From Monday 8 March we are doing lunchtime markets again: Whitecross Street and Byng Place near Malet Street. We also aim to have falafel back at Goodge Place in the near future
We have placed a second order with our horse-ploughing wine grower Céline Côté, whose wines were a big hit when we did our pre-Christmas and pre-Brexit import in December. Although it’s winter we were surprised how well her white and rosés sold which is why we have made an emphasis on them with this order. Meanwhile we think the fresh and fruity red burgundy from Michel Martin is perfect with falafel –almost more so than the very good red wines from Lebanon itself. We are now thinking about a big order of sparkling wine from the same region and it’s a reasonable question why we should be so focussed on a single relatively obscure corner of Burgundy when there is a whole world we could buy wine from.
This is why: 1 These wines are hard to find in Britain because of the structure of the business. You can make a good profit selling £50 bottles of burgundy from the famous names of the Côte d’Or or from mass produced supermarket wines, but these relatively inexpensive growers’ wines available in small quantities are too good value to hide a solid mark up. 2. It’s a small region but it has a wide range of styles, from the unique minerally Chardonnay of Chablis, to juicy Pinot, to more tannic food-friendly reds from Irancy, to sparkling wines that resemble champagne and even rosé wines that get better as they age rather than fading. 3 Brexit gives an incentive to concentrate your buying efforts, as every transaction with a different grower involves a fresh batch of paperwork — so there’s an incentive to buy with a producer like Céline Côte who can offer a range of different types of wine on a single pallet.
It will feel like spring this weekend and even if the clouds are not currently forecast to break the crocuses are out and the birds are singing — so we are restocking our popular ice cream from the heart of the Weald of Kent. We are also rolling out another English country favourite; the Dorset sheep’s milk yoghurt that has been a big seller at Parliament Hill Fields Lido is now also available in Queens Park and you can order it online for home delivery.
Our second week making falafel wraps and salads for NHS staff in St Leonard’s, the hospital of Edith Cavell and the first hospital in World War 2 to receive casualties from the Blitz. St Leonard’s is just over half a mile from Hoxton Square where we first started selling falafel nearly 17 years ago.
Until last week we were able to sell our excellent Breton cider for a very good price of £5 a bottle. But since Brexit the cost to us has gone up to more than that so we have had painful task of passing on the price rise. But we are delighted that we can hold our prices on the large consignment of wines from small Burgundy growers that we shipped right at the end of last year.