Best greengrocer: Michanicou brothers

I have been using Michanicou Brothers in west London for as long as I have lived in the area – 20 years.

It is an Aladdin's cave of a shop. Produce spills on to the pavement, although, to be kind, as a boxed and neat sort of spillage, where all kinds of fruit can be inspected, by both feel and smell, particularly in summer-time, when fragrant raspberries, strawberries and the like scent the narrow street.

Sidle your way through the constantly peopled, equally narrow doorway into the bustling interior and here you will find an array of root and leaf vegetables, salads, very fresh herbs, and fungi covering almost every genus including, once or twice, even the odd truffle ... They also stock large sticks of fresh horseradish, which is particularly useful to me.

What most customers seem to favour is, I think, the extraordinary variety of produce from all over, although the range covers the seasons admirably. I particularly love the winter salads, and this is one of the only places I know where you can find both fleshy, super-fresh batavia and, my favourite, frizzy endive.

Fine French beans are of the very thinnest and the shop always seems to be the first to find new-season garlic. Wild garlic leaves are there in late-April, too, as well as sorrel leaves soon after that.

It is certainly an emporium that knows its local clientele (prices are keen, but you do get what you pay for), but people make special journeys from further afield, too. And no wonder. It's possible to purchase the freshest, most golden-yolked eggs here, delivered twice a week – from Italy!

2 Clarendon Road, London W11, 020-7727 5191


Alwand This Middle Eastern shop (open 24 hours) is where I go for those long, pale-purple, thin-skinned aubergines, essential for making delicious Asian recipes. And for fragrant quinces, too – a quid a pair, the other day.

140 Uxbridge Road, London W12, 020-8742 9009

Secretts' Farm Shop You can find the finest home-grown asparagus here – as well as countless other fruit and vegetables. Even better, you can pick your own asparagus – great for a spring day out.

Milford, Surrey, 01483 520500

Wholefoods I go here for their array of ripe and luscious seasonal tomatoes, especially the large, ridged ones from Provence, heavy with juice and full of flavour. Lovely bread, too.

63-97 Kensington High Street, London W8, 020-7368 4500

Simon Hopkinson's 'The Vegetarian Option' is published by Quadrille, £20

Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments