The English capital may not have the most Mediterranean of climates, but when it comes to providing quality olive oil to its denizens, London really knows what it’s doing. Here, we discover the best places in the capital to purchase exceptional oils.
South London’s Borough Market is a perennial Mecca for the city’s foodies. The stalls here groan under the weight of artisan cheeses, cakes, organic vegetables and hand-reared meat. Borough Market is also home to The Olive Oil Co.
Founder Danilo Manco hails from Puglia, which is where many of the company’s oils are sourced. Particularly recommended is the single estate Cinque Foglie extra virgin, made using olives picked just before they become fully ripe. The Olive Oil Co. boasts a superb range in vinegar too; buy a hunk of fresh Borough Market bread, and get dunking on the spot.
The Isle of Olive selects its oils from Greece; Kalamata, Sparta, Corinth, Crete, Mitilini, Fthiotida and Chalkidiki. The shop proffers an excellent selection of oils including All Organic Greek Garden Extra Virgin, and a range of Kalamata PDOs.
The shop sells juicy Kalamata, Amfissa, Chalkidiki and Thassos olives, tapenade and olive oil soap. As well as the Isle of Olive store, located just off East London’s Broadway Market, there is a chance to catch the team every Sunday at the Chapel Market in Angel.
Olive oil turns up in the oddest place around London. None more so than Embassy Electrical Supplies in the heart of the city. As the name suggests, the main commodity of this independent shop is cables, switches and lightbulbs. But it also performs a roaring trade in Cypriot and Turkish olive oil.
The shop’s owner, Mehmet Murat, has been in the UK since the 1950s and owns olive groves in the village of Louroujina in his native Cyprus, and a forty-five-acre farm in Turkey. The oil, shipped over in smallish batches, is superlative in quality; New York Magazine once voted it the most delicious in the world. And the family-run shop is tough to beat for warm service, too.
London has some of the world’s most decadent department stores. In their food halls is an admirable supply of superlative olive oils. Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly has over 15 different varieties, including Castillo Early Royal 2012 Harvest and Castillo Picual First Press 2012 Harvest, which is recognized for its almond, green apple and banana skin flavors.
Osprey London is now selling The One Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil, created by Crete’s Terra Aegea. Selfridges on Oxford Street sells an inspiring selection of oils such as Nudo’s extra virgin with thyme, and Azada’s extra virgin with orange. Harrods purveys numerous luxury oils including the beautifully-bottled Lorenzo No 5 Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Though Olive to Oil is an internet boutique, it’s the brainchild of Londoners, and registered in London. Olive to Oil is vying to be one of the premier high-end olive oil dealers; bottles for sale include a white truffle olive oil by Manni, and a gold-infused number from Blanc Luxury Gastronomy.
Melbury & Appleton customers, meanwhile, are invited to purchase their oil online before collecting it from the warehouse, based inside an old Victorian pie factory in Islington.