Every American I know is always banging on about how much they love the food hall at Harrod’s or Selfridges. It’s a destination, where foodies go for foodie things. Only it isn’t. Ok, don’t get me wrong, here. The department store food halls are sacred and offer a great deal of pomp and circumstance that food rightly deserves. But, ask a chef where they go to buy what they need in London for good produce, a wide selection of ingredients from around the globe and the best bagel in London (yes, wait for it) and they’ll name one location. This is sacred ground. This is Panzer’s in St. John’s Wood.
Since 1944, Panzer’s has been a destination for serious foodies from across the world. For me, it’s something that’s been on my radar for a few years now, thanks to my foodie friends. But, I’ve never made time to actually explore the grocer/deli/coffee shop until today. Today, I stepped into a foodie’s paradise and smacked myself for not making the time sooner. I should have made the journey for the bagels alone. I’m constantly complaining about the lack of good bagels in this country. Nothing seemed to come close to my American favourite. Only, that’s no longer the case and I seriously worry for my collection of jeans in the future. There is no way this bum is going to stay the same size knowing a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese lies just a fifteen minute drive from my house! Or lox and cream cheese, for that matter. I felt like I was walking into a whole new life – one that now must involve me finally buying that in house treadmill.
The joys of Panzer’s extend much further than just popping in for a bagel and a deliciously hot latte, served with a smile from the charming girls behind the coffee counter. Produce is a thing of absolute beauty – organised in a way that will make you almost scared to take one piece off the shelf. Don’t worry, you can, or someone will probably offer to help you before you’re able. Also, Panzer’s own brand is a a thing of real beauty and wonder. The packaging is absolutely stunning. That you will find from the minute you are holding the perfectly packaged pieces in hand. But the real joy comes at home, opening up the strawberry jam or caramelised onion chutney for a first taste.
For people who eat everything and anything, get ready to have your tastebuds beg for mercy. This is heaven on earth. For vegans and veggies, don’t worry, there’s plenty here for you too. In fact, since going plant based for the month of January, I practically cried discovering vegan truffle cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Tofurkey and more on sale here. There is a substitute for everything!
This is all just to say that a trip to North London without a visit to Panzer’s is a wasted trip indeed. However, this west London girl is happy to motor over at least twice a week for the foreseeable future. A little elf whispered the addition of a nice division for summer seating soon to come. So I’m predicting plenty of days in the summer sun with an iced coffee in one hand, bagel in the other, with the computer open and ready for work come July! Fancy meeting me for a coffee?
Ps. There’s also a killer selection of American foods here! Like I said…they’ve selected the best foods from around the world and that includes Marshmallow Fluff. That American classic! 🙂
For more information on Panzer’s Deli, click through: https://panzers.co.uk/