Sunday, February 01, 2009

VERDE & CO...(AND P.S...)

On Friday I found myself in Spitalfields, not somewhere I go much these days. The market regeneration has led to some unforgivably cheesy shops opening up, which I do my best to ignore. But luckily one part of Brushfield Street still retains a bit of individuality, with Verde & Co the beacon of good hope. How what is basically a small grocery store and deli can give one such a feeling of contentment is hard to define. For a start, everything is pleasing to the eye in a way that the phrase higgledy piggledy could have been made for. The old shop sign, the shelves of produce, the macarons, cakes and tarts displayed on the table, the copper counter you can sit at to drink your coffee, the actual fire in the fireplace and the (oh yes) Pierre Marcolini chocolates.

I'm not sure how they fit it all - and the staff and customers - of which they have many, into such a tiny space, but they do. It somehow doesn't feel stressful to negotiate someone's brushy, hopeful dog sitting at your feet, the fireplace (which I'm sure a less imaginative grocer would have utilised as storage) and other assorted people waiting for their orders. I can honestly say it is the one and only time I have felt jealous of the city bank workers around Liverpool Street, as they can get their freshly made lunch here every day (you can see the menu here - simple but gorgeous sandwiches and salads.)

The thing I notice most is the helpfulness and knowledge of the staff - and here I must stop before you become suspicious that I'm writing an advert. On my most recent visit I discovered that Verde & Co is co-owned by author Jeanette Winterson; perhaps having a writer involved is a clue to how its been thought out. I can't think of anywhere in London I'd rather plonk myself down by the fire on an icy winter's day, hiding behind the cakes with a good cup of coffee and a book.

Monday morning P.S.
!!!!!
I'm such a witch. And to think I used up my snow excitement photo on a mere sprinkling.



7 comments:

Anonymous said...

well i guess "sexing the cherry" and "oranges are not the only fruit" would lead one to believe, if on a superficial/first degree level...that...mmm, she is "into" food? :)

but as with any store...food, clothing, furniture etc...it is always fun when you feel that care has been taken to make one feel comfortable and to celebrate the senses...and more and more i realise...that details are super important..

and yes...these are hard times economically speaking...but i am very thankful...that some of us still want to live...;)
nancy

Anonymous said...

ps!!! OH and you finally got your wish....the heaviest snowfall in decades huh? :)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/feb/02/heavy-snow-extreme-weather

nancy

Bombay Beauty said...

Now that is a real snowfall... It has been one of the snowiest winters here in long while here too... I was just reading the "bad weather" alert from my previous (London) employer, imagining some sort of rain and gale, but instead snow -- in London I must say this must be wonderful! BB

Anonymous said...

I am soooo jealous! Yesterday we had jusy a few snowflakes that melted within seconds...
Well, enjoy it!!
xoxox
Mia

Lola Is Beauty said...

nancy - well the best thing about Verde & Co I forgot to mention is that it's cheap! And yes, still snowing - been out in it all day...

BB - bad weather = no one has to go to work = fun!

Mia - it is really, proper sticky snow - I love it.

Rose said...

I love Verde and Co but agree it is a shame what has happened in Spitalfields generally. I still enjoy going to the much smaller than it used to be market.

I seem to be one of the few who had to work! Still it was lovely to see the snow- the travelling was a bit special though!

maitresse said...

Every time I go to London I try to make it to Verde, and always fail. Next time!