DiningA foodie’s guide to gourmet London

Where to find delicious nibbles and tasty treats

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London has come a long way from the days of bacon and eggs, fish ‘n’ chips and Sunday roasts. Today, its streets lay claim to almost 70 Michelin-starred restaurants, serving up cuisine from every corner of the globe.

It’s not just the restaurant scene that’s undergone a sea of change either. Thanks to a growing demand for quality international foods, and the proliferation of small-scale, artisan food producers, the city’s markets, delicatessens and food halls have been transformed. From fine food stores to artisan stalls, here’s our foodie’s guide to gourmet London.

 

Harrods Food Hall

Prominently placed on Brompton Road, close to Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Harrods is London’s most iconic department store. Pride of place is the ground floor food hall. Resembling an opulent 1920s bazaar, every corner offers a gastronomic treat, from the fromagerie on one end, to the steakhouse and oyster bar at the other, with a fudge kitchen, bakery, deli and a chocolatier in between. Hampers abound, as do a dizzying selection of herbs and spices, truffles, cheeses, teas, pickles, jams, fish and delicatessen products. Fancy a magnificently marbled sirloin, or perhaps cheddar arancini balls? You’ll find it right next to the Ladurée macarons and the sashimi-grade salmon fillets.

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Borough Market

Not far from The Shard, you’ll find the 1,000-year-old Borough Market, London’s oldest food market. A riot of colours, smells and activity, it’s full to the brim with producers-cum-stall-holders, and traders who seek out hard-to-find foodstuffs from around the UK and beyond. The result is an eye-catching selection of butchers, fishmongers, bakers, greengrocers and fromageries, all selling their wares under an atmospheric green and white, glass-roofed arcade. Highlights include Alsop & Walker’s ‘Lord London Cheese’, a silver medal recipient at the World Cheese Awards, and the charcuterie at Bianca Mora’s, hand-carved from the leg of an acorn- and chestnut-fed mora romagnola pig.

 

Maltby Street Market

Next to Tower Bridge is the recently established Maltby Street Market. With a cool, vibrant atmosphere, this is a smaller, even more curated version of Borough Market. Nestled in and around the atmospheric Victorian rail arches of Rope Walk are 30 artisan food and drink traders selling everything from Mozambique-style peri peri meats, to Bad Brownie’s gourmet chocolate brownies. If you’re on a health kick, look out for the refreshing alkaline-rich ‘Green Juice’ from Bumpin’ Rinds. It’s also the perfect spot for a restorative brunch or a pick-me-up, with a range of indulgent pastries and velvety espressos. Sadly, the market is only open on weekends.

 

St. James’s

St James’s is home to the world-famous foodie department store Fortnum & Mason. The colossal store offers everything from over-the-top gourmet hampers, to sweet marmalades, heavenly chocolate macadamia biscuits and all manner of sumptuous savoury treats.

Not far away on Jermyn Street, you’ll find Royal Warrant-holding cheese purveyors, Paxton & Whitfield – one of the oldest cheesemongers in England. The company’s roots go back to a market store in Aldwych in 1742. Here you’ll find a mouthwatering selection of cheeses (naturally), and cheese-related accessories from around the world.

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