Town mouse on Whole Foods

There’s only one thing everyone in London is talking about this week: the opening of Whole Foods, the American, all-organic superstore (the British term ‘supermarket’ doesn’t do justice to the scale of it) on Kensington High Street. Having heard both the hype and the backlash, I didn’t know quite what to expect or whether I would even like it. At first, as you enter the vast premises (previously Barkers), there are too many assaults on the senses to make any judgement at all.

Bread and coffee aromas waft over you in their seductive manner, so I quickly made my escape to the basement, only to find hyper-real displays of fruit and veg that previously only made such a colourful, abundant appearance in my dreams. Everywhere are exhorhations to ‘Support British Farmers’ and explanations as to why we should buy local.

The organic milk is 49p a pint, so I’m not sure how well the farmers are really doing out of it. British asparagus is £1.49 per 250g bunch, which seems reasonable. There have been complaints about the expense?but you get what you pay for, and you get an all-consuming food experience. I’m sure I’ll see you in there.