wine, cheese & groceries

Just around the corner off the Dutch embassy and more important Hyde Park, you’ll find the UK flagship store of the American organic supermarket chain Whole Foods. A good question right now is:’ So what?’ The answer to that is: ‘Wine is what.’

The history of Whole Foods starts in 1980 in Austin, Texas when four local businesspeople decided the natural foods industry was ready for a supermarket format. A little over 30 years later, the small local supermarket has grown into a big time chain with over 340 stores in the US, Canada and the UK. One of these stores you’ll find on 63-97 Kensington High Street. Here in the historic art deco Barkers Building, Whole Foods has established it’s 130.000 square feet UK flagship store.

The organic superstore has two stories and it is in the basement you’ll find one of London’s better hidden secrets: the in-store wine & cheese bar. The bar gives shopping for groceries a whole new meaning, especially after making your way through half a supermarket to the cashier with groceries in your cart and wine & cheese in your stomach. The right word to describe such an experience would be challenging.

What isn’t a challenge is the bill you’re presented after enjoying a bottle of excellent white New Zealand wine and some fine cheeses. A conservative estimation is that you’ll spend 1/3 to 1/2 of what you can expect to pay for the same quality of wine and cheese in any downtown London wine bar. This must be something the Dutch in their embassy around the corner will surely appreciate. Hell, they might have even chosen this location for their embassy based on field research that led them to Whole Foods’ basement.

What else is there to say apart from the fact that this bar is a popular spot for a part of London’s population that does not want to be bothered by blokes and lads for a change. Well, the atmosphere is of course different than your usual wine bar. And your ankles are safe from being bumped into at your average cheese market.

But hey, where else can you take care of your after drinking munchies by simply taking the alley behind your barstool after which you get some fresh air by taking a stroll through beautiful Hyde Park?

Whole Foods Market wine, cheese & more bar
63-97 Kensington High Street
The Barkers Building
London W8 5SE
Opening hours bar:
Monday to Saturday: 8 am to 9:30 pm
Sunday: 10 am to 5:30 pm

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