Of all the food halls in London, only one can be said to be a true temple of food. That’d be Mercato Mayfair, the delicious dining destination that’s housed inside an old church. Instead of psalms and prayer, the site now serves wine, cheese, and plates piled high with scrummy delights to visitors. Take me to church, please!
Mercato Mayfair is housed in the Grade-I listed St Mark’s Church, making this a food hall of divine proportions. The church spent 30 years on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk register, reserved for buildings of cultural significance that face a threat to their future. After deconsecration, the church underwent a two-year, £5 million revamp, transforming the forgotten space into a gorgeous food hall and cultural hub.
One of three sister sites to Elephant & Castle’s sprawling Italian food hall Mercato Metropolitano, Mercato Mayfair ushers you in through the grand columns and into a deli section fully-stocked with a mouthwatering array of delicacies. By all means browse, but don’t tarry here for too long, because the old nave hosts even more treats, opening up into a cavernous space filled with bars and dining options.
Down in the vaulted basement crypt (beautifully restored and not at all creepy) lies a wine cellar stocked with goodies, along with a microbrewery and a community space used for cooking classes and events. Truly, you can eat your way from one end of the church to the other over the course of a day here, and still be hungry for another visit. Oh, and there’s a roof terrace at the very top. You’ll definitely get ‘in-the-know’ brownie points from your friends if you take them up there, as it’s a bit of a hidden spot. (Dare we say… secret?)
The food at Mercato Mayfair
Let’s get down to the important stuff, shall we? As with all Mercato Metropolitano site, the ingredients here are fresh, artisanal, and sustainably sourced as much as possible. Food choices range from Pad Thai House‘s Asian fusion street food (and, of course, pad thai), to Pasta Lovers‘s freshly made pasta, to the British, French and Vietnamese fusion delights from TAM Fusion by John Burton-Race. Wash it all down with fresh beer from Germankraft‘s on-site microbrewery, or an artisanal gin drink from Jim & Tonic. That’s by no means an exhaustive round-up, though: we’d go on, but the list would take up the whole article! But we’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention Steamy Co – sometimes you just can’t beat a bowl of ramen and some dumplings!
The market also hosts frequent live music sessions too, which pairs rather nicely with a plate of pasta and a glass of red. It’s an oasis of food and calm, just moments away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. Can you believe it? Your prayers have been answered!
Also published on Medium.