspired by the delicacies of the British Isles, each depicting a destination that can be visited using National Express buses and coaches.
Course 1 - pork pie
There's no sugar coating it, we start our journey in Melton Mowbray with a classic British snack. The savoury, meaty flavour of the humble pork pie perhaps wouldn't be your first choice for a sweet confection but where's your sense of adventure?
Course 2 - Cornish pasty
We never thought we'd be writing about sucking all the flavour out of meat and two veg but here we are. Close your eyes, think of England and imagine your lunch being swiped from your hands by a giant seagull whilst your tastebuds transport you to Cornwall via another meaty sweetie.
Course 3 - fish and chips
It's a good ol' trip to the seaside for your fish course. A whole chippy tea disguised in a tiny bonbon is a convenience we never wanted or asked for - and disappointingly mushy peas and gravy aren't included. But if you prefer a bit of curry sauce with your Friday night favourite, may we point you in the direction of your fourth course.
Course 4 - curry
Created in honour of Birmingham and its melting pot of cultures. The Indian takeaway is easily one of the UK's favourites. Satisfy your vice for spice with this curry in a hurry. Besides, we can't think of anything better to cure travel sickness than a jalfrezi and Peshwari naan from Jaipur Palace down Wilmslow Road.
Course 5 - Eccles cake
The only actual sweet treat in the whole selection, dessert comes in the form of the Greater Manchester stalwart - the fly pie. We like to think this little sweetmeat boasts all the flavours of the traditional Manc pastry with its trademark crunchy demerara topping.
Course 6 - Wensleydale cheese and cranberry
Round off your tooth-achingly tortuous meal with a pocket-sized cheeseboard courtesy of our friends over t'Pennines. Don't forget the crackers, this one's sure to be a hit with the pun lovers of the world. We'd indulge, but we're Cheddar than that. Seriously, these things can be really grating.
If you fancy testing National Express' well-travelled tasting menu, keep your eye on the National Express website its social media channels where you can enter to be selected at random in a special prize draw before 16 May.