Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Chelsea, England: What is typically included in a "starter supply of groceries" when renting a flat?

Chelsea, England: What is typically included in a "starter supply of groceries" when renting a flat?

Sep 11th, 2007, 02:17 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 20,113
Chelsea, England: What is typically included in a "starter supply of groceries" when renting a flat?

I will ask the agent, but wanted to know if anyone has had a flat stocked with a starter supply of groceries. Can you specify certain items? Will the premium be so outrageous, we'll choke on the food?

Since it will be Christmas Eve when we arrive (and after 8pm), I am now wondering what we will eat!

Are pubs typically opened on Christmas Eve?

Ever get to the point in the planning process where you begin to feel frazzled and clueless? Yup, I'm there.

seetheworld is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 02:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,937
Many (most) restaurants are closed on Christmas Day. I would order something good so you can enjoy the holiday. I have not spent Christmas in Chelsea, but do look into your plans for Christmas.
Elainee is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 02:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 20,113
We will be with family on Christmas Day, so they will cook and we will pillage, lol.

Maybe I'll pack some pasta in my suitcase to play it safe!
seetheworld is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,190
A starter is usually the basics so a loaf of sliced bread, milk, teabags, a jar of instant coffee possibly some cereal.

But it depends you may be able to order what you want.

As a UK resident I often get shopping via the internet - i use tesco more than the others and you can pre order. I spent half an hour in equador last year ordering food to be delivered after i got home. The problem with this is that you are arriving late christmas eve. The last time i ordered so close to christmas the delivery was two hours late and a lot of food had been substituted or was not available. And i'm not a christian so i wasn't ordering turkey or mince pies. You could risk it but it is a risk. (they did call m to say the deliveries would be late and appologised)

Pubs are always open christmas eve. They are really busy and you probably won't get any food - but for a drink you will be fine.

The other places open christmas eve are mcdonalds, fish and chip shops, KFC etc.

OK so that's the general for the UK. But some things change locally - i live in wolverhampton, on christmas eve I can get a take away delivered, normally it would be a kebab but also chinese and indian food.

Personally if I had just done a long flight and arrived in the evening that's what I'd be eating. The advantage i have over you is that I have various fliers arrive from the places that deliver, you won't. so before you go (if you take up my suggestion) go to www.scoot.co.uk put in 'take away' and the post code of where you are staying. Then you can see what is available.

Enjoy your stay.
sashh is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
As specified the "starter pack" will be very basic.

Typically Tesco will be open until about 5pm on Christmas Eve. You will not get a delivery after 8pm. How far away are your family? Could they pack a couple of boxes for you? Or even hold them for you if you order them online and have them delivered earlier?

I THINK the bigger supermarkets will be open on Boxing Day, but with restricted hours. Everything will be open as normal from the 27th until the 31st when they will again close early. They will not be open on the 1st.
sheila is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 11:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,154
First, there really is no shortage of restaurants open around Chelsea on Christmas Eve. As far as shop opening hours are concerned: well, it's only early September.

There are loads of convenience stores in central London, at the main stations, at the airports and on the way into London from the airports. Several, including those operated by the major supermarket chains (such as the Marks and Spencer at the BP station on Hammersmith flyover), open 24 hours a day 365/366 days a year (yes: INCLUDING Christmas Day) and sell a full range of real food.

However, most don't announce the details of Christmas opening (including closing time on Christmas Eve) till early December. And, no, there aren't many (offhand, I'd say there aren't any) immediately round Sloane Sq.

So wait till December, then decide whether to get a justairports car to stop off at a 24 hour store on the way in.
flanneruk is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 06:06 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 112
There's no way to know but to ask them what's included.
You have the angle that it's Christmas, and you want to know if they're planning for you to settle the family around a festive bowl of dry pasta and jarred puttanesca.
(You might try this even if you're not Christian.)

Depending on what the building's like, you MAY be able to get them to accept delivery of a bag of groceries or prepared food, if you call in an order to one of the shops mentioned, or the new Whole Foods on Kensington High street, if you don't choke on THOSE prices.

