Monday, 27 August 2012

New to me - the Whole Foods Market

Last time I posted was pre-move. I was feeling the ties of our old environment and beginning to wonder why we were putting ourselves through all the stress. Now we've moved, I'm feeling some of the advantages -  a dishwasher, the garden, being closer to family and... to London.

London is one of those places that I love to visit and dip into, before retreating to the clearer air and space of home. Where we live now, we are close enough to do just that.

Today, The Hub suggested visiting Clapham Junction and the Whole Foods Market. I was up for that. I knew that there was one in Kensington, that I've been keen to visit, but Clapham is nearer and, with Baby, more 'doable'.

Photo: If you live near Clapham Junction, I envy you for this place alone! Blog to follow!

It wasn't 'til I got there, that I realised I'd been there some years before with my sister, when she lived just up the road. I'd written it off then as being a bit of a trendy hippy haunt (not my thing), but today, I got to see it with new eyes.

I had a hazy memory of a cafe, combined with a kind of health food store, and yes, it was pretty much as I remembered it, but what did it have in store for me now?

What a treat! A small tub for the journey home!
The first thing I caught sight of was the ice cream cabinet, which stocked all four flavours of my favourite dairy free ice cream. This was soon  to be followed by The Hub locating the only Genius loaf that I can get along with - the old style (unsliced) white. Great start!!

There was a goodly array of fresh fruit and veg. but I passed these by and went straight for the chiller. I was after Co-yo - a coconut based dairy free yoghurt. Yup! It was there! Being unable to tolerate soya, I was delighted to get my hands on this.

Next to the chiller was the freezer. I was slightly disappointed that the only Amy's  Kitchen's macaroni cheese in the cabinet wasn't dairy free - I'm still waiting to get my hands on this one, having passed up the chance at The Allergy Show. I picked up a Burrito though - I'm interested to see if my stomach will take to these.

It was by the freezer, that The Hub noticed that they sold insulated bags, for the transportation of frozen goods. Yippee!! However, it was just as well we bought our cold stuff just before our train was due to leave. The insulated bag claims that food can last up to three hours (depending on how much frozen food you buy) but our ice cream was definitely quite soft by the time we reached home (an hour later). 

As for the rest of the store, the place was a veritable Aladdin's cave. There was so much packed into the space, that I found it difficult to scan the shelves for things that I could have. Funnily enough, having yearned to be able to pick my goodies from the same shelves as everyone else, I found myself wishing for a 'Free From' section, so I could highlight the stuff that was relevant for me! 

Couldn't see this at Whole Foods Market - what a shame!
Unless I was missing something, the chocolate section was sadly lacking. Whereas Booja Booja was well represented, Moo Free seemed to be merely represented by a few of their chocolate bars - there were none of the yummy Organica vegan (but may contain traces of milk) chocolate bars that I used to be able to get in the health food shop near my old home. However, Lucy's egg, gluten, nut and dairy free chocolate chip cookies were a great find! They're sooo moreish!

My selection of goodies made (apart from the cold stuff) the only thing left to try was the cafe.

This proved to be tougher than I thought. There was a disclaimer concerning allergies, so if you're really sensitive or coeliac, you'd probably want to give it a miss. More of a concern for me personally, was whether I would be able to tempt the ever-fussy Baby into eating anything at all.

She wasn't interested in the roast potatoes, or the salmon that I had selected - they had 'bits' on them. I knew the green beans were also going to be a no-no for her, but I selected those, purely for my benefit. Baby did eat some of The Hub's turkey slices, but apart from her share of a slice of a rather yummy vegan raw chocolate dessert, by inspiral, called 'Blackout Tart', that was it, as far as she was concerned. 
Impressive! Blackout - a yummy vegan dessert that is gluten, dairy, egg and soya free. Not nut free though!
Mind you, I couldn't blame her. The potatoes (meant to be hot) were lukewarm and the meat, fish and veg were all from the cold food section - definitely not a winner for her. She did love looking out of the window though - I must say, it was good fun people watching!

I was rather tempted by some of the other hot dishes and was interested to spot that you could buy food to take away, but Baby was never going to let me hang around for too long and so soon we duly departed.

Altogether, it was an interesting visit. I probably wouldn't eat in again - not with Baby anyway. We ended up buying her fries from Kentucky Fried Chicken across the road (you add your own salt - marginally healthier than the very salty fries you get from Mc Donald's) As for the shop, I would definitely go again, for the variety of food stuff you can buy. There's still some things that I've yet to try!!

By the way, the shop is sooo close to the station at Clapham Junction, that if you find yourself making a train connection there at any time (and aren't carting around ridiculous amounts of luggage with you) it would be a shame not to pop in. I've already got The Hub working out how he could pop in there on the way home from work sometime and I didn't even have to ask :)


  1. I've been to Whole Foods in Kensington and it's fantastic :)

    1. Well worth an expedition by itself, if my experience of the one at Clapham Junction is anything to go by! It's worth it to get the stuff you can't get elsewhere.

      When I was rushed past the one in Kensington (on the way to The Roof Gardens) it looked huge and I really wanted to go in. Another time, I MUST!