Greenwich Hampers

Trevor’s had a good idea and he needs our help. He says:

“For Christmas we had the idea of making up small food parcels full of Greenwich goodies for people as gifts – India Pale Ale from Meantime; Chipolatas from Drings;. Mince pies from Nevada St Deli( do you do them Laura?).

Essentially things that celebrate Greenwich, and which demonstrate the uniqueness of where we have chosen to live. We are looking for other ideas to fill a small box, if you and your ever resourceful readers have ideas they are willing to share – we’ll even go as far out as Lea at a push for honey from ‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers’, but if there’s nearer that will do!”

I think this is a great idea for a Christmas present, though you may have your work cut out, Trevor – although we have loads of eat-it-now food around here (and especially in the covered market) foods that are traditionally ‘Greenwich’ are few and far between.

The only really traditional Greenwich dish is whitebait and I wouldn’t want to leave a load of little fish-fry under the Christmas tree (especially if you have cats…) But there are ways you can cheat.

Meantime is, I agree, the obvious choice and a truly local product. Next you you should be able to get their super-duper specially-aged-forever Greenwich ORNC beer, but for now there are still several choices.

If Nevada St Deli don’t do their own mince pies, there’s always Rhodes. Staying with the sweet stuff, the short-lived (hopefully to rise again at some point) East Greenwich Pleasaunce market there was a guy who was selling some of the best chocolate biscuits I’ve ever tasted. I don’t know if he was from Greenwich – but they were good.

I’m told the Scotch eggs are particularly fine at Drings so maybe you could add a couple to those chipolatas. While you’re in Royal Hill, you could see if the Creaky Shed has any Kentish cobnuts, or (a bit of a sneaky, this) you could get some chestnuts and, with your best ‘innocent’ face, claim you gathered them in Greenwich Park.

If the stall’s there this year, Blackheath Farmers Market will supply you with a very tasty Christmas pud in a jolly stripy bowl. I can’t guarantee that anything at the farmers’ market is particularly local – I’ve never really worked out the criteria – some stuff seems to come from a very long way away – the tomatoes, for example, come from the Isle of Wight (actually, it may be Jersey – but, whatever – somewhere that’s far enough away that I consider it to be holiday-worthy…) but I guess it’s more local than supermarkets, and much of the produce is very good. especially just before Christmas.

I didn’t make it to the market on Sunday, for probably the same reasons as all the other wussy people who took one look out of the window and went back to bed, but I understand that there’s a new guy there who uses foraged fruit and stuff from neighbours’ gardens to make preserves. He’s based in ‘South London,’ though whether that’s Greenwich or Richmond, I have no idea.

If you don’t mind things from a little further afield, Rochester Ginger Wine is very festive and has one hell of a kick to it. I’m sure I’ve seen it in the covered market. Staying with beverages, London Coffee Roasters are based in Charlton (they’re the guys who used to have Beehive) producing a fine blend of their own, and, just as good, Union Coffee Roasters are just across the river.

I’m sure that other people will have some ideas to add to your fantasy hamper, Trevor – and perhaps, even, some quirky suggestions for what you can put all the goodies in…

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