This Spitalfield's Deli specialises in top quality British fare.
42 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, London, E1 6AG
The painted, panelled exterior could come straight from a BBC Dickens adaptation, making A Gold a perfect spot at Christmas. It's London's only delicatessen to specialise entirely in British produce - from Cornwall in the south (try the saffron cakes) to Scotland in the north (clootie dumplings are a speciality). If you're a fan of the New British style championed by chefs like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Fergus Henderson this place has all the ingredients you need. There are excellent meats and British cheeses and at this time of year their hampers, handmade puddings and sugar mice are especially popular. They also score points with the drinks - try a fermented honey mead or sloe gin - and with biscuits and preserves of bygone eras, which make excellent, nostalgic gifts. Pop into the equally beautiful Verde and Co next door (owned by the writer Jeanette Winterson) if you need to complement your shopping with something more continental.
Pay a visit to Lina Stores to stock up on Italian treats for your Christmas spread.
18 Brewer Street, Soho, London, W1F 0SH
Stock up on your panettone, panforte and pandoro at Lina Stores, a delightful old delicatessen in the heart of Soho. The family-run establishment is hugely popular with Soho's Italian population and stocks all the essentials, such as homemade pesto, pasta, ravioli, sauces, and a range of hams, cold meats, salamis, breads, olives and cheeses. Italian branded dried pasta, sauces and every day basics are also on offer, while there's a range of Christmas delicacies such as traditional cakes, biscotti and chocolates. Lina Stores was refurbished a couple of years ago but the little place has lost nothing of its classic charm. The centre-piece remains the superb marble and green-tile deli counter, around which legs of ham hang from the rafters and shelves are jam-packed with great, tasty produce. If you're a first-time visitor you're sure to be charmed and will vow to return - and not just at Christmas.
Fancy a sneaky Christmas shortcut? Pick up some delicious nibbles at The Grocer.
6 Elgin Crescent, Notting Hill, London, W11 2HX
Tube: Ladbroke Grove Station
On the December days when you don't have to cook roast beef for 11 hours, or get up in the middle of the night to put a 23lb turkey in the oven, it's always tempting to just put your feet up in front of the telly and munch on a ready meal. This is, of course, the worst thing to do if you're wanting to lower the calorie-count in this the most heavily indulgent season of them all. The Grocer on Elgin's fresh easy-to-prepare meals are a healthier solution when you're too tired to cook. Dishes like lemon and thyme risotto or chicken with Alsace bacon and mushrooms are made on the day with organic, free-range ingredients, and can be microwaved up in minutes. They also make absolutely fantastic fresh breads and patisserie. The information below refers to the original Notting Hill store - there is a second branch on the Kings Road.
Get everything you need for a foodie Christmas at Mortimer and Bennett.
33 Turnham Green Terrace, London, W4 1RG
Tube: Turnham Green Station
This small delicatessen set up by Dan Mortimer and Di Bennett becomes almost unbearably crowded in the build-up to Christmas, and not only because the knowledgeable staff and customers always have a thorough gossip. Alongside a world-class selection of cheeses, salamis, and pates in the chiller cabinet, the back of the shop is full of thrilling, unusual foodie gifts, sourced from micro-producers throughout Europe. Online orders are usually taken up until mid-December - after that you'll have to front up and join the in-store scrum.
An American foodie haven with Christmas hampers to die for.
13-19 Circus Road, St John's Wood, London, NW8 6PB
Tube: St John's Wood Station
Panzer's have become experts in everything-under-one-roof Christmas shopping for London’s homesick Americans, including 'Skippy' peanut butter and 'Oscar Meyer' bacon (which, incidentally, is far superior to any British brand for making stuffing or pigs-in-blankets). Londoners also travel here from all over the capital for their famous smoked salmon, while north London's Jewish community can celebrate Hanukkah or a secular Christmas with kosher hampers. Christmas Hampers, costing between £85 and £340, can be delivered to UK and European destinations within 24 hours, and cater for all tastes. Try the 'Headonist Hamper', unless the 'Sublime Hamper' sounds more up your street. As they claim on their website, this is American food "to die for".
Abbevill Road in Clapham is foodie heaven thanks to MacFarlane's deli and the Ginger Pig.
48 Abbeville Road, London, SW4 9NF
Tube: Clapham South Station
Fine cheeses are a speciality at MacFarlane's, a marvellous deli on Abbeville Road which has been serving the discerning local Clapham community for over 12 years. The cheese counters are filled with high quality, pasteurised and unpasteurised cheeses made from cows', sheep and goats' milk, making their selection one of the finest ranges of cheeses in London. They also have a choice of cured meats and charcuterie, pies and quiches as well as delicious dips and antipasti including hummus, olives and pesto. Organic fruit and vegetables, freshly made deep filled sandwiches and seasonal soups add to the appeal at this delightful independent food shop. This part of Clapham has become a foodie's heaven as the Ginger Pig opened its sixth branch on Abbeville Road on 25th September 2013, in time for the Christmas rush.
Greensmiths combines an excellent butcher's, baker's and greengrocer's under one roof.
27 Lower Marsh, South Bank, London, SE1 7RG
Greensmiths Market on Lower Marsh, Waterloo, combines an excellent butcher's (The Ginger Pig), artisan baker's (The Old Post Office Bakery) and Covent Garden Market greengrocer's (Solstice) under one roof - all considered top quality suppliers in their field. And that's not all, there are also concessions by coffee and drinks specialist Caffe Antica, and local wine merchants the Waterloo Wine Company as well as a specialist cheesemonger, full range of groceries and dairy products. Bringing together all of this expertise and creating one seamless shopping experience makes Greensmiths so much more impresssive than your average local supermarket. Not only can you shop for these products, you can also buy ready made meals cooked at the in-store kitchen to eat in the cafe, take home or take back to the office.