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Best Grocery Neighborhood in London?


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Hello,

We may be moving to London in a few months (if so, it will be our 3rd international move in 2 years :wacko: ).

Which neighborhoods are the best for a serious cook? London is a big town. Where should I start the hunt for my next kitchen? I'm assuming I'll be carrying my groceries home several times a week, either walking or on the tube.

I now know how European women stay so thin--they only eat what they can carry home.

Thanks so much!

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I now know how European women stay so thin--they only eat what they can carry home.

Don't let 'em fool you - Wild boar, husbands (or SO's of other description), sides of beef, manifestos - you never know what you're going to see a European woman dragging onto the tube. Just don't expect the rest of us to give up our seat. Unless you ask nicely.

As to location, the same rule applies here as anywhere else. The better it is, the more expensive. Marylebone High Street is a mecca these days, but property is (g)astronomical. Borough is still the best market, but I don't know many who'd want to live too close.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Okay, this is certainly not a "trendy" neighbourhood like the South bank is now, but I find Palmers Green a good area for lots of Turkish shops with good, cheap fresh fruit & veg. There is also a good, weekly farmers market with lots of local/free-range/organic meat and produce.

In an ideal world I would live next to Borough market and shop there every day but neither my housing or food budget will support that!

Palmers Green offers easy access to many main points in London (direct train connection to Moorgate and Kings Cross as well as the Picadilly/Victoria lines via Finsbury Park) yet is a bit cheaper than living in the centre and lots of green space.

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If you want to be in London I'd agree Marylebone is excellent - North London is probably better for a wider variety of ethnic/specialist foods (the Jewish and Hindu communities are in north/north west London).

If you want to live outside the M25, Oxted in Surrey is the best small town that I know for food - there are truly excellent butchers, greengrocers and a cheese shop there.

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Lots of food writers seem to live in Highbury: there's Godfrey's Butcher, La Fromagerie, and you're not too far away from Steve Hatt for fish.

To the south (easy walking distance) is Islington, which has a few good places to eat out, a decent farmers' market (a bit too processed, perhaps), some worthy bakers etc.

To the north (an easy bus ride) is Green Lanes for fruit, veg, herbs, meat, bread - almost anything actually - from Turkish supermarkets. Excellent restaurants too.

Dunno how expensive it is but I know a couple of people who live there who aren't by any means super-rich, so it might be worth a try.

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Where is the Borough Market?  What tube stop?

London Bridge.

Chiswick is pretty good and choice of restaurants too.

Mortimer Bennett (Italian Deli), Indigo Italian Deli, Fishworks, Covent Garden Fishmongers, Macken Bros (butchers) can all be found on 200yd stretch of Turnham Green Terrace.

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Thanks so much, especially for the link to the other thread. For some reason, my search didn't turn it up the first time.

Any impressions of South Bank or Bankside?

North London is probably out unless it is on a line very convenient to Waterloo Station. My hubby is proposing to commute to some place called Church Crookham, which I believe an hour SW of London. Maybe we can also consider a remarkable suburb in that direction if there is one, but not knowing any better or any one, we think we'd prefer the city.

So Moby, if I share this slab of hand-cured wild salmon I'm lugging home today, can I have your seat?

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Thanks so much, especially for the link to the other thread. For some reason, my search didn't turn it up the first time.

Any impressions of South Bank or Bankside?

North London is probably out unless it is on a line very convenient to Waterloo Station. My hubby is proposing to commute to some place called Church Crookham, which I believe an hour SW of London. Maybe we can also consider a remarkable suburb in that direction if there is one, but not knowing any better or any one, we think we'd prefer the city.

So Moby, if I share this slab of hand-cured wild salmon I'm lugging home today, can I have your seat?

South Bank is not too far from Borough Market, though other than that there's not much around there... Marylebone is a great up and coming area. Also Northcote Road near Clapham Junction (on Waterloo train line one stop south) has a good weekend market, though that would mean living south of the river (whisper it - the horror...)

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Culinista, seems like you've already worked out that if your husband needs to commute through Waterloo and you want Food, you'd be best off joining us south of the river. Check www.fieldandsons.co.uk - property agents in Borough High St.

