Fresh from our most recent print mag, Kirsten Foster harvests an eclectic mix of offerings with one thing in common – they’re all on a mission to inspire Londoners to get cooking.
The Cookery School*
Sustainability is at the heart of the school’s whole ethos. They offer a class to help conscientious home cooks reduce their food waste, based on the most commonly discarded foods, such as bread and milk. Students learn to make a cornucopia of delicious, waste-not dishes from ‘bottom of the fridge soup’ to leftover-filled potato cakes.
Unpackaged at Planet Organic *
Smack bang in the middle of town you’ll find the perfect pit stop for refill products from the plastic-free pioneers. This Planet Organic branch stocks loose dry goods, plus a range of reusables to take goodies home in. Unpackaged is also available in a selection of Planet Organic stores around the city.
Borough Kitchen and Cook Shop
This is the perfect location for stocking up on pots, pans and kitchen utensils, all inspired by what’s in the owners’ kitchens, with a focus on function, quality and durability. Lucky students can learn cooking skills, with a focus on using these high-quality cooking tools, in one of their cookery classes led by a trained chef.
The people at Harmless look for vegan, plastic-free, home-grown, independent, super-local, palm oil-free, anti-monoculture and organic suppliers. Everything is vegan, and lower food miles are preferred, but owner Tami Jarvis sees the shop as a means to kick-start conversations with her community about a plant-based, plastic-free lifestyle.
British Heart Foundation Home Store
British Heart Foundation has homeware stores dotted around town which often stock second-hand kitchenware and preloved appliances. Buying from here is not only better for the environment, but every purchase helps this incredible charity do its important work.
Naked Larder *
Herne Hill, SE24
Starting life in 2018 in founder Phili’s garage, this click and collect service provides ethical, sustainable and package-free dry goods, teas, coffees and eco-friendly cleaning products. Buying in bulk and measuring to order, the Naked Larder reduces the packaging and waste involved in grocery shopping. Read Phili’s blog if you’re considering starting your own package-free venture.
Barn the Spoon
Barn(aby) Cardner is a self-confessed woodwork obsessive, who’s dedicated his life to beautiful spoons. His hand carved wooden spoons are available in all sorts of shapes and sizes. He also runs classes so you can learn to use knife and axe carving to make your own.
Made in Hackney cooking classes *
This plant-based community cooking school will give you all the skills you need to create sustainable food at home and help other people in the process. Its masterclasses teach everything from top-chef tips, like Palestinian Cuisine with Sami Tamimi, to cooking for gut health. Any profits fund pay-what-you-can classes and their community meal service.
Leytonstone Farmers’ Market *
The lucky locals of Leytonstone can now add a trip to a gorgeous farmers’ market to their Sunday morning routines. The new market, held in the grounds of Buxton school, stocks seasonal, local foods including fresh fruit and veg, fish and cheeses. It’s also right next to the well-loved Patch Café for coffee and pastries to fuel the trip. Remember to check out other London Farmers’ Markets for fresh produce across the city.
Hen Corner *
Head to Hen Corner for an immersion into life on an urban smallholding with their resident hens, honeybees and accompanying kitchen garden and microbakery. Courses at Sara Ward’s beautiful pocket of country in the city can inspire and educate those looking to keep chickens, make cider, grow food or make Real Bread.
The Green Butcher
Twickenham Green, TW2
With a mission to make “local people feel good about the food that they feed themselves and their families”, The Green Butcher sells certified 100% pasture-fed, organic meat and dairy, direct from their partner farms: Horton House Farm in Wiltshire and The Ethical Dairy in Dumfries. With a focus on closed loop production and regenerative practices, the meat sold here does good and tastes great.
Library of Things
Reduce kitchen clutter, your carbon footprint and landfill sprawl by borrowing, rather than buying, kitchen equipment. Libraries of Things are springing up across London, with branches currently in Crystal Palace, Morden, Hackney Wick, Kentish Town, Finsbury Park and Dalston offering waffle, ice cream and pasta makers – perfect for party catering.
Better Food Traders *
Look no further than the Better Food Traders network to help you shop for good food across the city. You can shop with confidence at any member site, knowing they’re supported to trade sustainably. On top of the brilliant veg schemes Better Food Traders champion, there are local shops too such as Good Food Catford who stock organic and artisan foods.
*A fabulous London Food Link supporter.
For more fab reads from our most recent Jellied Eel print mag, check out our Women who chef for the planet feature.
Published 10 Aug 2022
London Food Link: London Food Link brings together community food enterprises and projects that are working to make good food accessible to everyone in London to help create a healthy, sustainable and ethical food system for all.