Peer through our window and you'll glimpse old fashioned sweets in jars, sugar mice, lemon curd, Sherbert Fountains, Suffolk Blend Tea, Earl Grey's Gingerbread Gentlemen, handmade biscuits in hessian bags - these are a few of our favourite things. We celebrate small producers; the unusual, the nostalgic and individuals with a passion for food.
This is just a small selection of our stock at the moment. It's always best to pop in and see what's new. We look forward to seeing you.
& Lancashire Sauce
Two fantastic sauces for all homesick Northerners and curious Southerners. Henderson's Relish is a fruity and spicy sauce made in Sheffield for over 100 years to a closely guarded secret recipe.
From Ramsbottom in Lancashire, Lancashire Sauce has been made by the Entwistle family for over four generations. Mildy spiced, it requires a good shake before use to combine the oil, vinegar and spices.
Both of these vegetarian (and vegan) sauces can be used in so many ways - to flavour roast meats, soups and stews, to add flavour and depth to anything from homemade coleslaw to a cheese toastie.
We admit, you can sometimes find this in a supermarket, but it only looks the part in our shop - proudly displayed with our other nostalgic brands.
Camp coffee started production in 1876 although most people would associate it (like Victory V's) with the war when real coffee was in short supply. You can certainly make a cup of coffee with it should you wish (and should you really love chicory) but it comes into its own as an ingredient - it helps make a fantastic coffee & walnut cake, or mix with mascarpone for a great topping for tarts and flans. Pour over ice, add milk for a fine iced coffee.
One hundred and fifty favourite stories by The Gentle Author published as a handsome illustrated hardback.
Everything you seek in London can be found in this book - street life, street art, markets, diverse food, immigrant culture, ancient houses and history, pageants and parades, rituals and customs, traditional trades and old family businesses.
The book is a fine compliment to the Spitalfields Life blog which The Gentle Author has been writing since 2009. www.spitalfieldslife.com
We also have a super little local map of Spitalfields by the same author; a great way to navigate, not just the streets but the stories and the personalities of this special area.
Two terrific ciders from Kent Cider Co., both glowing with golden autumn colour.
The bittersweet cider is exactly that; a full-bodied and aromatic blend of bittersweet cider apple varieties make this an earthy, dry cider rich in colour with a fruity tang. Alc 7.5% vol.
Pear cider. A fragrant, cloudy cider made from Kent Comice Pears and a subtle dash of Bramley apple. Full of naturally sweet pear flavour. Alc 6.0% vol. www.kentcider.co.uk
Eating Flowers - Lucia Stuart
This delightful book, written and illustrated by Lucia Stuart, describes how to create some beautiful food from the found and freely available wild plants and flowers that grow in abundance in our countryside.
Lucia says "wild plants and flowers have unusual and delicate flavours - be it a fragrant geranium ice cream or a wild fennel mayonnaise. As processed food floods onto shop shelves, denuded of vitamins and minerals, I prefer to use the flavours that blossom from a hedge, sprout from a verge, grow in a rock pool or drop from a branch. As a professional cook for 20 years, I will show you the most efficient and delicious way to cook your ingredient. Wild food has vitality, freshness and the thrill of being subject to season and landscape." www.thewildflowerkitchen.com
Rubies in the Rubble Chutney
What's not to love about this? Hats off to Rubies in the Rubble who take excess fruit and vegetables from New Spitalfields Market and make them into delicious chutneys and preserves. They also recruit their workforce from young people who are struggling to find employment or get back into work. Win win win, basically.
We have their full range at the moment, including red onion & chilli, nutty plum and apple & ginger.
Little Bird Gin
We're waiting for some more Little Bird to come in - so none in stock at the moment. Back soon.
Making gin in Clapham? That's the spirit. Tim from Little Bird has created a splendid London Dry which eases off the juniper and leads with citrus and grapefruit, followed by sweet orange peel and finishing on Ivory Coast ginger.
In all, 10 botanicals are blended with finesse and we love it's full, rounded feel in the mouth. Great over ice with tonic and a twist of grapefruit peel - or get into a negroni (one part gin, one part vermouth rosso and one part bitters). www.littlebirdgin.com
Not the easiest thing to make and a world away from the rubbery stuff you see in supermarkets, Nicola from Patchett's Confectionary is making the lightest, fluffiest marshmallow we've tasted in a long time.
