Verde & Co – a corner shop that’s a gourmet emporium

There’s a lot of nostalgia for little shops that sell lovely things to eat. Most don’t feel real, properly everyday useful real. But Verde & Co is the kind of little corner shop where everyone drops in; they’re part of the neighbourhood.

When The Italian went there he came back jabbering with all the excitement and enthusiasm of a nine year old who’s just been let loose in a sweet shop. He did his waving his hands in the air thing as he talked, rather poetically I thought, about pots of flowers setting off wooden crates and baskets brimming over with vegetables and fruit. He started to sound like Bilbo Baggins fondly remembering an exceptionally fine lunch as he launched into an enthusiastic description of the inside of the shop, and it being crammed to the rafters with good things to eat – hams, cheeses, pates, jars of home-made chutney, oils and Pierre Marcolini chocolates. The Parma ham is sliced fresh on a hand-operated Italian slicer, (he verbally underlined ‘Italian’ with relish), and almost see-through. Verde & Co sounded a gourmet paradise. You can enjoy a cappuccino as you wait for your peas to be weighed. In fact, the coffee’s so good Italians go out of their way to drop in for an espresso, The Italian felt very at home there.

And people go there to eat lunch. The food’s always seasonal and inspired, and it changes every day. In winter you might get a pheasant soup. Another day it could be early broad beans with new season English lamb. The Italian waxed lyrical about the smells that had wafted up from the pans of soup, and the goat cheese and grilled aubergine sandwich he had wolfed down. I hadn’t had time for my own lunch at that point and The Italian was getting me very hungry.

Apparently all Verde & Co’s produce is sourced from co-ops and small, family-run enterprises wherever possible. So check it out; judging by the effect the place had on The Italian even if you don’t buy anything just walking past will make you feel good.

Verde & Co, 40 Brushfield Street, London E1 6AG
020 7247 1924

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