30 Nov2015


We have been in New York for the past week, and we’ve noticed that retail is not doing particularly well on this coast at least. The increased propensity to shop on-line is the death knell of bricks and mortar shops. Perhaps flagship stores like Macy’s and Saks need one or two showcase locations, but ultimately, much of their sales may be coming through on-line orders. At any rate, there is a sluggishness to retail here (and lots of recent shop closures), and I don’t know if it’s just me, but the merchandise all seems to look the same, despite the store. And there is a notable absence of edible goodies in large department stores, lightyears away from the London experience at about this exact time. These photos of our visit to London are a year old, but I have no doubt shops in London are teeming with holiday goodies, prominently displayed on the first floor, just about now…


Peeled chestnuts, fresh walnuts, clementines and fruit are just some of the goodies in the Harrod’s food hall. What follows is a jumble of photos, all of them from the same food hall on our first night in the city after arriving from Paris. I am always in awe at the holiday packaging, the bright tins, the beautiful hampers, packaged boxes, etc. in London and the U.K. You just want to buy everything in sight. I realize it’s mostly packaging, but boy is it attractive packaging…


Chocolates and fruit pastilles…


Figs, kumquats and passion fruit along with quince and other more typical fruit. The variety in one place was just stunning.






Stilton, some of them in ceramic jars…


…and a cheese selection that would make a cheese lover’s mouth water.


Ready to eat pies and scotch eggs…


…still more chocolate…


…and just a fraction of the tinned biscuits, fruitcakes and candy on offer in a maze of distractions filled with locals and tourists alike (more of the latter apparently). It was like a disneyland for food lovers.


Another display of chocolate…


…and beautiful strawberries dipped in three kinds of chocolate!


Caviar of all types.


Festive tins of goodies…


…and more tins in that classic Harrods olive green color.


Candy canes.




Dried fruit.


A selection of plump dates.


And they even made the ginormous shallots look wonderful. The food hall takes up a huge portion of the first floor of Harrods, and judging by the shopping bags people were filling, they must do a phenomenal business in that space. I know of no equivalent at a New York department store that comes even close to this…



  1. Footloose says:

    English meat pies stand apart in the world. Just one more food item I always seek out whatever place I visit. Of course, down our way and in Latin America, they take the form of empanadas. Yep, can’t get enough of ‘em, even after taking in a performance of Sweeney Todd which contained this sprechgesang:

    Mrs. Lovett: Mrs. Mooney has a pie shop, / Does a business, but I noticed something weird: / Lately all her neighbour’s cats have disappeared. / Have to hand it to her, / What I calls / Enterprise / Popping pussies into pies. / Wouldn’t do in my shop; / Just the thought of it’s enough to make you sick. / And I’m telling you, them pussycats is quick.

    Mrs. Lovett of course, ended up using for her pies even worse ingredients.

    Nov 30, 2015 | 6:32 pm


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  3. Betchay says:

    Yeah, I did observe that there were not that many shoppers as I expected for a Black Friday and my cousin told me that many are now really doing their shopping on line instead.

    Dec 1, 2015 | 6:52 am

  4. millet says:

    the security threats must have something to do with the dearth of shoppers. but the harrods photos…..sighhh…

    Dec 1, 2015 | 8:52 am

  5. natie says:

    Beautiful Harrods!! Late welcome greetings for MM and Family. Can’t wait for your Thanksgiving photos here in NYC.

    Ackkk, Footloose. Also a folklore with the siopaos.

    In the news, on-line shopping fared very well. The prices are good, some don’t charge taxes. No fighting over parking, no long lines, and you save on gas. One can do it anywhere, too.

    Dec 1, 2015 | 10:46 pm

  6. Connie C says:

    Dec 3, 2015 | 5:55 am

  7. ami says:

    In terms of food halls, I think the depachika or basement food markets of Japanese department stores can give Harrods a run for its money. It’s a food lovers paradise comprising of ingredients, produce, meats, ready to eat meals (both western and Asian cuisine), desserts, breads, etc. On our most recent trip, we managed to buy Maisen Tonkatsu and Pierre Herme macarons among others from 2 adjacent depachikas.

    Dec 3, 2015 | 1:43 pm

  8. Footloose says:

    Here is a musical backdrop for this post.
    We had the exact LP at home and we must have
    worn this particular tract out. The young ones
    of course wonder now why one had to buy
    the full album when really, only one tract is

    Dec 3, 2015 | 5:11 pm

  9. Footloose says:

    sorry…should be k not t.

    Dec 3, 2015 | 6:44 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    Footloose, in our household, it’s any good rendition of “chestnuts roasting over an open fire”… :)

    ami, yes, I have to agree that those Japanese food halls are spectacular as well.

    Dec 4, 2015 | 6:07 am

  11. Frances says:

    Yehey in and out of cebu and bought 2 chorizo, sisig, dinuguan, siomai, 2 chicharron, flakes and of course 2 lechon all in all P3k plus my loot is quite heavy but happy after reading for years about zubuchon finally i was able to buy waiting for my flight back and excited to eat them later

    Dec 5, 2015 | 4:21 pm

  12. Frances says:

    Couldnt help it bought sisig and rice at zubuchon while waiting to board ugh its sooo good finished the sisig rice and atchara bought another pack after tasting it last one in the freezer

    Dec 5, 2015 | 4:47 pm

  13. Footloose says:

    If you were making your observation from the mid-town area, the crowd (specially of families with children) would have considerably thinned out through the closing of the notable draw, the FAO Schwarz Toy across 5th Ave from the Plaza. A geekier crown should have taken over with the opening of the Apple store in the same block. My oasis from the crowd and the cold, the Steuben store, is gone too, so was the Barnes & Noble. Anyway, I always recommend to visitors to NYC at this time of the year the Neapolitan Crèche at the Metropolitan and the medieval tapestries at the Cloisters. For first time visitors, there’s always the Rockettes’ at the Radio City Music Hall to take in and the treats at the Maison du Chocolat to sample, just around the corner at the back of the great Christmas tree and the skating rink.

    Dec 9, 2015 | 2:48 am

  14. Rochelle says:

    Yay! I was just at the Harrods food hall last Sunday MM, and yes you’re right, it was teeming with people and lovely displays! I even got lost twice! they have many more fresh fruits and veg this time than the last, and yes bags of goodies to goodies. Mouthwatering pastries to chocolates! It was my husband’s birthday so we had some cakes and cupcakes, rather very expensive ones, but we thought we should treat ourselves once in a while. LOL! Have a happy holiday in advance MM to you and your household! :)

    Dec 16, 2015 | 4:57 pm


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