Heaven for food lovers

Two new food stores - Daylesford Organic and The Natural Kitchen – have just opened in London
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Daylesford Organic

The good news is that Daylesford Organic is simply the chicest grocery store to have opened in London yet; the better news is that it is growing as organically as the food it sells, with new branches popping up all over town.

Elements from the original Gloucestershire farm shop, ranging from the butcher to the baker and a cafe, have been successfully cloned in Selfridges food hall, Sloane Square and Westbourne Grove, and more recently at Clifton Nurseries in Maida Vale. But the most impressive is the new 4,500sq ft flagship store in Pimlico Road.

It is a temple of restrained good taste: walls, floors and worktops are clad in grey-white marble, sturdy minimal tables and benches are made from limed white wood; even the stair rail, made from long branches of woven willow, is a work of art.

It is hard to resist sampling one of the many freshly baked loaves of bread or pastries, a slice of buffalo mozzarella or a chunk of parmesan. Fruits, vegetables and salads are spritzed to keep them looking fresh, while bottled conserves and purees made at the farm are entirely seasonal. The first floor is filled with desirable homeware, from elegantly packaged scented candles and grey linen tablecloths to blown Murano glass tumblers and porcelain teapots.

The basement houses a wine cellar of mostly biodynamic wines, while the ground floor buzzes with shoppers who may be tempted to sit down at the long refectory-style table that runs down the middle of the space and order something delicious from the menu such as home-made gazpacho or Asian beef salad. Everything is served by waiters wearing white linen aprons and even whiter smiles.

Daylesford Organic, 44b Pimlico Road, SW1
020 7881 8060

The Natural Kitchen

Is there no end to the foodification of Marylebone Village? As if there were not enough comestible stores there already, there is now The Natural Kitchen on Marylebone High Street, squashed between Le Pain Quotidien and Waitrose.

The Natural Kitchen is a hybrid - something between a grocery store and a supermarket, its main virtue being that it brings in foods from many different companies. Paxton & Whitfield supplies cheese, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his River Cottage colleagues supply fruit and veg, while meat comes from the Well Hung Meat Company. A cafe on the first floor serves light snacks.

The Natural Kitchen, 77-78 Marylebone High Street, W1
020 7486 8065

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