Peer through our window and you'll glimpse sugar mice, lemon curd, Sherbert Fountains, Suffolk Blend Tea, Henderson's Relish, Camp Coffee, Dorset Knobs, handmade biscuits in hessian bags - these are a few of our favourite things.
We celebrate small producers; the unusual, the nostalgic and individuals with a passion for food.
This is just a small selection of our stock at the moment. It's always best to pop in and see what's new. We look forward to seeing you.
We are a tiny shop with small stock lines. If you're making a special journey for something in particular, it's best to phone or email us beforehand just to check we have it in the shop.
Telephone: 0207 247 2487
'Beautiful Flavour, Delicious Rich Cup' it says on the tin and we can only agree. A strong but smooth full-bodied blended tea made from loose East African leaves.
A firm favourite, customers buy tins and tins of it, sometimes so much we wonder how they can possibly drink it all.
For those of you who love the tin but love the tea more, we now have the handy refill packs, ideal to top-up your tin with.
Butterworth & Son Teas
Butterworth & Son blend a fine range of teas packed in delightful, old-fashioned boxes.
Their Suffolk Gold Blend is a full-bodied strong English breakfast blend - perfect as a reviver any time of the day.
We love the fact that Butterworth are the last tea company in the UK to still include a picture card in every box. These collectables were once quite the thing, being collected and traded between tea drinkers. Long may Butterowrth continue the tradition.
Williamson Fine Teas
Williamson Fine Teas are unique in the tea world for being the only major independent brand to grow and harvest their tea on their own farms in Kenya. They've been in the business for 140 years and their range of teas have been one of our best-sellers for almost as long (not quite).
All their teas are full of flavour and refreshing but we particularly like their Earl Grey with Blue Flowers. Small flecks of cornflower in the black tea give it a gentle, floral taste which compliments the citrus Bergamot. www.williamsontea.com
What is a Knob? This unique savoury biscuit has been made by the Moores family in Bridport, Dorset, since 1880. Three separate bakings lasting a total of four hours create a light, very crispy biscuit, shaped like a door knob.
They are usually enjoyed with cheese, especially something soft and runny, although you can spread them with jam or honey or even use them as an instant dumpling by adding them to a stew or casserole.
A 'Knob throwing festival' is held annually in Dorset and is great fun (we've been). www.moores-biscuits.co.uk
Teddy Grays Herbal Tablets
Grays of Dudley have been making sweets since 1826.
They are famous for their Herbal Tablets, perfect "for cold nights and mornings" and made to a secret recipe.
Photographer Martin Parr has made this charming short film about the company. www.teddygrays.co.uk
This medium dry floral Mead is made with Shropshire Ling Heather honey by the London Honey Company.
One of the oldest (some say the oldest) fermented drinks, English Mead is a unique and special drink, made from honey and traditionally given to a newly married couple for them to drink at their wedding and for a month afterwards - hence the word 'honeymoon'.
In warmer weather it is lovely over ice and in winter mulled with spices or orange and ginger. It goes well with strong Cheddar cheese and is a great accompaniment to desserts. Try adding two-thirds tonic and a squeeze of fresh lime for a cocktail. www.thelondonhoneycompany.co.uk
Mulled Wine Spices
We use Old Hamlet Spice & Wine Co sachets to make a deliciously spicy hot mulled wine - a perfect winter warmer.
It takes only approx. 5 mins to make.
1 bottle full-bodied red wine, ginger wine or grape juice
1 sachet mulled wine spices
2 tablespoons castor sugar
Pour one bottle of your preferred red wine (or other drink) into a saucepan, add sugar and one sachet of Old Hamlet mulled wine spices and heat gently for a delicious and potent mulled wine. Do not boil the wine as it will evaporate the alcohol. For special occasions add a dash of brandy and sliced fruit; oranges and lemons are perfect. www.oldhamletwineandspice.co.uk
This is the best lemon curd we have tasted (and we've tasted a few).
Packed with flavour, real bite and pieces of lemon rind, Veronica's kitchen at Crossogue Preserves hand-make this curd in small batches on their farm in Tipperary, Ireland.
