Buenos Aires

Yet another Royal Hill Lovely, Buenos Aires is one of those trendy modern delis – bright, cosy and full of splendidly luxurious fripperies. With black and white photographs and a rack hanging from the ceiling with swinging pots and pans, it’s self-consicously cool – but no harm in that, I always say.

They specialise in Argentinian food, but carry brands from other countries too. I always buy my Dulce de Leche there (literally Sweet Milk – known as Confiture du Lait or “milk jam” in France, both of which are fabulous. You can get much the same result by boiling a tin of condensed milk for hours on end,, but generally life’s too short.) There’s some nice specialist teas, too, and they sell decent coffee (though I buy mine from Union Coffee Roasters across the river – sorry, guys.)

To be honest I don’t buy much else – it’s really rather pricey for me to do anything other than buy luxuries – oh for the ability to do my ‘normal’ shopping at these places, but I like to meet girlfriends there for a cup of coffee and a cake, lounging around in the cosy leather armchairs and sofas that take up most of the shop. Recently it’s become a bit full of “yummy mummies” for my taste, but I guess they have to go somewhere. I just wish they’d leave their sodding pushchairs outside.

Buenos Aires do the odd piece of specialist cooking equipment, mate tea and sundry cookery books and they’re a good bet for presents for foodie friends. Around Christmas time they do utterly gorgeous hampers which I have been hinting about for a good couple of years now, to no avail.

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