This is a guest post by Mayra Piloni from Chicago, USA, currently a resident at urbanest Hoxton London. She is studying BA Fashion Sportswear at University of the Arts of London.
Interesting fact: “Born in the USA, but I didn’t speak English until I was 7, my first languages were Spanish and Italian”.
“What I love most about London is it’s old world architecture and it’s fascinating history that still surrounds you everywhere you walk, which is very inspiring to me as a designer!”
The Closest Supermarkets to Urbanest Hoxton
Finally you’re on your journey to a new country filled with hope and excitement for what is to come in your academic endeavors and adventures around this marvelous city of London. You have a wonderful flat to call your home for the next year (or three years like me), but once you get here you have no idea where to get your main necessity for accomplishing your academic goals; food! Food is the main source for good health and happiness. Ever feel grumpy when your hungry? I know I do, and not knowing where you can go for groceries after moving to a new country you have possibly have never been to can be quite a scary thing! Fear no longer I got you covered, food is right around the corner! I’ve lived at Urbanest Hoxton for the past two years and have done my fair share of grocery shopping. From which is closest and convenient, to budget friendly and even organic and fair trade. Whichever category fits your pocket or taste there’s one for you not far from your flat.
Location: 100 East Road
The Tesco Express is literally part of the Urbanest building, but in order to get in to it you have to go outside the reception area, make a right and it’s right there. A very convenient option for those who don’t want to go far, especially after arriving from a long haul flight or lazy days. Tesco is budget friendly and has all the basics you can possibly need. They have a good variety of food options, even some organic products. Out of all the grocery stores I’ve been to Tesco always has the best price match deals. I like going here for basic necessities and emergencies. If I run out of something and don’t want to walk far, or even for something as simple as ibuprofen because those moments do happen, Tesco is just around the corner!
The Co-operative Food
Location: 185 Old Street
The Co-operative Food is just a quick walk from Old Street tube station coming out of exit 4. Another convenient option especially if your on your way home to Urbanest from school and had to take the tube. A well known supermarket chain that has a good variety of basic groceries and household goods, along with a focus on ethical trading practices. For those foodies that love buying ethical this a good spot to go plus its good value food and not too far from the flat or tube. They always have good offers like their £1 deals, half price items, seasonal deals and on top of that if you get your NUS student card you get an extra student discount on your groceries! I love this and wish more supermarket chains offered a discount for students. Budget friendly, student friendly, convenient location, and ethical, need I say more?
Marks & Spencer
Location: 70 Finsbury Pavement
One of my favorite grocery and home stores since I’ve arrived to London is Marks and Spencer (M&S) because it reminds me a lot of Target back in the USA. It’s a nice 10 minute walk from Urbanest coming out of exit 2 from Old Street tube station. It’s famed for being one of Britain’s most reliable and trusted stores and in my opinion it is! Marks and Spencer has some of the best quality food and house hold products for a budget to moderate price range. They have a bakery in store which always makes freshly baked breads, baguettes and scones throughout the day, but the mornings are my favorite. They have a great selection of quality ready made meals as well as fresh produce. A favorite of mine is their large selection of certified organic groceries, which you wouldn’t find for a budget price anywhere else. They also have a cafe inside for those who want to dine in. This is also the closest and largest (M&S) food and home store around Urbanest Hoxton. That carry clothes, shoes, bedding, kitchen as well as beauty products.
Location: 91 City Road
Another convenient and local supermarket chain to the likes of Tesco. Many prefer it over Tesco, and truth be told when I first arrived to London I did find Sainsbury’s very familiar to the American supermarkets I’m use to, possibly for their wide variety of foods and basics that were more familiar to me. It’s conveniently close to Old Street tube station giving you yet another option for grocery shopping on your way back home from uni, coming out of exit 2. If not it’s only a short 5 minute walk from Urbanest. It also carries a wide variety of ready meals, some fresh produce, and other household basics. Sainsybury’s and Tesco are always at war with who has the best deals, which for the consumer its good news because you will always get things on offer!
Location: 21 Liverpool Road
A popular supermarket in London especially for carrying certified organic groceries and household products. A good option if you want to stretch your legs and go for a walk because this one is about a 15-20 minute walk from Urbanest. Its straight down City Road going towards Angel tube station, but it is a very large supermarket, therefore a very good option for those that want a big weekly grocery shop and don’t mind the walk. It has everything you can possibly need from a great variety of fresh produce, bakery, a deli, ready made meals, pantry items, frozen foods, basic house hold, and beauty products. Another favorite for me especially during Summer when I don’t mind going for a long walk on my way to get groceries, mainly because of its large variety of Organic foods and products. Plus it truly feels like a grocery store to me unlike the other local and express shops.
As Nature Intended
Location: 132 Commercial Street
Last but not least a recent find for me is this organic, fair trade, locally grown foodie heaven! At least thats how I feel about this grocery store, but with that comes price so beware on this one. I have willingly spent ££ because I actively live an organic lifestyle and for those that feel the same and don’t mind spending the extra cash this ones for you. It’s a 10 minute walk from Urbanest straight down Great Eastern Road towards Spitalfields. They have an amazing range of local farm grown meats, fresh vegetables, a large variety of nut milks, as well as regular dairy milk products, nutritional health supplements, organic beauty and skincare, superfoods, pantry items, local bakery bread, household ethical and sustainable cleaning products, and my favorite organic chocolate! Everything in store is either organic, locally grown, fair trade, ethical, and is also a great choice for vegans and vegetarians! Whichever your lifestyle you can be sure that you will find quality products here that are good for your body, health and your environment to boost. Be forewarned though this store is addictive, every time I go here I end up wanting everything and spending quite a bit, so it’s not on the budget radar, but still my favorite. Also, its even open on Bank Holidays so thats another plus!
In conclusion, I hope you find one of these supermarkets helpful to you when you arrive to your new home at Urbanest Hoxton and eases the stress of where to grocery shop because I personally know how daunting it can be to go looking for one when your new to the city, or even country. For those that love the sound of Tesco and Sainsbury’s I will add that Tesco has a really large (largest in the London city area) supermarket by Liverpool Street station, but it’s not as convenient as the others for walking purposes, but if you don’t mind it, it is another option. As well as a large Sainsbury’s by Angel tube station in Islington, again this is a longer walk, but if you’re taking the tube and want a large supermarket with variety this is a great option. Although I will mention you can’t go wrong with the many choices around the area for food, even if you don’t feel like grocery shopping there are many take away services that deliver to Hoxton as well as many restaurants and fast food shops around Old Street and Shoreditch. On that note there is also Islington Farmers Market every Sunday from 10am-2pm between Penton Street and Baron Street by Angel tube station. Happy shopping and welcome to Urbanest Hoxton!