We're one of the few shops stocking this fantastic preserve in England. Spoon it straight from the jar, use it as a cake filling or spend a happy afternoon making Veronica's 'Curd Roulade' - see her website for the recipe. www.crossoguepreserves.com
Some new jams from Crossogue in Tipperary. We've been selling their Lemon Curd for years and we've now added some sugar-free (but not flavour-free) jams to our range - a Marmalade Spread and a Raspberry Spread, alongside an unusual Quince Chilli Jelly, all made by hand to Veronica's recipes.
The sugar-free preserves are made with Xylitol, derived from the Birch tree - a 100% natural sweetener with a low GI and diabetic-friendly.
Mrs Bennett's Pickles & Chutneys
In Polstead, Suffolk, Mrs Bennett makes a small range of pickles and chutneys, perfect for all meats and cheeses or to help make a fantastic sandwich (something we know a little about).
Her Piccalilli is wonderfully balanced, packed full of crunchy vegetables and without the strong vinegar you get in some. The Pear & Walnut chutney is made with walnuts from Mrs Bennett's garden and is a lovely sweet, nutty accompaniment to strong cheese. www.mrsbennetts.co.uk
Mr Fitzpatrick's Cordials
We like a little temperance at A.Gold. The Temperance movement began in Preston, Lancashire in 1835 as a reaction to the easy availability of ale and gin - the 'demon drink', during the industrial revolution. The Fitzpatricks, an Irish family of herbalists, started their business in 1899, promoting a range of botanical drinks and opening a chain of 30 non-alcoholic bars in the county.
The last of the Fitzpatricks was Mr Malachi Fitzpatrick, who was gifted one of his father's temperance bars as a wedding present and then ran it for over half a century. He is said to have never fallen ill during the last 50 years of his life, looking more like a 50 year old when he was actually 90. What better recommendation?
We have a selection of Mr Fitzpatrick's cordials - all made with a selection of herbal and botanical extracts. www.mrfitzpatricks.com
Kendal Mint Cake
Famously taken up to the summit of Everest with Sir Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing in 1953, Kendal Mint Cake is a firm favourite with climbers and hikers everywhere, even if they are attempting something a little more modest than the highest mountain on Earth.
Kendal mint cake has a subtle but stimulating flavour; cool in summer, fiery in winter and has a unique blend of textures, smooth and creamy.
One of the best-regarded coffee importers and roasters in the UK, Monmouth Coffee started in 1978 from the basement of their shop in Covent Garden. They say "We roast coffee from single farms, estates and cooperatives. When we taste a coffee that we like, we want to know where it comes from and who grows, picks and processes it read more on Monmouth's website..."
We usually stock a range of 3-4 coffees, often organic, from different estates and parts of the world. Our coffee is available in 250g bags and we can grind beans to order for your style of coffee-maker.
Try an A.Gold coffee. We make our coffee filter-style, which we think is the best way. Quiet, relaxed, gentle - manual brewing, pouring hot water (but not that hot) over freshly ground coffee brings out the full flavour of the bean and creates a rounded, full, smooth cup of delicious coffee. No froth here. www.monmouthcoffee.co.uk
Summerdown Mint Tea
This is special. A mint tea made with peppermint oil distilled from Black Mitcham mint grown on the Hampshire Downs. Rejecting the cheaper imported oils, Summerdown Farm set out in the 1990's to re-establish this traditional crop in the UK. Fresh, aromatic and bright, peppermint tea is traditionally valued for its digestive and calming qualities. www.summerdownmint.com
The Original Harrogate Toffee was designed to clear the palate after tasting Harrogate's rather pungent sulphur water, famous in the 19th century for its healing properties.
Farrah's use three different types of sugar, proper butter and a hint of lemon to give a unique texture and flavour to their original toffee. We also have their toffee assortment and butter fudge. Farrah's toffees and fudge, in their delightful old fashioned tins, are the essence of Englishness. www.farrahs.com
Toffee Shop Fudge
Described as "The best fudge in England", this splendid confection has to be tasted to be believed. Made by hand in small batches in their kitchen in Penrith, Cumbria, The Toffee Shop have used the same recipe for over 90 years and it has never been changed.
Harpers & Queen magazine say "Would you believe that there is a fudge so good that strong men weep if deprived of it and otherwise scrupulous people creep through darkened rooms at dead of night to steal another morsel?" We know that feeling.
Rich and buttery with a crumbly, slightly grainy texture it is utterly moreish. www.thetoffeeshop.co.uk
St. John & Dolly Smith's
Homemade by Chris in West London with all natural ingredients, "Old Nick" Scotch Bonnet Sauce contains one of the world's hottest chilli peppers. This sauce takes no prisoners - expect a delayed but intense heat.
Chris, whose parents lived in Bangalore, India and passed their family recipes to him, says of his Old Nick sauce "first the taste and then, seconds later, the heat sneaks up on you....and it keeps on coming. Wonderful stuff!" Indeed. www.thepickleman.co.uk
Flowers of Scotland
Pretty as a picture, 'Flowers of Scotland' is a colourful blend of flowers, herbs, fruits and spices and is the perfect compliment to pork, poultry and any game.
Rub it into the meat before cooking; sprinkle it on salads, use it in sauces, gravy or dressings. Contains wild garlic, rosehips and juniper. www.uncleroys.co.uk
Just like you remember them when you were six. In all their multi-coloured, nostalgic glory, we weigh our sweets out by the quarter (or 100 grams for those too young to know what on earth a 'quarter' is).
Lemon bonbons, jelly babies, lemon fizzers, rhubarb & custard, liquorice torpedoes, flying saucers. Can't decide? Try a mixture in a little paper bag. Go home happy.
A Victory V is a liquorice-flavoured lozenge. Often associated with the war, this British sweet was actually created by Thomas Fryer and Edward Smith in the mid-19th century.
They were originally made by hand to ensure that each sweet contained the correct amount of the therapeutic ingredients; ether, liquorice and chloroform. You'll be pleased to hear (we hope) that they no longer contain chloroform or ether, but have a slightly floral, pleasantly medicinal taste.
Fizz Wiz Popping Candy
Apparently it's creeping into top chef's kitchens as the ultimate ironic ingredient. We love it for its sheer mouth-tingling sense of fun. A tuck-shop classic, it used to be called Space Dust. After disappearing for a while (the un-founded story went round that it was too explosive - how exciting!) it's back as Fizz Wiz Popping Candy.
Meet our makers
Becky - Mother's Ruin "I grow much of the fruit in my East London garden or in my brother's orchard in Cumbria. Sloes and elderflowers are gathered from wild spaces around East London. Walthamstow Marshes, the River Lea and Epping Forest are some of my local hunting grounds.
Using my mother's family recipe, fruit and flowers are steeped in spirit for a year to create an intensely flavoured liqueur. I am a genuinely tiny producer (just me!) and make small amounts dependent on what I have grown or foraged.
The flavour of the liqueur changes in relation to sun, rain and soil, so taste and colour is unique to each batch. Availability is often seasonal and can be quite limited."
Lillie - London Borough of Jam "I am a former pastry chef. Made by hand in Hackney, I produce small amounts of artisan jam made with seasonal fruit. All of the jams are complimented by a flavour that enhances the fruit such as wild fennel blossom and peach, or raspberry and liquorice."
© photograph editer.com
Edward Magor - Williamson Teas "As a fifth generation tea farmer, the passion for growing, selecting and blending of fine teas is 'in the blood' and I find our farms, set up in the highlands of Kenya, awe-inspiring each and every time I visit them.
Like our family, there are generations of families that have worked on our farms and we ensured that each of them and the local environments are well cared for, after all you can't have been farming for 140 years without operating sustainably!
I think it's our ability to know the individual characteristics of each farm over decades and how all our teas are sourced exclusively from our own farms that makes Williamson Tea so uniquely special. Its a proper 'bush to cup' experience with our teas!"
Veronica - Crossogue Preserves "I was born and raised in East Africa, I trained as a nurse in England, then met and married my husband Tony, who is a farmer from Tipperary. I was taught how to make jam and preserve fruits by my mother-in-law.
Having a large vegetable and fruit garden, I made many jams and preserves which I used to supply to the local country markets. After having won prizes at a local horticultural show with my jams and vegetables, some local shops showed interest and slowly the business grew from that. So, what started out as a hobby whilst rearing six children on a busy Tipperary farm, quickly evolved into a successful enterprise producing over 85 varieties of jams and preserves for the Irish, European and American market.
All our preserves are made using traditional cooking methods with the highest quality ingredients and produced in small batches by hand, with no artificial colourings, flavorings or preservatives. It's labour intensive but the result is an amazing distinctive flavour."