Made with all natural ingredients and in some lovely flavours such as English lavender, lemon meringue, gingerbread and raspberry. Six large pieces per pack. www.patchettsconfectionery.co.uk
One of the oldest (some say the oldest) fermented drinks, English Mead is a unique and special drink, made from honey and traditionally given to a newly married couple for them to drink at their wedding and for a month afterwards - hence the word 'honeymoon'. Our mead, from Lurgashall winery in Sussex, is well balanced with a very full, sweet honeyed flavour - but not too sweet.
In warmer weather it is lovely over ice and in winter mulled with spices or orange and ginger. It goes well with strong Cheddar cheese and is a great accompaniment to desserts. Try adding two-thirds tonic and a squeeze of fresh lime for a cocktail. 50cl Alc. 12.5% vol. www.lurgashall.co.uk
Foxdenton Sloe Gin
It says 'Recognisably Different' on the label and we think so too. Made from sloes gathered from the English countryside in the autumn, London dry gin and sugar, Foxdenton's sloe gin is paler, stronger and drier than most. Traditionally drunk after dinner or on a shoot (if you're into that kind of thing) sloe gin also makes great cocktails; try it mixed with champagne or just tonic for a refreshing aperitif. Alc 27% vol. www.foxdentonestate.co.uk
London Borough of Jam
Generous jars of jewel-like jam from Lillie at London Borough of Jam.
Wonderful flavour combinations (Peach & Fennel, Pickled Strawberry, Rhubarb & Rose), lashings of fruit, simple, stylish packaging and so local and homemade the jam sometimes arrives at the shop still warm from the pan.
Is this is perfect jar of jam? Quite possibly. www.londonboroughofjam.tumblr.com
Crossogue Lemon Curd
This is the best lemon curd we have tasted (and we've tasted a few).
Packed with flavour, real bite and pieces of lemon rind, Veronica's kitchen at Crossogue Preserves hand-make this curd in small batches on their farm in Tipperary, Ireland.
We're one of the few shops stocking this fantastic preserve in England. Spoon it straight from the jar, use it as a cake filling or spend a happy afternoon making Veronica's 'Curd Roulade' - see her website for the recipe. www.crossoguepreserves.com
Tweed Tea Cosies
Lovingly hand-knitted by Aiko Hirayama using 100% natural wool, these cosies are the perfect fit for our range of traditional Brown Betty teapots.
And in the pot? It's got to be some freshly brewed Campbell's Tea.
Mrs Bennett's Pickles & Chutneys
In Polstead, Suffolk, Mrs Bennett makes a small range of pickles and chutneys, perfect for all meats and cheeses or to help make a fantastic sandwich (something we know a little about).
Her Piccalilli is wonderfully balanced, packed full of crunchy vegetables and without the strong vinegar you get in some. The Pear & Walnut chutney is made with walnuts from Mrs Bennett's garden and is a lovely sweet, nutty accompaniment to strong cheese. www.mrsbennetts.co.uk
Black Mountains Preserves
With their charming ration-book styling, but not ration-book ingredients, Merlin from Black Mountains Preserves makes all her jams and chutneys in her kitchen in Talgath, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons in Wales.
The Seville Orange Marmalade is fine-cut and zesty, the unusual Damson & Juniper Jelly is perfect with cold cuts, especially pork or with pates and pies.
Mr Fitzpatrick's Cordials
We like a little temperance at A.Gold. The Temperance movement began in Preston, Lancashire in 1835 as a reaction to the easy availability of ale and gin - the 'demon drink', during the industrial revolution. The Fitzpatricks, an Irish family of herbalists, started their business in 1899, promoting a range of botanical drinks and opening a chain of 30 non-alcoholic bars in the county.
The last of the Fitzpatricks was Mr Malachi Fitzpatrick, who was gifted one of his father's temperance bars as a wedding present and then ran it for over half a century. He is said to have never fallen ill during the last 50 years of his life, looking more like a 50 year old when he was actually 90. What better recommendation?
We have a wonderful selection of Mr Fitzpatrick's cordials, including Blood Tonic, Sarsarparilla, Blackcurrant & Liquorice, Cream Soda and Black Beer & Raisin - all made with a selection of herbal and botanical extracts. www.mrfitzpatricks.com
Established in 1989 by Elspeth Biltoft, Rosebud Preseves is tucked away in a small village above Masham in North Yorkshire.