You should see if there's a concierge or anyone willing to accept delivery. Keep in mind nobody likes bags of anything hanging around in the lobby these days, so check it out first.

There's also a Europa (a little, late-hour mini mart sort or thing, though not 24-hour) on Lower Sloane St. if you just want to get a few things, I think. My brain is not performing mapping functions this morning.

But Flanner's suggestion of stopping off on the way (particularly if you mention it at booking time) sounds like a good option.

The King's Road tends to have something open when nothing else is, but you might still find yourself up at 6 wishing you had your own food and coffee. More things should open in the afternoon.

Hotels have to feed people every meal, every day. There are many in the area, and they'll feed you too.

And as has been pointed out, it's not a holiday for everyone.

Relax. You will NOT starve.
Bluehour is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 10:43 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,233
"And i'm not a christian so i wasn't ordering turkey or mince pies"

What is Christian about either turkey or mince pies?
Nonconformist is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,462
nothing per se except that they are traditionally part of a special holiday meal, and if you don't observe that holiday, and never have, you likely will not be ordering them. I'm not Christian, either, and while I like turkey, I don't try to reproduce some Christian holiday meals when I dine out on certain days. I eat like any other day. Some things typical of some holidays are not food you would ever order on your own (like mince pies, perhaps) if not for that tradition.
Christina is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 11:48 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,221
FWIW, there's a small grocery store (very small, but fairly full service) across the street from where my SIL lived at 156 Sloane St., about a block or so from Sloane Sq. Certainly not 24 hrs and I have no idea what their hours are around Christmas. I do know they delivered. [can't recall the name, but it wasn't Europa]

There is also a Sainsbury's on Sloane Ave. (as I recall). They also delivered (SIL used to have that done all the time when she would travel), but I don't know whether they would do that on Boxing Day - but you could check their hours.
dfr4848 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
I guess I would hate it if I had to cope with one of those "mini" places, especially over Christmas when things are meant to be just right, or even special.

But that's just me.
sheila is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,444
hi, seetheworld,

a few suggestions:

find out what the "starter pack" is from the agent/owner

ask the same of they will get in afew extras for you for which you can reimburse them on arrival [if they are shopping for you anyway, shouldn't be too much of a problem]

research a few hotels in the locale, and find out if they will accept you for meals, costs etc. on xmas a nd boxing Day [though boxing Day should be less of a problem].

remember - London is a large mulitcultural city - something will be open, somewhere. and most pubs wil be open Christmas Eve [and Christmas day too, though maybe shorter hours].

have a great time,

regards, ann

annhig is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 10:07 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,190
"And i'm not a christian so i wasn't ordering turkey or mince pies"

What is Christian about either turkey or mince pies?

LOL nothing - perhaps i should have said i was only doing a normal shop, not stocking up for the christmas holiday like those who celebrate - actually i think mince pies do have a sort of christian origin............ not sure
sashh is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 01:13 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,056
Neither turkey nor mince pies have the slightest connection to Christianity.
nona1 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 01:41 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 202
"Many (most) restaurants are closed on Christmas Day."

Several of my local restaurants and pubs open Christmas lunchtime, serving a sold-out pre-booked house. And I'm hardly in a big town.
owain is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 06:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 20,113
Thank you for your responses.

I feel a Food Network Challenge coming on..."How to prepare Christmas dinner using ingredients from a Quickie Mark!" Will I be able to find a goose at the gas station??

I guess when you have grown sons, you always worry about having enough food around, lol. I'm not so much worried about starving as I am trying to make a Christmas Eve away from home special. I also know how I feel after a long day of travel - moody and tired and just want to pick. So I'd rather try and work out the details now rather than figure it out then...hazard of type A personalty I guess.

Our family lives in Cambridge, so they won't be able to shop for us. I'm going to ask the managing agent about the starter package. I have already emailed some of the pubs in the Chelsea area to ask about their hours for Christmas Eve. Christmas Day we will either be with family or on our own, depending on how we solve our transportation problem.

I will pack a tin of my homemade Christmas cookies and some other special little goodies from home just for added comfort. And on Boxing Day head to the store!
seetheworld is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:10 AM.