London has come a long way from fish and chips and bland curries. Today, the restaurant scene is buzzing with 70 Michelin-starred restaurants and a hip, conceptual food start-up scene, London is home to all manner of mouth-watering morsels. Whether you’re in the mood to pair an artisanal macchiato with a freshly-baked scone, or accompany a half-dozen native oysters with a crisp Muscadet, you’ll find the perfect spot in London. From markets to delis to long-established independent stores, here is our foodie’s guide to gourmet London:
Harrods Food Hall
Prominently placed on Brompton Road and a stone’s throw from Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Harrods is London’s most iconic luxury department store. Pride of place on the ground floor is its incredible food hall. Resembling an opulent 1920s bazaar, Harrods Food Hall is decked out in delightful art deco and aglow with upbeat swing music. Stepping inside is an unforgettable experience: every corner is home to a gastronomic treat, from a fromagerie on one end to “The Steakhouse” and oyster bar at the other. Anything you could possibly desire is on offer here. Fancy a majestically -marbled sirloin, or perhaps a vermouth-baked camembert–look no further! You’ll probably find it right next to the Ladurée macaroons or the sashimi-grade salmon fillets.
Near London’s most famous high rise, the aptly named Shard, and under the southern end of London Bridge lies Borough Market. It is perhaps London’s oldest market, dating back a millennium. Today, it is home to the best of British produce. Multiple mouth-watering stands, butchers, fishmongers, fromageries, set up every morning under an atmospheric green-and-white glass-arch arcade to convince you why you should buy British.
Most stalls are a combination of food market and artistic restaurant, so: like what you eat? Take it home. Highlights include Alsop & Walker’s Lord London cheese, silver medal recipient at the World Cheese Award, or maybe you’d prefer Bianca Mora’s Mora Romagnola charcuterie, hand carved from an exclusively chestnut and acorn-fed North Italian pig.
Maltby Street Market
To the east of Borough Market, next to Tower Bridge, you’ll find Maltby Street Market. Smaller, chic, and dripping with a cool yet vibrant atmosphere, it is a small slice of exotic London gastronomic life, lesser known than its neighbour, Borough Market. The market itself consist of over 30 fresh produce stalls and sits under the 19th-century arches that connected the centre of London to its naval shipyard, Greenwich.
Maltby Street Market is open on weekends, where it makes the perfect spot for restorative brunch or a pick-me-up in the form of delectable pastry or velvety espresso. Maltby Street’s main attraction is its exotic offerings that pair British produce with international culinary styles. Try African Volcano’s award-winning Mozambique-style peri peri, or, if you’re looking for something to take home, pick up the 1940s-inspired, South London-distilled “Little Bird” gin.
While not a market per say, mention must be given to the sophisticated stores of St. James’s. Occupying the heart of iconic London, just north of Buckingham Palace and west of Piccadilly Circus, St James’s is home to the historic master of British fine foods, Fortnum & Mason, alongside many others. Fortnum & Mason boasts its own food hall, offering everything over-the-top gourmet, to sweet marmalades, heavenly chocolate-macadamia biscuits, top-shelf scotch, and all manner of sumptuous seasonings.
Nearby, Berry Brothers has been watering London since 1698. Its historic headquarters is decked in black, with historic arched windows and patinated wood-panelling. Fine wines and spirits are its specialty, and you’d be remiss not to peruse through its unmatched list of ports and madeiras. Around the corner on Jermyn Street, you’ll find cheese purveyors to the Royal Family, Paxton & Whitfield with a finely curated selection of cheese and cheese-related accessories from around the world. And up on Piccadilly is the French Maille, dedicated to all things mustard.
Discover Jumeirah’s trio of hotels in London on your next visit.