One of the many great things about London are its numerous grocery stores, from Waitrose, Sainsbury's and Tesco's, to Wholefoods, Somerfields (really?) and more. I don't think I've had this much fun shopping for food before, especially not in New York, where your choices are pretty much limited to the Food Emporium where you end up buying the same TV dinners and Healthy Choice meals that are easy to prepare and don't require much creativity. Okay, you've got Whole Foods, that's true. And you've got Trader Joe's. But who goes there on a regular basis anyway? One of them is way too expensive and the other one is just messy, confusing and frustrating- though extremely good when speaking of value for money.
A big, fun, part of my daily routine as a thesis-writing student is making a trip to the grocery store. As much as I love and appreciate my around-the-corner Waitrose and closer-than-you-need Sainsbury's, I occasionally get tired of my little franchise supermarkets and start itching for something more exciting. The other day, I was in Shoreditch on one of my walking explorations of London trips, and as I was making my way down Kingslang Road, I fell upon the charming food store called The Grocery. Walking in, my head began to spin. This was exactly what I had been looking for! A non-mega franchise grocery store, where I could not only enjoy my shopping experience, but sit down to drink a coffee (while reading Grazia:) whenever I got too tired. The place is a true London gem, filled with organic fairtrade dairy, produce, fresh off-the-bone meat and fish, just-out-of-the-oven baked bread and...my favourite: unshaven hippies! The Grocery Cafe is at the back of the store and at first glance may seem cavernous and dark, but then just invites you in amongst its beautifully faded and old-fashioned looking red-brick walls. You can sit amongst the coolest people in London, looking like a complete outsider but really not giving a rat's ass cuz you're in grocery heaven.
The Grocery on Kingsland Road, Shoreditch