Their range of sweet and savoury preserves are made principally by hand and in small batches using the best available ingredients bought and gathered locally wherever possible. www.rosebudpreserves.co.uk
Kendal Mint Cake
Famously taken up to the summit of Everest with Sir Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing in 1953, Kendal Mint Cake is a firm favourite with climbers and hikers everywhere, even if they are attempting something a little more modest than the highest mountain on Earth.
Kendal mint cake has a subtle but stimulating flavour; cool in summer, fiery in winter and has a unique blend of textures, smooth and creamy.
Ginger Beer & Truman's Runner Ale
Hollows Ginger Beer is the real thing, made using the finest Chinese ginger root with a slow fermentation and botanical brewing method. This process releases a deep and satisfying ginger flavour and a natural cloudiness. 500ml Alc. 4.0% vol. www.drinkhollows.com
Truman's Runner Ale is a beer with a back story. Anyone who lives or works around here will know the Truman's name - it's on signs outside many of the area's most iconic pubs, as well as writ large up the stack of a chimney that rises from the collection of warehouses that once housed the brewery. Truman's was founded in 1666 when Brick Lane was just a track surrounded by fields; in time it became the biggest brewer in the world. In 1989, after 323 years, the brewery and pubs were sold and Truman's was closed. Thankfully, the name remained.
Two local beer enthusiasts restarted the Truman's brand in 2010 and with it a beer named after the brewery porters, or 'runners', who devoted their working lives to Truman's. Truly a beer for the people. You can buy it draught in local pubs, but we are the first shop to have it in bottles.
Truman's have a splendid website with lots of fascinating history and wonderful old photographs. 500ml Alc. 4.0% vol. www.trumansbeer.co.uk
'Beautiful Flavour, Delicious Rich Cup' it says on the tin and we can only agree. A strong full-bodied blended tea made from loose East African leaves.
One of the best-regarded coffee importers and roasters in the UK, Monmouth Coffee started in 1978 from the basement of their shop in Covent Garden. They say "We roast coffee from single farms, estates and cooperatives. When we taste a coffee that we like, we want to know where it comes from and who grows, picks and processes it read more on Monmouth's website..."
We usually stock a range of 3-4 coffees, often organic, from different estates and parts of the world. Our coffee is available in 250g bags and we can grind beans to order for your style of coffee-maker.
Try an A.Gold coffee. We make our coffee filter-style, which we think is the best way. Quiet, relaxed, gentle - manual brewing, pouring hot water (but not that hot) over freshly ground coffee brings out the full flavour of the bean and creates a rounded, full, smooth cup of delicious coffee. No froth here. www.monmouthcoffee.co.uk
Summerdown Mint Tea
This is special. A mint tea made with peppermint oil distilled from Black Mitcham mint grown on the Hampshire Downs. Rejecting the cheaper imported oils, Summerdown Farm set out in the 1990's to re-establish this traditional crop in the UK. Fresh, aromatic and bright, peppermint tea is traditionally valued for its digestive and calming qualities. www.summerdownmint.com
Uncle Joe's Mint Balls
Established in 1898 in Wigan, William Santus is still manufacturing traditional sweets. Their most celebrated confection are Uncle Joe's Mint Balls, first made by Mrs Santus in the 1890's. The secret recipe, passed down through the generations, hasnt changed since then and they are still made in the factory in Wigan using pure cane sugar, oil of peppermint and cream of tartar. On 16 February 2011, the factory produced the two-billionth mint ball. See the two billionth & something mint ball being produced in this video. A lovely classic mint; they 'Keep you all aglow' as Uncle Joe says. www.uncle-joes.com
The Original Harrogate Toffee was designed to clear the palate after tasting Harrogate's rather pungent sulphur water, famous in the 19th century for its healing properties. Farrah's use three different types of sugar, proper butter and a hint of lemon to give a unique texture and flavour to their original toffee. We also have their toffee assortment and butter fudge. Farrah's toffees and fudge in their delightful old fashioned tins are the essence of Englishness. www.farrahs.com
Please check with us before making a special trip for London honey - we get small quantities from our suppliers and often sell out very fast. Due to the seasonal nature of honey, we never really have any in stock between November and April.
Follow us on Twitter for our latest honey updates.
Toffee Shop Fudge
Described as "The best fudge in England", this splendid confection has to be tasted to be believed. Made by hand in small batches in their kitchen in Penrith, Cumbria, The Toffee Shop have used the same recipe for over 90 years and it has never been changed.
