Instead of diets and denial, why not make a resolution this year to buy more interesting food and wine?
Here are some recommended London independent food and wine shops:
Borough Market is still one of the nicest places to food shop in south London. Monmouth Coffee is an essential pitstop for some of the best coffee outside Italy. Opposite Monmouth is Brindisa Spanish Foods for jamon, boquerones, tortas de aceite and Manchego cheese.
Next door to Monmouth is the famous cheese shop, Neal’s Yard. Try a few UK Cheddars like the aged Kean’s – sublime. Flour Power City was one of the first artisan bakers to kick start the real bread revolution some years ago. The sourdough baguette is still one of the best around.
Next door to Brindisa is Ginger Pig. All their meat is great quality. The sausages are fabulous, especially the chunky, garlicky Toulouse.
If you like a dram, one of London’s best specialist whisky shops Whisky Exchange is inside Vinopolis – entrance on Stoney Street.
Moving onto wine and spirits, there has been a boom in indie merchants over the past few years. Amathus has one of the best spirits ranges in London at their two outlets and online.
Heading west, Roberson has an awesome range of single bottles of fine wine and great service from dishy young chaps. The Sampler in Islington and South Kensington has a fantastic range of Grower Champagne. Also in South Kensington, Vini Italiani is a super stylish shop, dedicated to Italian wine.
Specialist teas are very hip. Orange Pekoe Tea in Barnes, south west London is worth the trip for a huge range and fantastic cakes in the pretty café. Teenie hotspot Hummingbird (branches include South Ken and Portobello Road) makes a staggering range of cute cupcakes.
On to London’s excellent food halls in department stores – Harrods Food Hall is wonderfully old fashioned with a great ready made food counter and dedicated chocolate room. Selfridges Food Hall is a welcome oasis on London’s Oxford Street.
Finally, foodie nirvana is fresh chocolate! Don’t miss top artisan London producer Melt with concessions in Harrods and Selfridges as well as a beautiful shop with working kitchen, on Ledbury Road, Notting Hill.
To buy Melt’s recent book, see Amazon.
(photo – Anakron Film / Flickr Creative Commons)