We are very excited here at LFE as work has started on our next illustrated London food map. We can't wait to see what Livi does with one of our favourite food places in London - Brixton Village.
There is something about word-of-mouth: a recommendation of a friend-of-a-friend. There was a cold brewed coffee that I just had to taste that would send me for six and my taste buds for seven. And so it was with Sandow's London last Saturday. Cold-brewed for 16 hours to reduce acidity, my 200 ml of Columbia hit the spot and then some. It was a taste revelation - distinctive, fantastic depth, sweet - everything that an iced-coffee should be.
Great concept, standout packaging, pure genius.
From what I can see, you can find them here but check them out on @SandowsLondon for details:
In London, everyone knows of Shepherds Markets. On any given day of the week, one of their seventeen markets will be open offering some of the best quality produce and diversity of food producers in the capital.
At the heart of the markets is the Shepherd family. Since launching their first and arguably best known market Duke of York Square in 2005, John Shepherd and his three daughters have changed the market culture of London and arguably paved the way for London’s ever burgeoning street food scene.
Many of the city’s most successful food artisans have a stall at Shepherds — Pieminister, Wildes Cheese, Cutter & Squidge, Cobble Lane Cured to just name a few. More recently, the Shepherds have added a new market – its startisan market at One New Change. This now regular market provides an all-important start for the capital’s newest generation of budding food entrepreneurs and artisans.
Champions of fine foods and local producers, enthusiastic about their traders, and the importance of markets for London, it was our privilege to interview John Shepherd and one of his daughters, Kitty.
Shepherds Market is a family business - when did it all start?
I’ve long been involved in a business started by my brother, of which the best known is Partridges in Duke of York Square. We have been running that now for 42 years. When we moved from Sloane Street to our current location about ten years ago, it became clear that we needed to drive footfall to what was then the first new square in London for 100 years. So in 2005, we started running our first food market. It was small at first but is now 70–80 stalls strong. From there we went to The Brunswick in 2008 and now we have seventeen regular markets across London.
What is the philosophy behind the markets?
We are an independent food business and we select traders with a great deed of care. Our mission is to celebrate London as an open city of authentic, diverse and community-building food markets. So what this means is that we want to work with people who are as concerned about the markets as we are, its community benefits, and who are dedicated to producing good quality food. This is very important to us as we want to call ourselves the good food market.
How do you select the traders that you work with?
We get a lot of people applying and we’re often asked — what can I make so that I can join the market? It’s not that simple. For us it is about finding producers that are doing something unique and different. So one of our traders Giovanni Carleschi of Seriously Italian makes pasta using British durum wheat. We have Chango Empanadas that at the time they joined us were very new. They have recently opened a store in Richmond. Deeney’s who make a Macbeth haggis toastie is another producer that comes to mind. We want all of our traders to do well and that requires a lot of attention to detail from my wife Maria and son-in-law, Janak. Maria really has the eye for spotting new startisans and giving them a chance. This is the term we use to describe people that are just launching their business like Piddington Jam who is here today.
What I love about London is the continual state of discovery that comes from living in such a dynamic and evolving food city. It is a city of startisans - a new generation of food entrepreneurs with a sense of adventure and can-do attitude. Yesterday on the bridge between Chalk Farm and Primrose Hill, I came across Primal Pitstop - a pop-up cake stall specialising in all things primal - gluten-free, grain-free, and refined sugar-free. It was their first day. I loved what they had on offer, the location, and enthusiasm. Good luck, guys.
Market Stall, The Bridge
123 Regent's Park Road
London NW1 8BE
Open from 10 am on a Saturday.
With its creative independence and quirky style, Columbia Road offers some of the best independent shopping in London. Typical of the neighbourhood is Oliver & Emma at 134. This coffee bar is literally a hole-in-wall, a pop-up café in the owner’s hallway. (They live upstairs.) Their coffee “any style” is close to perfect; if no-one is there, follow the instructions and ring the bell.