Katharine Fish shows you the easiest and best way to do your Christmas food shopping locally.
‘Tis the season to be jolly! That wonderful time of year when festive food smells fill the air and we slip gently into a mulled wine coma. For those of us who live in Brixton, the bounty of the market means we don’t have to travel far to get everything we need for a holiday feast. But for some, this plethora of choice is a mixed blessing.
The market can be an overwhelming place and it isn’t easy figuring out where to find the best quality product. While experimentation is half the fun of cooking, the holidays tend to stretch our schedules and budgets, making us return to old staples and reliable shops.
However, we shouldn’t shy away from local suppliers, especially as some of the best ones in London are right on our doorstep! Whether you are searching for a reliable butcher or baking basics for the larder, these are the best places in Brixton to find reliable and high quality food for the holiday season.
Butchers and Fishmongers
Jones: 1 Dulwich Road
If you plan on serving up turkey this year, then look no further than Jones in Herne Hill. These butchers have been supplying local carnivores for 51 years and Christmas is their time to shine. Jones stocks award winning Copas organic free-range turkeys, which are sure to impress at any Christmas feast. But you had better secure one soon, as orders are already piling up!
Dombey Meats of Brixton: 19 Market Row
Another Brixton staple is the no frills ‘Dombey Meats of Brixton.’ Owner Michael Dombey opened this shop as a young butcher almost 30 years ago. A few months ago he was voted one of London’s top 10 butchers by the Evening Standard and its easy to see why. This is the perfect place to find oxtail and other braising meats, as well as a reliable shop for Aberdeen Angus beef. If you plan on feeding an army this Christmas (with enough for leftovers), then Dombey’s smoked pork shoulder would be a wise purchase. These hefty hunks of meat are cheaper than turkey and make a great alternative for a festive feast. You’ll see them hanging up at the moment.
Jeffries Fishmongers: 5 Market Row
If you are in the market for something fishy to change up the traditional Christmas menu, than this is the place for you. With an impressive array of seafood from live lobster and cuttlefish, to sea bass and Dover sole, Jeffries’ counter is stuffed to the brim! Their friendly staff are extremely knowledgeable, but most importantly, this shop is clean and their stock is sparklingly fresh.
Cannon & Cannon: 18 Market Row
This deli is the perfect one stop shop for a holiday drinks party. Started by Joe and Sean Cannon in 2010, Cannon & Cannon is dedicated to promoting the highest quality local and artisan charcuterie. From Suffolk salami and Dorset smoked mutton, to Kappacasien Bermondsey cheese, this is a great place to find unique and locally sourced holiday treats. The deli even supplies British chutneys, crackers, baked goods, beers, and mead (if that’s what you’re into). If all this shopping is working up an appetite, then head to upstairs restaurant Salon for a sample of some delicious British delicacies.
Continental Delicatessen: 3 Atlantic Road
If you’re looking for something a little more international, then head over to Atlantic Road’s Continental Delicatessen. This deli stocks a wide range of Italian, Portuguese and Spanish products, from amazing cheeses to a wide array of olives, breads and even fresh produce. For the holiday season, owners Bella and Jo have filled their shop with unique Christmas delicacies such as frutas confitadas and Italian pignoli or pine nut biscuits. Their wide selection of pannettone make an excellent gift and is a wonderful alternative for those of you who can’t get excited about Christmas cake.
Nour Cash and Carry: 23 Market Row
I blame these guys for the state of my cupboards. Recently my flat mates staged an intervention after a wall of herbs and spices came tumbling out of our overstuffed cabinet. This is the bounty of Nour Cash and Carry. Whether you’re making a Christmas pudding or brewing a pot of mulled wine, this Brixton institution is a bargain and will undoubtedly have all your larder needs. From olive oil to flour, odd spices and unpronounceable pastes, I guarantee that you will leave with everything you came for…and if you’re like me, a few extra bits to cram into your kitchen.