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May 31, 2010 01:45 PM

Food Gift ideas for Londoner


Canadian gal here heading to London in June for 12 days and will be stayng a few nights with aquaintances in Richmond. Would love to assemble some sort of foodie gift basket as a thank you. Just didn't know what to incude in it - combination of Canadian delicacies which I'd bring with me, and some from London - so I can explore food markets and specialty shops...

Any ideas?
for the Canadian fare - request was made for maple syrup, penaut butter, Montreal bagels, turtles not sure what else to add to that, but what about special treats I can get from London? suggestions welcome?

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  1. I'd start with the branch of the Teddington Cheese Shop that's now open at 74 Hill Rise, Richmond. I've only walked past in the evening when it's been shut, but a look at their website reveals a very good selection of cheese from the UK & Ireland (including the quite rare Single Gloucester - which is delicious). They also mention Kirkham's Lancashire which is one of the better ones from the county - and they also mention a fruit cake to eat with it (as we do in the north) which, presumably, they also sell.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      Thank you Hartners for the recommendation - look forward to checking it out.

      I should mention that before heading down to Richmond I will be staying in Bayswater /Inverness area for 5 days so will also be able to make purchases there.

      1. re: yow yul


        That's a bottle of whisky then. Google picks up The Whisky Shop at 17 Bridge Street. I don't drink myself so can't judge their stock - but it's one heck of a range - you should be able to pick up something from an Inverness area distillery

        1. re: Harters

          harters - i think she means inverness terrace off the bayswater road in london. if i'm right, she should take the beautiful walk down the broadwalk in kensington gardens, turn right at kensington high street, get to wholefoods and let her imagination run riot.

          1. re: howler


            I possibly confuse a major UK city with a single street in the capital. Whatever next ? Folk might be saying that there's civilisation outside the M25. Unlikely, I agree.

            1. re: Harters

              There is an outside of the M25 now? Whatever will they think of next?

            2. re: howler

              Yes Howler is right - thank you - I should have written inverness terrace. This will be my first time in London.

              Kensington gardens to Wholefoods ! Bliss !!
              Glad to hear there's a Wholefoods - I'll have access to kitchen while in that area so I'll be able to pick up a few meals for me too!

      2. Oh, and if you were thinking of taking them out for a "thank you meal", I can recommend La Buvette or the Michelin starred Bingham. Both very good - the former cheaper and more bistro: the latter with prices to match its Michelin star but great food, a lovely room and superb views of the River.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Harters

          Thank you Harters for those recs and links - from all my lurking here I had already read about La buvette and checked their menu out - yum! but had not read about The Bingham.

        2. You could pick up some nice treats from Borough Market or head to Marylebone and grab some great cheese from La Fromagerie and a killer sausage roll from the Ginger Pig. If you're sightseeing near Piccadilly Circus, there's more cheese and lovely chutney at Paxton & Whitfield and trad British stuff at Fortnum & Masons (iconic but pricey).

          Even some unusual stuff from Selfridges food hall might fit the bill - unique spirits, oils, umami paste, TeaPigs tea, etc.

          Sounds like a lovely idea! If you can find a cheap copy of Food Lovers' London, you might find it inspiring for foodie trips around the city.

          2 Replies
          1. re: DollyDagger

            Dolly Dagger
            I will be sightseeing everywhere - foodhalls at Harrod's and Fortnum & Masons were already on my list. but didn,t know about Paxton & Whitfield - will have to pick up some chutny to bring home !

            Someone told me there was a lovely patisserie on Marylebone as well. or does the Fromagerie sell breads as well.

            1. re: yow yul

              There's a Patisserie Valerie and a Paul, both chains but good quality.

              You can browse all the shops using Street Sensation to plan your route:


          2. Thinking a bit outside food as food gifts I sing the praises of Books for Cooks in (lovely) Notting Hill.

            if the people you are staying with are as food obsessed as any sensible person then they would almost certainly be very grateful for a ticket to one of the fantastic workshops held there. The current program ( looks fabulous. They do book out fast though.

            Londoners rival the French for their love of fine cheese, so cheese would always be a welcome gift. I can't vouch for any of the previous reccomendations but I love Rippon Cheese Shop in Pimlico.

            All of the major stores' food halls are fun, but I totally endorse the Selfridges rec. Like the store itself, it just seems a bit fresher, livelier and 'out there' than Harrods or Harvey Nichs, not that there is a thing in the world wrong with Harrods or Harvey Nichs.

            Fortnum and Mason is heaven. i'm not speaking figuratively either, when I die I am firmly of the belief that as my life has been full of virtue and goodwill to my fellow man, upon my death I expect to wake up in Fortnum and Mason and spend eternity sampling their marmalades and eating scotch eggs..

            Also, they have beehives on their roof, (a video of which you can find on which is aces.

            Borough Market, the whole thing, generally.

            Wholefoods are nice, however, Waitrose they are not.

            Oh you'll have fun! London is a bloody terrific place for food.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Samuelinthekitchen

              Wow - thank you Samuelinthekitchen - I was going to check out foodie options near the tourist attractions - but now might check out the foodie options first!

            2. Thank you everyone - you are all fantastic - I can hardy wait to be over there exploring all these suggestions. Less than 1 week!!

              I confess I haven't a clue as to how hardcore foodies my hosts might be - but I am !! - so this adventure will be fun...
              Merci !!

              4 Replies
              1. re: yow yul

                Avec plaisir.

                BTW, are Montreal bagels different from "other"bagels?

                1. re: Harters

                  Harters - take a look on the board and you will see the rivalrly in the bagel which world is divided into two - the Montreal vs New York bagel.

                  New York style bagel is larger looks like a donut and tastes doughy.
                  Montreal style bagel is denser, somewhat sweet, hand kneaded and twisted into a ring, tossed into boiling water, then taken out and rolled in sesame or poppy and then baked in a wood oven. You bring them home hot out of the oven in a paper bag, and if any remain once home and cooled down, you then store them in the plastic bag so they retain their moisture because they can become rock solid - no addditives.

                  1. re: yow yul

                    Oooh, I like the sound of that. I think. Not sure about the sweetness (depending what I was going to put on it)

                    I reckon Jewish immigrants to the UK must have been from the same part of the world as went to New York as our bagels are the softer chewier sort.

                2. re: yow yul

                  Happy to do it my friend! It's a terrific city, you'll have a ball.