Peer through our window and you'll glimpse sugar mice, lemon curd, Sherbert Fountains, Suffolk Blend Tea, Earl Grey's Gingerbread Gentlemen, 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
The Chocolate Society hand-make small batches of toffee honeycomb using honey from bees that live on a farm near their factory in Somerset. They then cover (indeed, 'enrobe') the cinder toffee with the finest Valrhona chocolate.
All tied up with a silk ribbon, these are an indulgent treat and the perfect gift. www.chocolate.co.uk
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
JULY 2014: We have 2013 King's Cross honey from Urban Bees. We will also have London Fields honey from end of July.
Follow us on Twitter for our latest honey updates.
George and Margaret Tonkin have been harvesting honey for over 40 years.
Their bees, housed in groups of hives on several sites, roam the lush clover and wild flower meadows of west Devon and Cornwall, free of GM crops.
The couple use no additives or harsh extraction methods to process their honey; they simply drain the comb, fill the jars and seal them. This golden honey is deliciously floral - perfect as it is on toast, or to sweeten deserts or with cheese.
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
Wardour smoked oysters
We could love these just for their fantastic packaging, but we're also quite partial to a 'fancy' smoked oyster. Dressed in sunflower oil, these are yummy on toast.
Henderson's Relish & Lancashire Sauce
Two fantastic sauces for all homesick Northerners and curious Southerners. Henderson's Relish is a fruity and spicy sauce made in Sheffield for over 100 years to a closely guarded secret recipe.
From Ramsbottom in Lancashire, Lancashire Sauce has been made by the Entwistle family for over four generations. Mildy spiced, it requires a good shake before use to combine the oil, vinegar and spices.
Both of these vegetarian (and vegan) sauces can be used in so many ways - to flavour roast meats, soups and stews, to add flavour and depth to anything from homemade coleslaw to a cheese toastie.
Gosnells London Mead
A new take on mead. Still fermented from honey, Tom Gosnell makes mead with a lighter, drier taste than traditional mead and a lower alcoholic content (5.5% compared to the usual 12-15%).
Reducing the sweetness reveals the delicate floral notes of the honey and makes Gosnells more refreshing, more quaffable. Surely a good thing. www.gosnells.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
Love Jam Marmalade
Mira, from Love Jam Kitchen makes all her marmalades, jams and preserves by hand in her own kitchen in East London.
She has seen some much-deserved success in the past year, winning a gold award for her pink grapefruit marmalade at the World Marmalade Awards in Cumbria in 2012 and 2013. Containing only grapefruit, sugar and a little lemon juice, this is a fresh, zesty preserve packed with fruit. We also have her Seville orange marmalade - slightly darker and richer in flavour. www.lovejamkitchen.com
Created in the spirit of London's long and disreputable history of gin drinking, Mother's Ruin produce a range of delicious fruit liqueurs, flavoured with fruits from a Walthamstow garden and a Cumbrian family orchard.
Truly a labour of love and often made in limited batches depending on the season and availability of fruits, each year fruit is steeped in gin or vodka to intensely infuse the spirit with the full depth of flavour.
Try traditional Sloe Gin, delicate and spicy Rhubarb & Ginger, fragrant summer Raspberry or heady Gooseberry & Elderflower vodkas. Lovely on their own or as a base for exciting cocktail mixing experiments. Alc 25% vol. www.mothersruin.net
A little taste of the seaside in a jolly tin. Furniss Gingerbread is made to an original recipe from founder, John Cooper Furniss, dating back to 1886.
Crunchy, spicy, rich and buttery with a good ginger kick, this is just the thing for dunking in a cup of tea. www.furniss-foods.co.uk
Not a traditional caramel toffee, Moffat Toffee is a boiled sweet made in the town of Moffat near the Scottish border.
Hard to describe, Moffat toffees are noted for their lemony, tangy centres.
The Moffat Toffee family recipe is thought to have been passed down to the present owner's great-grandmother, Janet Cook Johnstone, in the late 19th century. www.moffattoffeeshop.com
We admit, you can sometimes find this in a supermarket, but it only looks the part in our shop - proudly displayed with our other nostalgic brands.
Camp coffee started production in 1876 although most people would associate it (like Victory V's) with the war when real coffee was in short supply. You can certainly make a cup of coffee with it should you wish (and should you really love chicory) but it comes into its own as an ingredient - it helps make a fantastic coffee & walnut cake, or mix with mascarpone for a great topping for tarts and flans. Pour over ice, add milk for a fine iced coffee.
Little Bird Gin
Making gin in Clapham? That's the spirit. Tim from Little Bird has created a splendid London Dry which eases off the juniper and leads with citrus and grapefruit, followed by sweet orange peel and finishing on Ivory Coast ginger.
In all, 10 botanicals are blended with finesse and we love it's full, rounded feel in the mouth. Great over ice with tonic and a twist of grapefruit peel - or get into a negroni (one part gin, one part vermouth rosso and one part bitters). www.littlebirdgin.com
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'. Our mead, from Lurgashall winery in Sussex, is well balanced with a very full, sweet honeyed flavour - but not too sweet.
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. 50cl Alc. 12.5% vol. www.lurgashall.co.uk
Foxdenton Sloe Gin
It says 'Recognisably Different' on the label and we think so too. Made from sloes gathered from the English countryside in the autumn, London dry gin and sugar, Foxdenton's sloe gin is paler, stronger and drier than most.
Traditionally drunk after dinner or on a shoot (if you're into that kind of thing) sloe gin also makes great cocktails; try it mixed with champagne or just tonic for a refreshing aperitif. Alc 27% vol. www.foxdentonestate.co.uk
London Borough of Jam
Generous jars of jewel-like jam from Lillie at London Borough of Jam.
