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one saturday in london

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lilaki Jun 10, 2010 07:20 AM

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!!!

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  1. howler RE: lilaki Jun 10, 2010 08:07 AM

    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. zuriga1 RE: lilaki Jun 10, 2010 08:11 AM

      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
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        lilaki RE: zuriga1 Jun 10, 2010 09:18 AM

        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
          zuriga1 RE: lilaki Jun 10, 2010 10:02 AM

          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
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            seastreet RE: zuriga1 Jun 11, 2010 03:13 AM

            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
              Samuelinthekitchen RE: seastreet Jun 14, 2010 04:59 AM

              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
                zuriga1 RE: Samuelinthekitchen Jun 14, 2010 05:09 AM

                Maybe you never had your pocket picked! :-)

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        pj26 RE: lilaki Jun 10, 2010 09:14 AM

        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
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          lilaki RE: pj26 Jun 17, 2010 09:43 AM

          wow - pages looks great! thank you!

        2. limster RE: lilaki Jun 10, 2010 11:15 AM

          Try Poliane near Victoria Station for a French boulangerie.

          5 Replies
          1. re: limster
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            lilaki RE: limster Jun 10, 2010 06:16 PM

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

            1. re: lilaki
              Robin Joy RE: lilaki Jun 11, 2010 02:26 AM

              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
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                cathodetube RE: Robin Joy Jun 12, 2010 11:49 AM

                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
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                  lilaki RE: cathodetube Jun 12, 2010 02:40 PM

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

                2. re: Robin Joy
                  zuriga1 RE: Robin Joy Jun 12, 2010 12:54 PM

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

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              cathodetube RE: lilaki Jun 14, 2010 04:18 AM

              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
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                Lake RE: cathodetube Jun 14, 2010 10:46 AM

                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
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                  lilaki RE: Lake Jun 17, 2010 09:05 AM

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

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                cathodetube RE: lilaki Jun 15, 2010 03:10 AM

                Because you like tea - check out http://www.rareteacompany.com/

                Her teas are getting really good reviews.

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