Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published October 5th 2014
Fantastic Gifts for Foodies
Patridge's Food Market, Duke of York Square
Last week I was exploring Sloane Square for the first time, and the one thing that struck me is how uttle fashion centred it is. King's Road is just clothes store after clothes store after clothes store. Because of this, anything that is not fashion-oriented sticks out like a sore thumb, which is why Partridge's Food Market caught my eye. Perhaps Partridge's looks slightly out of place because it was originally located on Sloane Street, when founded by Sir Richard Shepherd in 1972. The store relocated to Duke of York Square on King's Road in 2004, which is actually a very good location, because provides the space for them to hold a weekly market and outdoor cafe that overlooks a playing field, fountain, and the Saatchi Gallery.
Partridge's is really three things rolled into one. The main aspect is the Food Hall, that supplies a mixture of supermarket goods and artisan food. Second is the cafe, which is located at the back of the hall, but also provides outside dinning. Considering its location, the meals are reasonably priced from £5.95 - £10.99, plus a few cheaper side dishes. Some of the options include quiche of the day, duck pate on brioche, beef sandwich, smoked salmon bagel, various salads, pies, and penne pasta. Because the kitchen is at the back of the hall, however, shoppers need to be wary of waiters coming in and out with plates on a regular basis.
Fruit & Veg
Third is the food market, which began in 2005. The market is open every Saturday between 10am - 4pm and includes bakeries, fruit & veg, condiments, confectionary, tea, fish, pies, dairy and international cuisine.
I went on the Friday, so did not get a look at the market place, but I had a good wander through the store. It is a very inviting place to walk into; at the entrance I was greeted by an employee who offered me a free sample of one of their drinks.
Partridge's makes you feel like you're in the land of luxury, with all the highest quality items at the front. As I went round, I began to notice more high street brands creep into the fold. The first few isles are dedicated to couture confectionary, such as Valrhona chocolate, panettone, fudge, etc. These were all in elegant packaging aimed as possible Christmas gifts. It worked. I ended up buying caramelised almonds and pomegranate Turkish Delight for my Granddad.
In the centre of the hall is where all the fresh good can be bought. They have a charcuterie, bakery, cheese deli, fresh pasta, patisserie, and hot meals to take away. One of the new products they had available at the charcuterie was bellota ham from the Jamon Company, which they call 'the caviar of Spanish gastronomy'. Bellota means acorns in Spanish, which is what the free-roaming pigs are exclusively fed on before being cured for thirty-six months.
I was more intrigued by the pasta though, which was sold in individually wrapped parcels, and included asparagus tortellini, board tortellini, and mushroom and goats' cheese ravioli. The ravioli was so large and flat thatI first thought they were sheets of lasagne.
Freshly Baked Rolls
The bakery proved to be very popular as a lot of the baskets were empty, and the bakers were rushing to get more out of the ovens.
Opposite the fresh food counter were shelves filled with specialist condiments, such as mustards, pates, jam, honey, etc. Interesting flavours included pumpkin jam, truffle honey, and kid goat terrine. I bought grape mustard, truffle mustard, beer mustard, and walnut mustard as presents.
After this, I found myself amongst the less glamorous, more everyday items. At least they are everyday items in US. Several isles were taken up by imported American brands such as Pop Tarts, Lucky Charms, Betty Crocker cake mixes, Clamato tomato juice, corn syrup and marshmallow fluff.
Pepsi: Promoting unhealthy diets since 1893
Also amongst these was a rather satirical row of soft drinks advertising that they were made with real sugar, artificial ingredients, and flavourings. It would be funny if it wasn't true.
While Partridge's does have your basic grocery items, they are much more expensive than where you would find elsewhere, so I would not suggest it for everyday needs. It is, however great, if you want high quality fresh food or are looking for special gifts for foodies.