As central London property prices have boomed, the greasy spoons have disappeared. Yet not everyone who works in the West End or visits can afford, or wishes to consume, sirloin steak and a dozen oysters for lunch.
There used to be a choice in St James’s of independent traders catering to all palates and pockets. That choice has all but disappeared, expelled by the property boom and the chains. Except for Shepherds Markets.
Every Monday and Tuesday in the courtyard of St James’s Church Piccadilly a food market blooms. The dishes are delicious, multinational and economical. Customers can take food away or eat in the Grade I listed courtyard and gardens (St James’s is a Sir Christopher Wren masterpiece).
There’s nothing wrong with lunching at The Ritz or exploring the Fortnum’s menu. But sometimes high price luxury food served by immaculate waiters doesn’t hit the spot.
Thank you Shepherds Markets and your independent traders for plugging the gap and keeping choice alive.
p.s. There is also a food stall hidden away on Jermyn Street at the back of St James’s Church, five days a week, Monday to Friday inclusive. See the ShepherdsMkts and PiccadillyMart twitter feeds for details.