Holiday shopping on the King’s Road in Sloane Square is a serious business; anyone caught idling on the pavements will be run over by determined shoppers who will show no mercy when looking for the perfect gift. Bargain hunters here wear determined faces and take their shopping extremely seriously.
Yet on Saturday afternoons at Duke of York Square, shoppers and locals seem to take time to chill out. Steely faces melt into smiles, and gruff mutterings turn into laughter. The Fine Food Market seems to have that kind of effect on people.
An hour or so wandering around the stalls at the Duke of York Square Market is a relaxing tonic for the mind and a treat for the stomach. The air is filled with smoky British sausages mixed with the playful fragrance of Jamaican rum cakes. French cheese carts stand next to Nigerian food stalls. A short meander is like walking through a global gastronomic wonderland. The market is also a few steps from the Saatchi Gallery, so you can combine modern art with eclectic food.
On the Saturday afternoon of my visit, a local jazz band entertained locals as they sat down on public benches to chat and eat. I munched through a few empanadas at one booth before sneaking some chocolate at another. I figured the carrying of shopping bags would burn the calories.