18 July 2012

Travel tales: Whole Foods Market, South Kensington

I am tired. I have done at least two big activities each day of my stay so far. And now, I need to rest. I slept in - well as late as I could because there is construction work happening here in Fawlty Towers and the fire alarm went off (falsely) three times before 8.00 am. Then, as I had afternoon plans (which later fell through), I stayed in my local neighbourhood - Kensington. I did a few things - will write about them another time - but I thought my three trips to Whole Foods Market deserved a whole post.
Whole Foods is a giant supermarket filled with whole and organic foods including fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy, wine, skin care, some clothes and homewares, prepared foods such as salads and soups, baked goods and a range of restaurants (think of a food court arrangement) including Mexican, Indian, Japanese, American, breakfasty foods, Asian noodles and some others. And it has free wifi. Overall it is quite expensive, but I think I am getting better quality food than a prepacked meal at a convenience store (and they are everywhere!) for a few more pounds.

I had breakfast there - at 10 am not many restaurants were open yet. A chef made an omlette while I watched - eggs, mushrooms, capsicum and cheese.
It was really good - it has been ages since I have had eggs so this was a treat.

I also had this rose lemonade.
So good! Tasted a little like Turkish delight.

I stopped in again for lunch - which I did not need so soon after breakfast. I justified it by the amount of walking I had just done (A LOT!) and though my tummy is a bit jubbly, my legs are strong and leaner than when I left Australia. Oh the walking. So many miles. So many stairs.

I had a rather large plate filled with American ribs with a side of maple smoked beans and mac and cheese, and cornbread on the top.
I enjoyed the ribs - overall they were tender, but in places the texture was a little too like tree bark. The beans were great, would be good as a breakfast. And the mac and cheese was perfect - creamy and crusted with breadcrumbs. My favourite was the cornbread which was light and sweet. Yum!

And I returned to pick up a salad for dinner, but ended up buying the salad, fruit, two bottles of alcohol, a calico bag (it is not like I need another - but I wanted something to remember Whole Foods by) a baby gift and a brooch. And stocked up on cutlery as Fawlty Towers doesn't have any. My wine is from Victoria and I found some alcoholic ginger beer!
My salad box - £7.99 for a medium box, quite expensive - was filled with around 10 different salads including purple sweet potato, edamame amd mango, tomato and mozzarella, and Moroccan carrot. Really tasty and interesting combinations. There isn't much dressing on the salads, so the produce does the hard work of making the flavours.
It is really tasty and makes me feel a little less guilty about the other food I have eaten!

I wandered around the market for a little while - but it is so big and my bags were heavy, so I didn't stop to look at everything. But here is a little of what I saw:

The cheese room.
The florist.
Massive meringues at the bakery.
One of the salad bars.
The staff were quite helpful and the twitter team have been fun, tweeting back at me after my meal instagrams. I was excited to see a few Australian products stocked - including my favourite shampoo brand Alchemy, as well as a range of wines.

View the Whole Foods Market website. The UK Whole Foods Market stores are here.

Australia needs a Whole Foods Market now! ;)


  1. Massive fan of Wholefoods. You'll love the US ones too. I love the Kensington High Street WF but the New York ones are amazing. In a totally different league.

    I'm a huge fan of IB Moscato too. They have their own facebook page. It's the best moscato ever - wonderful as an aperitif!

    K xx

    PS: Those meringues are awesome too. Just sayin...

  2. Hi Carly,
    Long time reader, first time commenter. I felt compelled to post because I am so loving your travel tales and all your food photos are making me soooooo envious! You are such an interesting person and write so well, I look forward to reading your blog every day.


  3. Miss Kitty-Cat is totally right - the NYC WholeFoods would knock your socks off! I have bought many heavily-laden salad trays at the Bowery location, and the Upper West Side store is across the park from where we stay so I've carted shopping bags full of goodies back to cook. I found the Kensington High St one small, limited and pricey in comparison - so wait 'til you get to the US!

    Australia needs a WholeFoods so, so badly (also compared to many other US businesses I understand their labour and hiring practices are much better, so that might provide a nice point of difference to our Big 2).

    Yum ... I could so go a salad tray for lunch!

  4. There is absolutely zero plans for an Aussie Wholefoods any time soon. The UK one has not gone to their grand plan of domination (or even profit for that matter) & it will be a long time before they test a new market.
    Even after purchasing an existing profitable chain (Fresh & Wild) they couldn't make it work. Plus they alienated a LOT of the loyal F&W customers by Americanising the stores. I don't know if you noticed, but all their signage uses American spelling in LONDON.....customers were none too pleased to say the least!
    Even prior to opening in the UK I have it on good authority (i.e. the CEO) that there will not be a WFM seen on these shores for many years to come.

  5. I was happily reading along, thinking about what an interesting place this Whole Foods Market is, when suddenly you mentioned - quite casually - the cheese room. THE CHEESE ROOM. Now I realise I must go to this place - there's simply no choice in the matter. It has a cheese room! I want one!


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