Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >
Jun 10, 2010 07:20 AM

one saturday in london

hi hounds,

a canadian hound here ... i'm coming to london for a very quick jaunt with work ... will have ONE saturday in july FREE. i'm crashing with relatives in pinner for the weekend ... will have an oyster pass and am familiar with the tube.

i've been to london three times before so have seen the majority of the sights ... i'll be travelling by myself on this saturday and am looking for a few foodie-related suggestions:

1. a great food/green/farmers market

2. a french patisserie/boulangerie (i know, i'm not in paris but i've got limited selection back home and am jonsesing for some 'authentic' french treats)

3. a kitchen/restaurant supply/housewares shop

for some background, the last few times i've been to london, i've gone to fortnum and masons (where i stock up on teas), harrods food hall, and the john lewis food hall.

my relatives live near the sainsbury so i'll be hitting that shop to stock up on cadbury, bovril (always requested by one of my friends) and other UK-only goodies. also, i don't need any restaurant recos as i'll be having dinner with the family on the saturday night.

thanks in advance!!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. the best patisserie/boulangerie that is easy to get to that i know of is le pain quotidien. close by to the branch in marylebone is divertimenti, a pretty decent kitchen supply shop.

    fwiw, i find harrods teas to be much better than fortnum and masons, esp the eng. breakfast. one tip for you - try and score barry's irish tea mmmm.

    1. There is the French patisserie, Aubain, on Old Brompton Rd. in South Kensington. I've yet to get there but people seem to like it. If you want the delicious French macarons, they are easily found at Selfridge's food hall or at the Laudurée shop in the Burlington Arcade near Piccadilly.

      The Borough Market is open on Saturdays, but I'd urge you to go as early in the morning as possible. It gets mobbed, losing its appeal.

      5 Replies
      1. re: zuriga1

        hi zuriga1 - thanks for the tip for the borough market. what exactly do you mean by 'as early as possible'. it opens at 8 am. i'm wary of getting to a market right as it opens as sometimes the vendors aren't properly set up. would 9 am be reasonable? and alternatively, when would be too late? thanks!

        1. re: lilaki

          To be honest, lilaki, I've never gone to the Borough Market on a Saturday for a long time. I doubt you have to get there at 8. I usually go about 11-12 on a Friday. I'm sure 9 or even 10 might be fine - maybe some others here will know more than I do about a Saturday. I wouldn't get there much past 11 or 12, but heck... some of us are more used to crowds than othere. I used to live near NYC. :-)

          1. re: zuriga1

            When I can't make it to Borough Market early on a weekday, early Saturday is second best, certainly no later than 9:30. By 10 it's a real struggle unless it's raining really hard. The crowds may not be NYC Chinatown-level, but they can definitely dampen.

            For my money, though, there's nothing that's quite as much fun as getting there really early - 8 or 8:30, before anyone else. Some of the vendors are more generous with samples for early risers, and while a few will still be getting ready, it's great to be able to actually talk to them about their goods.

            1. re: seastreet

              Weirdly, I quite like Borough in full swing on a Saturday. It's so lively, and it's nice to see so many people taking a genuine interest in food. That said, I'm not somebody who large crowds ever really bothers.

              1. re: Samuelinthekitchen

                Maybe you never had your pocket picked! :-)

      2. Pages on Shaftsbury on Shaftsbury Ave is excellent - they supply to the trade so have a really good range. For more stylish homeware, try somewhere like Heals or Habitat.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pj26

          wow - pages looks great! thank you!

        2. Try Poliane near Victoria Station for a French boulangerie.

          5 Replies
          1. re: limster

            gasp - love poilane! had no idea it was in london! thanks!

            1. re: lilaki

              Yes, and Neal's Yard stock their basic bread, as does Waitrose (well, my local one does), so you may not need to go to Victoria.

              1. re: Robin Joy

                Neal's Yard also stocks Staffordshire Oat Cakes which are worth experiencing in my opinion. They are very good under the grill/broiler with cheese on top. Poilane is in Elizabeth Street which has some other nice shops. There is a lovely perfumery if you like that sort of place. They also give out free samples.

                There is a farmers market at Duke of York Square at the beginning of the Kings Road on Saturdays. It's a stone's throw from Peter Jones, a branch of the John Lewis Partnership. There is a small Waitrose in the Kings Road as well.

                1. re: cathodetube

                  cool - just found a neal's yard right near borough market! thanks!

                2. re: Robin Joy

                  Poilane is also at Selfridge's but I think the variety is very small.

            2. Re Poilane, Elizabeth Street, it is worth going there as it is a proper shop, staffed by French people. They also have a small selection of rolls, croissants, pastries and biscuits. The perfume shop is called Les Senteurs. It's lovely. Not too far away is Daylesford Organic in Pimlico, also worth a visit. There is also a farmers market in Pimlico on Saturdays.

              2 Replies
              1. re: cathodetube

                For a a kitchen/restaurant supply/housewares shop, Lakeland is one of the biggest. They don't have a location in central London, but if you decide to sightsee in Windsor, they do have a location there. They also have an online shop.

                1. re: Lake

                  ooh - thanks for the reco. i'm spending one night in slough for work so maybe i'll catch a cab there!