Harpers & Queen magazine say "Would you believe that there is a fudge so good that strong men weep if deprived of it and otherwise scrupulous people creep through darkened rooms at dead of night to steal another morsel?" We know that feeling.
Rich and buttery with a crumbly, slightly grainy texture it is utterly moreish. www.thetoffeeshop.co.uk
Butterworth & Son
From Suffolk, Butterworth & Son produce The Royal Norfolk Regiment's Campaign Chutney - favoured by the gentlemen of the Royal Norfolk Regiment while both on active service and in camp.
This is a typical old English recipe, with vegetables, fruits, spices, sugar and mustard. Excellent with all cold meats and cheeses, whether you're on active service or not.
St. John & Dolly Smith's
Homemade by Chris in West London with all natural ingredients, "Old Nick" Scotch Bonnet Sauce contains one of the world's hottest chilli peppers. This sauce takes no prisoners - expect a delayed but intense heat.
Chris, whose parents lived in Bangalore, India and passed their family recipes to him, says of his Old Nick sauce "first the taste and then, seconds later, the heat sneaks up on you....and it keeps on coming. Wonderful stuff!" Indeed. www.thepickleman.co.uk
Flowers of Scotland
Pretty as a picture, 'Flowers of Scotland' is a colourful blend of flowers, herbs, fruits and spices and is the perfect compliment to pork, poultry and any game. Rub it into the meat before cooking; sprinkle it on salads, use it in sauces, gravy or dressings. Contains wild garlic, rosehips and juniper. www.uncleroys.co.uk
Gent's Relish was created in 1828 by an Englishman (indeed a Gentleman) called John Osborn. It has a strong, very salty and slightly fishy taste; containing anchovies, butter, herbs and spices. The exact recipe remains a secret and has been passed down by word of mouth over the years.
Gentleman's Relish is traditionally eaten thinly spread on toast. It can also be added to minced meat for a piquant Shepherd's Pie or to fish cakes. It can be melted into scrambled eggs or be used as a topping for jacket potatoes.
Kitchen & Table-ware
A range of traditional cook and tableware, including 'Rayware' mixing bowls, jugs and butter dishes. We also have Kilner jars, old-fashioned enamel tea and coffee pots and classic Brown Betty teapots with hand-knitted cosies.
Earl Grey hand-baked biscuits
Delightful and delicious hand-baked biscuits from Earl Grey. Choose Shortbread Soldiers, Gingerbread Gentlemen or Little Lemon Ladies. Lovely with tea, or the perfect gift.
Victory V is a liquorice-flavoured lozenge. Often associated with the war, this British sweet was actually created by Thomas Fryer and Edward Smith in the mid-19th century. They were originally made by hand to ensure that each sweet contained the correct amount of the therapeutic ingredients; ether, liquorice and chloroform. You'll be pleased to hear (we hope) that they no longer contain chloroform or ether, but have a slightly floral, pleasantly medicinal taste.
Fizz Wiz Popping Candy
Apparently it's creeping into top chef's kitchens as the ultimate ironic ingredient. We love it for its sheer mouth-tingling sense of fun. A tuck-shop classic, it used to be called Space Dust. After disappearing for a while (the un-founded story went round that it was too explosive - how exciting!) it's back as Fizz Wiz Popping Candy.
Meet our makers
Becky - Mother's Ruin "I grow much of the fruit in my East London garden or in my brother's orchard in Cumbria. Sloes and elderflowers are gathered from wild spaces around East London. Walthamstow Marshes, the River Lea and Epping Forest are some of my local hunting grounds.
Using my mother's family recipe, fruit and flowers are steeped in spirit for a year to create an intensely flavoured liqueur. I am a genuinely tiny producer (just me!) and make small amounts dependent on what I have grown or foraged.
The flavour of the liqueur changes in relation to sun, rain and soil, so taste and colour is unique to each batch. Availability is often seasonal and can be quite limited"
Nicola - Patchett's Confectionary "I've always had a very sweet tooth, and would regularly spend all of my lunch money on nothing but sweets when I was at school! I've always dreamt of running my own sweet shop, and after a trip to Canada a couple of years ago I was so inspired by the amazing shops making and selling their own handmade sweets, that I decided to go part-time at work and take the first steps in achieving my dream.