Although most bustling on Fridays/Saturdays, the success of the gourmet market @ Borough <www.boroughmarket.org.uk> has attracted permanent shops into its environs, including de Gustibus, the crafty baker; Neal's Yard, the cheese shop; Wyndhams the poulterer; a fishmonger almost next door (Applebees?). Theres a decent fruit & veg stand on the corner and usually at least one of the butchers' stands is trading, at least in the mornings. Not to mention Konditor & Cooke, Bedales and other poncey emporia. Then there's the cafes that have opened; the local pubs that have raised their game; the Brindisa tapas bar; Fish!

'South Bank' & 'Bankside' are riverside stretches west of Tower Bridge where, I imagine, residential lets would be expensive and hard to come by (although there's a huge former office building on the south side of Waterloo Bridge). However, there's lots of flats, including many recent warehouse conversions with river views, east of Tower Bridge. Starting with Butler's Wharf and the Conran 'gastrodrome', which is a complex of rather expensive restaurants and a couple of food shops. Personally, I would love to live on the river in Bermondsey, or even Rotherhithe. One could cycle along the river to the Borough. Supermarkets are a bit scarce, but you can get Waitrose/Ocado to deliver...

Edited by camp_dick (log)
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Hello,

We may be moving to London in a few months (if so, it will be our 3rd international move in 2 years  :wacko: ). 

Which neighborhoods are the best for a serious cook? London is a big town. Where should I start the hunt for my next kitchen? I'm assuming I'll be carrying my groceries home several times a week, either walking or on the tube.

I now know how European women stay so thin--they only eat what they can carry home.

Thanks so much!

Maybe you want to consider neighborhoods with a good farmers market. I lived in South Hampstead and there was a farmers market near Swiss Cottage tube and also in the carpark of the huge Sainsburys near Finchley Rd tube (don't know if it's still there). The farmers markets were handy to have though they weren't open year round.

Foodie Penguin

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I feel duty-bound to add a post extolling the virtues of the notting hill/portobello area. Local establishments of particular note include:

R Garcia and sons - an astonishing Spanish supermarket on Portobello road, storing everything from lomo curado to ortiz tuna

Mr Christian's deli - well stocked (but overpriced)

Kingsland butcher - specialises in rare breeds, and is particularly strong on pork

Golborne Fisheries - large and good value fishmongers

And of course, the market itself, which has excellent fruit and veg stalls and much else besides (the cheese stall near the cinema is a little corner of France).

There is also a shop called Books for Cooks which is a fantastic resource for any committed cook.

So - great food; shame about the people.

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So Moby, if I share this slab of hand-cured wild salmon I'm lugging home today, can I have your seat?

Definitely. I'll give up just about anything for food...

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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  • 2 weeks later...

*hands out slices of smoked salmon*

Thanks for all the appetizing addresses. I've only been to London a couple of times, but my husband goes once a month. He is a certified food nut, but for some reason, he has never taken a shine to the Marylebone area. What is he missing? Did he get lost?

I've noticed that few London flats feature separate dining rooms, but kitchens seem to be a good size compared to Paris (and equipped with cabinets and appliances, thank goodness). I hope they have gas cookers.

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I've noticed that few London flats feature separate dining rooms, but kitchens seem to be a good size compared to Paris (and equipped with cabinets and appliances, thank goodness). I hope they have gas cookers.

Rental flats in London do in general seem to be better equipped than those in Paris, but better to specify exactly what you want in a kitchen - including gas cooker. There are a lot of electric ones out there...

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I have also just recently moved to London (to work for Neal's Yard in Borough Market) and so am still working out flat issues, etc. What a pain in the butt. Currently I'm subletting in Bermondsey but not loving it, there's nothing to keep me here except the ultra-convenient communte. I think I'm goign to give that up in favor of something up north like Stoke Newington or Green Lanes or Manor house, which all have more character, cheaper rent, better food and company, actual trees and possibly a small garden rather than the dumpster that currently heralds every morning of mine.

--------------------------------------------

Nathalie Jordi

nathalie.jordi@nealsyarddairy.co.uk

http://www.nathaliebouffe.com

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