Cook guide

A Cook’s Guide to Brixton: Christmas Special


Katharine Fish shows you the easiest and best way to shop for Christmas food locally.

It’s the season to be happy! That wonderful time of year when the smells of festive food fill the air and we slowly slip 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 treat. But for some, this plethora of choices is a mixed blessing.

The market can be an overwhelming place and it is not easy to know where to find the best quality product. While experimentation is half the fun of cooking, vacations tend to stretch our schedules and budgets, causing us to revert to old staples and reliable stores.

However, we shouldn’t hesitate to look to local suppliers, especially since some of London’s best are right on our doorstep! Whether you’re looking for a reliable butcher or pantry cooking basics, these are the best places in Brixton to find high-quality, reliable food for the holiday season.

Butchers and fishmongers

Jones: 1 Dulwich Road

If you are planning to serve turkey this year, look no further than Jones at Herne Hill. These butchers have been supplying local carnivores for 51 years and Christmas is their time to shine. Jones offers Copas award-winning organic free-range turkeys that are sure to impress at any Christmas feast. But you better get one soon, because orders are already piling up!

Brixton Dombey Meats: 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 the 10 best butchers in London by the Evening Standard and it’s easy to see why. This is the place to find oxtail and other braising meats, as well as a reliable shop for Aberdeen Angus beef. If you’re planning on feeding an army this Christmas (with enough leftovers), then Dombey’s Smoked Pork Shoulder would be a wise buy. These large chunks of meat are cheaper than turkey and make a great alternative for a festive feast. You will see them hang up right now.

Dombeys

Jeffries Fishmongers: 5 market row

If you are looking for something fishy to change the traditional Christmas menu, this is the place for you. With an impressive array of seafood, live lobster and cuttlefish at Dover Bass and Sole, Jeffries’ counter is filled to the brim! Their friendly staff are extremely knowledgeable, but most importantly, this store is clean and their stock is sparklingly fresh.

Jeffries

Delis

Barrel and barrel: 18 market street

This delicatessen is the perfect one-stop-shop for a holiday aperitif. Launched by Joe and Sean Cannon in 2010, Cannon & Cannon is dedicated to promoting the highest quality local and artisan charcuterie. From Suffolk salami and smoked Dorset mutton to Kappacasien Bermondsey cheese, this is a great place to find unique, locally sourced holiday treats. The deli even provides British chutneys, crackers, baked goods, beers, and mead (if that’s what you like). If all these purchases whet your appetite, go to the upstairs restaurant Salon for a sample of delicious British specialties.

Map of cannons and cannons

Continental Charcuterie: 3 Atlantic route

If you’re looking for something a little more international, head to the Continental Delicatessen at Atlantic Road. This grocery store offers a wide range of Italian, Portuguese and Spanish products, from amazing cheeses to a wide range 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 candied fruit and cookies with pignoli or Italian pine nuts. Their wide selection of pannettone makes a great gift and a wonderful alternative for those of you who can’t get enough of Christmas cake.

Pantry

Nour Cash and Carry: 23, market row

I blame these guys for the condition of my cabinets. Recently my roommates organized a response after a wall of herbs and spices fell from our overcrowded closet. This is the bonus of Nour Cash and Carry. Whether you’re making a Christmas pudding or making a bribe, this Brixton institution is a steal and is sure to meet all of your pantry needs. From olive oil and flour, to weird spices and unpronounceable pasta, I guarantee you’ll walk away with everything you came for … and if you’re like me, a few extra chunks to stuff in. your kitchen.


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