Friday, 22 August 2014

Twickenham - Sandys Fishmongers

Sandys Fishmongers in Twickenham was a blaze of colour when I visited earlier this year.  It was hard getting good photos here, as there were too many customers!

Inside the shop, on the wall, it says "Where only the best is good enough":
and I was impressed with the quality and variety of what they sell.

Their best sellers are probably sea bass
salmon and cod fillet
but there's a huge range of fish here.  It's clear to see where the fish is sourced, and the more sustainable fish is clearly shown. There's organic salmon, brill, gurnard, John Dory, pollack, skate wings, octopus and squid all from UK waters and much more besides.
They also sell a variety of clams
scallops, shrimps and prawns:
They've also got a good selection of smoked fish:
Besides fish, Sandys sell fresh eggs, Barbary duck, guinea fowl, Label Anglais special reserve chicken, fresh herbs sauces and other accompaniments.

Sandys Fishmongers
56 King Street

Tel: 020 8892 5788


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Cousins of Twickenham

I've already covered Twickenham Farmers' Market in this blog, Twickenham also has a great fishmongers (see next post) and Cousins greengrocers.
Most of us could do with eating more fruit and vegetables. With colourful displays, like in this shop, it's easy to do.   
Cousins of Twickenham
36 King Street
Greater London 

Tel: 020 8891 1900

Friday, 15 August 2014

West Didsbury - A Taste of Honey

A Taste of Honey is just a few yards away from Cocoa Cabana, and gives you another reason for visiting this area of Burton Road in West Didsbury.
It's a small and friendly café and deli, that's big on local produce.

Chilli lovers will enjoy Smokey Carter's oil and sauces:
There's Happy Belly award winning handmade scotch eggs (with soft yolks), I tried a sweet potato and feta one for a change.:
There's bread from Barbakan Bakery:
and some unusual jams from Spread the Love
Spread the Love's Italian lemon marmalade won a Gold at the World Marmalade Festival.

To wash it all down, there's tea from Parched Tea:
Varieties include camomile, nettle leaves, licorice and peppermint as well as Darjeeling!

If you prefer coffee, even that is local - coming from Ancoats:
A Taste of Honey
138 Burton Road
West Didsbury
M20 1JQ

Tel: 0161 434 5217


Saturday, 9 August 2014

West Didsbury - Cocoa Cabana

I've already included several very good chocolate shops in this blog. Sarah Gallacher's Cocoa Cabana, which is situated just down the road from Manchester's Metrolink station on Burton Road, is one of the best. 
It's a bit like going round to a friend's house, 
a friend who knows rather a lot about chocolates, and is very good at making them!

Sarah trained at Slattery's patisserie in Whitefield, and opened her shop in West Didsbury nearly two years ago.
You can have ten different sorts of hot chocolate here, how about an Aztec Dark - made with Madagascan dark 69% chocolate, chilli, cinnamon, and nutmeg?  

Coffee lovers are also very well catered for, as the coffee comes from Has Bean - who supply me with coffee every week.  You can also have a cake, like one of these brownies:
They also have a very good reputation for afternoon tea, which can come served with iced cocoa mint tea.

It's one of a handful of places in the UK where you can buy Dandelion Chocolate, an artisan bean-to-bar chocolate factory in San Francisco.
The hardest thing here is deciding what to have in your box.  Maybe a Pimms truffle?  Our family particularly liked the lime fondants and the Guild of Fine Foods Gold award winning salted caramel truffles, - but we think you should try them all! 
Cocoa Cabana
128 Burton Road
West Didsbury
M20 1JQ

Tel: 0161 282 5700


Monday, 4 August 2014

Glasgow - George Mewes Cheese

The moment you're inside a shop, you can tell how serious they are about cheese!  If you see lots of little blocks of cheese, sweating in cling film, it's not going to be top of my list.  You won't see this in George Mewes, which is definitely one of my favourite cheese shops:
It's situated on Byres Road, a cosmopolitan and eclectic street in Glasgow's West End.  George was a chef before he came into the cheese business - and is passionate about the cheese he sells.  He specialises in unusual artisan cheeses - the sort you won't find in your local supermarket.

He had a particularly interesting selection of unpasteurised goats' cheeses when I called, like Charlie Westhead's Ragstone and Dorstone from Herefordshire, and Stawley, from Hill Farm Dairy in Somerset: 
This Gorgonzola Dolce:
is made made by Arrigoni in Lombardy - in the town the cheese is named after. My photograph doesn't do it justice - but if you've ever tried some, you'll probably salivate just thinking about it!

There's also an interesting selection of breads to go with your cheese.
They also do cheese wedding cakes - if you're thinking of having one please invite me to your wedding! 

George Mewes Cheese
106 Byres Road
G12 8TB

Tel: 0141 334 5900


Monday, 28 July 2014

Glasgow - Cottonrake Bakery

If anyone says to you "do you fancy a cheese and ham sarnie?" in Glasgow, make sure you reply "I'd rather have Gruyère cheese and Ayrshire ham with Dijon mustard and bread from Cottonrake Bakery please"!  This lovely bakery and café is on the Great Western Road:
just opposite my last post - Iain Mellis.

Just looking through the window
(and using your nose) you know the bread is going to be good.  

There's pain de campagne:
and organic loaves, including these seeded boules:
There's also nice cakes:
(some with a French influence, like these financiers) polenta cake and chocolate brownies (which are also available in a gluten free version).  I was going to ask if they could remove the glass, before I took a photo of these chocolate tarts:
 and these fruit tarts:
but they were selling that quickly, they'd have all gone by the time they'd done it!

Cottonrake Bakery
497 Great Western Road
G12 8HL


Monday, 21 July 2014

Glasgow - I J Mellis

Iain Mellis has an excellent reputation for fine cheese in Scotland, and I really enjoyed my visit to their shop in Glasgow:
The shop has its own cellar, so that they can mature their cheeses properly. 

There's a good selection of Scottish cheeses like Anster cheeseCambus O'MayClava Brie, Grimbister Orkney cheese, and Lanark Blue: 
There's also great cheeses from England, France, Holland, Ireland, Italy and Spain: 
They sell some good goats' cheese, like Ragstone from Herefordshire, or Chabis and melt in the mouth Selles sur Cher from France:
If you've been brought up on Edam, and think Dutch cheese is boring and tasteless, try this two year old Reypenaer Gouda: 
Another good mature Dutch cheese was this Prima Donna: 
which, as the label says, was rich and both sweet and salty.

They also sell this creamy Wyngaard Affineurs goat gouda:
To go with your cheese there's bread from Different Breid
and a nice selection of olives
At the back of the shop there's charcuterie:
They sell Parma ham:
and Falorni Finocchio salami (flavoured with fennel seeds), Salame Toscano, and Felino which is flavoured only with salt pepper and the local wine:
They stock Corrie Mains Free Range Eggs from Ayrshire, and also duck eggs:
There's wines to go with your cheese and also some interesting other items. They sell Papercup coffee from an artisan coffee roaster, who's also on Great Western Road.  Tea comes via Ireland from Barry's Tea and Campbell's tea and also from Ireland is Irish Matcha porridge:
I J Mellis
492 Great Western Road 
G12 8EW

0141 339 8998