Visit to a Snack Emporium.
I recently discovered that Carpo, a newly opened nuts, dried fruit, chocolate and coffee store in the heart of London is the place for high quality snacks. Located in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, Carpo is definitely different from the average store found at such a location but strangely enough, it fits right in and it’s easy to see why.
Carpo sources its produce from all over the world; from Ghanaian cocoa to salted groundnuts from China and walnuts from the Himalyas. A fitting tribute to its location – after all no other location in London epitomises cosmopolitanism like Piccadilly Circus.
Carpo is of Greek origin and this is obvious in its warm Greek hospitality and the willingness to the feed everyone that walks through the door. (Very friendly staff who allow customers to sample all the wares before making a final choice of purchase.)
The store is named after Carpo the Greek goddess tasked with ripening and harvesting fruit in autumn and providing food for the people. Armed with this philosophy, all produce are harvested at the peak of their ripeness to ensure amazing taste. Quality and seasonality is always a priority with particular care to ensure products arrive in the store at its absolute prime.
The store’s logo says it all – Carpo is about the circle of life. The circle of Carpo’s logo represents the endless circle of life while the green leaf is a symbol of new beginning and the renaissance of nature.
Carpo is hard to resist once you walk through its doors. It has a quirky charm that is unique; it feels like you have entered snack heaven or a magical emporium. Upon entering, visitors are confronted with colourful products stacked high, giving the store a vintage appearance. Slabs of chocolate in vast quantities are splayed across tables while rustic sacks bursting with an array of nuts also add a traditional market like feel.
Another distinctive feature about Carpo is that everything in store can be eaten straight off or paired with others to make a healthy meal. While the raw materials are from far and wide, most of the process and production takes place in store – many products on the shelves come straight from the oven situated in the store.
It’s a friendly sort of place with extremely friendly staff who eagerly welcome visitors and are willing to help you experience what the store has to offer. Apart from its nuts, dried fruit and chocolate, Carpo also boasts some of the best tasting coffee in the capital – their iced cappuccino consisting of espresso topped with whipped icy foam is definitely worth a try.
It was impossible to sample everything Carpo has to offer in one short visit but I did give it a go and here’re some of my favourites:
Wasabi Nuts: Green coated nuts with wasabi
Chocolate, Strawberry and Pink pepper: The flavours hit the taste buds in exactly that order –in one word, delicious!
The Power Mix: This is a mixture of nuts and berries full of proteins, fibre and essential fats. They can be eaten alone or with yoghurt or as a source of protein and fibre with breakfast.
Orange peel: I haven’t eaten peels before but I couldn’t stop myself. They were deliciously sweetened with Greek grape juice so no added sugar.
- Very friendly and helpful staff
- Carpo does things with fruits like I’ve never seen before.
- It offers innovative combinations of chocolate flavours that are truly unique and not likely to be seen in your average chocolate store.
- Carpo allows you to be as healthy or naughty as you want. There are indulgent chocolate, coated nuts and chips that go brilliantly with a glass of wine as well as unsalted and unsweetened nuts and fruits for the health conscious. In other words, you can go nuts at Carpo. It is a case of one try and you are hooked.
Carpo London. 16 Piccadilly, W1J 0DE. Tel : +44 0207 2877233