After many hours of practice (and a few kitchen disasters), I taught myself how to make marshmallows and other sugar confectionery, which I tested at local farmers markets. I only use fresh natural ingredients, which give the marshmallows a light and fluffy texture. I've created some interesting flavours including gingerbread and English lavender and I'm hoping to expand my range over time."
Lucia - The Wild Flower Kitchen "I love small shops and A.Gold is a one of the very best - charming and fun with classy products. It is a picturesque 'food theatre' in the heart of London. One can buy and taste top quality artisanal British food and the hear the story of how it came to be. I am delighted that my book Eating Flowers is for sale at this prestigious establishment, and not on Amazon or in supermarkets; I am fiercely loyal to the small independent shop and the friendly smiles of Philip and Paulo.
In the 90's I had a shop. A rural cafe in the south of france. Like the locals, I ate food that was on my doorstep - thyme, vervain and elderflowers. It was a flurry to gather nature's bounty, flowers and fruits before the season was out. I love the unusual and delicate flavours of wild food; a nettle souffle, fennel mayonnaise or rose petal ice cream - and so did my customers, luckily!
After 10 happy years I returned to England to write a botanical cook book, Eating Flowers, with the aim of encouraging us back into the wild to look for food and into the kitchen to cook favourite cafe recipes. As I live seconds from the beach in Deal, Kent, I offer seaweed cooking weekends and wild food events.
Mark & Serena - Kent Cider Co. "As a young lad growing up in rural kent I developed a love of the countryside and the outdoors from an early age; spending many happy years roaming and playing in the beautiful kent countryside. As a teen I spent many seasons working on orchards pruning and picking. I have always had a love of apples.
Having made a successful career which involved spending all my time indoors I decided I needed a new challenge. Something which would enable me to utilise some of the huge quantity of kentish apples on my doorstep which were getting wasted every year; mostly due too imported apples being cheaper at market than our home grown apples.
So I decided that I'd become a cider maker. I had some experience of making cider in small quantities, but no idea how I could turn this limited knowledge into a business.
Through a fortuitous chain of events I met a cider maker who was looking to retire from his orchard and give up his cider making equipment. After some negotiation we struck a deal, part of which was the benefit of his many years of cider making experience. Soon after my wife got involved and together we set up the Kent Cider Co with a mission to create something exciting for the consumer and challenging to ourselves as a producer: ciders with depth, unique flavors and finishes."
© photograph Awake Imaging
Veronica - Crossogue Preserves "I was born and raised in East Africa, I trained as a nurse in England, then met and married my husband Tony, who is a farmer from Tipperary. I was taught how to make jam and preserve fruits by my mother in law.
Having a large vegetable and fruit garden, I made many jams and preserves which I used to supply to the local country markets. After having won prizes at a local horticultural show with my jams and vegetables, some local shops showed interest and slowly the business grew from that. So, what started out as a hobby while rearing six children on a busy Tipperary farm, quickly evolved into a successful enterprise producing over 85 varieties of jams and preserves for the Irish, European and American market.
All our preserves are made using traditional cooking methods with the highest quality ingredients and produced in small batches by hand, with no artificial colourings, flavorings or preservatives. It's labour intensive but the result is an amazing distinctive flavour."
Lillie - London Borough of Jam "I am a former pastry chef. Made by hand in Hackney, London Borough of Jam produces small amounts of artisan jam made with seasonal fruit. All of the jams are complimented by a flavour that enhances the fruit such as wild fennel blossom and peach, or raspberry and liquorice."
© photograph editer.com
Jackie Stern - Cakes and More "Baking cakes has always been a hobby of mine. Family and friends have for years suggested that I take the plunge and bake professionally but it was only after eating a rather average and very expensive piece of cake in a trendy London teashop that I finally realised that I could do better...so I thought I would give it a go and I haven't looked back since! In fact, my first and oldest customer is that trendy London teashop that served me my very disappointing piece of cake!
There's nothing to beat a piece of home made cake and it's great to be able to recreate all the tastes of my childhood...and maybe yours too!
I am delighted to be supplying A.Gold. As a purveyor of great quality traditional English produce, I feel my cakes have found their natural home. I bake everything myself with the freshest ingredients using my favourite old English recipes. They are baked with care and love."
Cakes are sold by the slice or whole. If you would like to order a whole cake for the weekend or simply to take home for pudding, please just ask.