Russian Shop near Waterloo, South Bank, London

I was recently told about a small Russian shop close to Waterloo train station on South Bank in London.  Just before Christmas, when I was in the area, I spotted a sign to the small shop, so thought I’d finally investigate.  The Russian Shop is quite hidden so you will have to look out for it.  Walk through the door and down a dark, narrow staircase and the shop is located on the right.  Granted this place is small, the smallest of small, but it is crammed with lots of my favourite Russian products including cheeses, meats, sweets, beer, vodka, and even delicious honey cake.

Russian Shop

If you’re in the area and want a taste of Russian, pop in!  But be warned, as expected, Russian is the only tongue spoken here!  If you are feeling particularly adventurous there is also a Russian hair salon nextdoor!

Russian Shop, Cornwall Road, London SE1

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The Merchant’s Yard: New Russian Deli, Knightsbridge, London

When I received an email a few weeks ago regarding the opening of a new and luxurious Russian deli in Knightsbridge I was literally thrilled.  Russians are renowned for feasting, from the medieval banquets of Ivan the Terrible to the elaborate political dinners of the communist era.  The Merchant’s Yard deli certainly celebrates this grand Russian tradition.

Owner, Julia Flit, has created a venue for opulent feasts and celebrations, providing shoppers with key Russian ingredients, in addition to an intimate space, ideal for small parties to be introduced to traditional fayre.  The shop contains everything from caviar to beetroot, staples in every Russian kitchen.

The Merchant's Yard, Russian Deli

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The Merchant's Yard, Russian Deli Facade, Knightsbridge, London

The Merchant’s Yard beings the opportunity to try authentic Russian homemade food that the capital has long lacked.  Finally, there is a venue doing real justice to the recipes of established customs, as well as more contemporary interpretations.  While every member of staff is on hand, ready to assist shoppers with every possible question.  Their own enthusiasm for the food is quickly very clear.

What you can expect:

The Deli Counter: Food prepared daily for eat-in or take-out including organic salads, freshly baked breads, cakes, pastries, coffees and teas.

The Grocery: For produce to enhance any table setting including cheeses, organic olives, homemade vegetable dishes, spirits, beers and Russian vodka, Moldavian and Georgian wine.

To Order: Recommendations from the Merchant’s Yard chef, for your own personal needs, when there is no time to cook for guests at home.

Dinners: Every third week of the month, for ten to 12 people, a seasonal menu will be prepared based on the traditions and customs of Russia; enhancing your appreciation and understanding of a style of cooking rooted in history.

The Merchant’s Yard

Purveyors of Russian Foods

41 Beauchamp Place

London SW3 1NX

Tel: 020 3144 0072

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Kalinka Shop (Калинка магазин), Queensway

Kalinka Shop, 35 Queensway
Kalinka Shop, 35 Queensway

Five years ago, when I first moved to London, I was rather fortunate to move Bayswater, which, although traditionally famed for boasting fantastic Middle Eastern shops and restaurants, is also home to a small Russian shop, located just ten minutes from my front door.

This was before the days when, as a result of a dramatic increase in migration to the UK from the  countries accepted into the EU in 2004, Tesco stocked a vast variety of Polish food and various East European shops had sprung up across the country.

Kalinka Shop (Калинка магазин) can be found at 35, Queensway, London, W2.  It is open from 11 AM to 8 PM Monday to Saturday and 12 to 6 PM on Sunday.  The shop stocks everything you could ever imagine of Russian (and some other East European countries) origin.

When I first came to London, I happened across the shop because I used to walk to and from Queensway Tube Station every day.  My interest in Russian history was growing and I entered out of curiosity.  On entering I was faced with products from floor to ceiling labelled in Russian.  This is partly why I love London, particularly Bayswater.  For me, when you are here, it never really feels like you are in the UK, it always feels like you are on holiday, exploring some foreign land and their produce.

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