Wonderful flavour combinations (Peach & Fennel, Pickled Strawberry, Rhubarb & Rose), lashings of fruit, simple, stylish packaging and so local and homemade the jam sometimes arrives at the shop still warm from the pan.
Is this is perfect jar of jam? Quite possibly.
Lillie has opened her LBJ Shop at 51d Chatsworth Road, Hackney E5. Open Saturday & Sunday 11am-5pm. Do go - it's stocked with her complete range of jams and preserves but also a wonderful collection of other hand-picked products. www.londonboroughofjam.tumblr.com
Crossogue Lemon Curd
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
Tweed Tea Cosies
Lovingly hand-knitted by Aiko Hirayama using 100% natural wool, these cosies are the perfect fit for our range of traditional Brown Betty teapots.
And in the pot? It's got to be some freshly brewed Campbell's Tea.
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
Established in 1989 by Elspeth Biltoft, Rosebud Preseves is tucked away in a small village above Masham in North Yorkshire.
Their range of sweet and savoury preserves are made principally by hand and in small batches using the best available ingredients bought and gathered locally wherever possible. www.rosebudpreserves.co.uk
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.
Hollows Ginger Beer
Hollows Ginger Beer is the real thing, made using the finest Chinese ginger root with a slow fermentation and botanical brewing method. This process releases a deep and satisfying ginger flavour and a natural cloudiness. 500ml Alc. 4.0% vol. www.drinkhollows.com
'Beautiful Flavour, Delicious Rich Cup' it says on the tin and we can only agree. A strong full-bodied blended tea made from loose East African leaves.
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
Uncle Joe's Mint Balls
Established in 1898 in Wigan, William Santus is still manufacturing traditional sweets.
Their most celebrated confection are Uncle Joe's Mint Balls, first made by Mrs Santus in the 1890's. The secret recipe, passed down through the generations, hasnt changed since then and they are still made in the factory in Wigan using pure cane sugar, oil of peppermint and cream of tartar.
On 16 February 2011, the factory produced the two-billionth mint ball. See the two billionth & something mint ball being produced in this video. A lovely classic mint; they 'Keep you all aglow' as Uncle Joe says. www.uncle-joes.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
Butterworth & Son
From Suffolk, Butterworth & Son produce The Royal Norfolk Regiment's Campaign Chutney - favoured by the gentlemen of the Royal Norfolk Regiment while both on active service and in camp.
This is a typical old English recipe, with vegetables, fruits, spices, sugar and mustard. Excellent with all cold meats and cheeses, whether you're on active service or not.
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
Gent's Relish was created in 1828 by an Englishman (indeed a Gentleman) called John Osborn. It has a strong, very salty and slightly fishy taste; containing anchovies, butter, herbs and spices. The exact recipe remains a secret and has been passed down by word of mouth over the years.
Gentleman's Relish is traditionally eaten thinly spread on toast. It can also be added to minced meat for a piquant Shepherd's Pie or to fish cakes. It can be melted into scrambled eggs or be used as a topping for jacket potatoes.
Earl Grey hand-baked biscuits
Delightful and delicious hand-baked biscuits from Earl Grey. Choose Shortbread Soldiers, Gingerbread Gentlemen or Little Lemon Ladies. Lovely with tea, or the perfect gift.
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, sweet peanuts, lemon fizzers, cherry lips, rhubarb & custard, liquorice torpedoes, milk bottles, candy whistles. Can't decide? Try a mixture in a little paper bag. Go home happy.
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
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!"
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."
Mira - Love Jam Kitchen "The recipe for my marmalade comes from Mrs Going via her son Tom. He sent me a jar together with a photocopy of her recipe book dated 1951. Tom, being a scientist, had somewhat 'improved' his mother's method and I will only say that it involves a potato masher. I add a touch of Balkan preserve-making tradition; every summer as a child I watched women turning mountains of fruit and vegetables into delights for the winter months. So armed, I made my first small batch of Seville orange marmalade. Then another couple of jars using pink grapefruit. Only later would I find out that on that rainy day I had made a gold winner in the World Marmalade Awards.
Making food is something I do all the time, so after being made redundant from my job in publishing a couple of years ago, doing something with food was an obvious choice to make. And so, the Love Jam Kitchen began.
I love the process of preserving - transforming an ingredient into something entirely different and at the same time conserving the essence of the original - or turning humble, inedible fruits like Seville orange or quince into scented delights for the taste buds. It's like painting a picture.
One day after cooking loads of apples, and returning home in the evening, my house smelled lovely. That night I went to sleep inside a gigantic apple pie! On other days, I cause the aromas of chocolate, vanilla or cinnamon to waft around my neighbourhood. With good preserves, like with good wine, it all starts with the nose."
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
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."
Jackie Stern - Cakes and More "Baking cakes has always been a hobby of mine. Family and friends have for years suggested that I take the plunge and bake professionally but it was only after eating a rather average and very expensive piece of cake in a trendy London teashop that I finally realised that I could do better...so I thought I would give it a go and I haven't looked back since! In fact, my first and oldest customer is that trendy London teashop that served me my very disappointing piece of cake!
There's nothing to beat a piece of home made cake and it's great to be able to recreate all the tastes of my childhood...and maybe yours too!
I am delighted to be supplying A.Gold. As a purveyor of great quality traditional English produce, I feel my cakes have found their natural home. I bake everything myself with the freshest ingredients using my favourite old English recipes. They are baked with care and love."
Cakes are sold by the slice or whole. If you would like to order a whole cake for the weekend or simply to take home for pudding, please just ask.