For the price of a ticket to Madame Tussauds, you can have a culinary experience along Marylebone High Street instead – and if you're lucky, you might even see some real-life celebrities.
This lively and elegant enclave is a world-famous destination known for its quality independent retailers. So the next time you fancy a quick bite, here's why you should head west.
The Cabbages & Frocks market
On Saturdays between 11am and 5pm, the Cabbages & Frocks market huddles around the St Marylebone churchyard. The market features an eclectic mix of fashion items, accessories, homeware and food stalls. Sometimes the ‘frocks’ outnumber the ‘cabbages’, but the ‘cabbages’ always includes cakes and coffee as well as a rich variety of international foods.
Once you get peckish, head to Tramezzi for Venetian tea sandwiches (grilled white bread sandwiches with a range of tasty fillings); the German Wholegrain Baker’s Shop for a fine selection of rye breads; and for aficionados of Greek patisseries, the P&L Microbakery – they make an excellent galaktoboureko (a refreshing filo pastry and custard tart).
At La Fromagerie you can enjoy, explore and be inspired by the artisan cheeses, charcuterie and other wonderful foods on display. Walk past stacked crates of wild asparagus, artichokes, fresh almonds, and Amalfi lemons and venture into the cheese room for some tastings. A resident expert might also guide you to a selection of their young goat’s and sheep’s cheese, including a one-month-old infant pecorino.
Le Vieux Comptoir
Le Vieux Comptoir owner Laurent gives customers a warm welcome and explains that you are in a wine cellar, a restaurant, grocery, deli, cheese and coffee shop. Quality wines are key to the operation and the cellar has a very good selection of wines for under £15 – Laurent will match his wine to your palate and recommend others to try.
The park next door is holding a pop-up cinema and summer fayre and music night on June 18-19. Why not plan a visit and get some of Laurent’s bubbly to sip on the grass?
No home cook worth their salt would be seen without a Le Creuset on New Cavendish Street. Happily, a small detour from the High Street takes you to the Le Creuset store, where you can plan future additions to your armoury. Chat with Diana, who will show you the latest products.
Stroll into Amanzi Tea for a sensual workout of the nose. Sniff and smell their tea, herb and spice mixtures before you buy. Our tip? The high-caffeine ‘daybreak’ tea, a delicious (and potent) chai latte.
The Nordic Bakery
There's a branch of this uncluttered and peaceful Soho Scandi-coffee shop on New Cavendish Street. The choice of food and drink is only slightly more varied than their slogan: ‘dark rye bread, cinnamon buns, coffee’, but then all you really want is one of their amazing cinnamon buns anyway.
Tommi's Burger Joint
Tommi, the Icelandic burger king, is becoming a bit of a real-life celeb himself. His Burger Joint at the bottom of Marylebone High Street is one of ten throughout the world. Having run the Hard Rock Café, Tommi should know a thing or two about burgers. His famous no-fuss menu is a masterclass in gourmet understatement: ‘Burger, fries, soda.’ Brilliant.