Monday, 9th of January 2017
3 pm on a January day and Knightsbridge is immersed in a grey cloud which is pushed by the wintery breeze. There’s not much light, as if the weather is telling us that we must be in London.
A brief visit to Harrods. To the Food Hall of course, what else?
The Food Hall is converted into a gigantic restaurant, where high style marble bars serve from Japanese and Asian Fusion cuisine, to Seafood and Caviar, not to mention the Rotisserie and the Barbecue with its selection of matured Angus and Wagyu beef. No less than what would be expected of course.
But the old store is gone, as it is gone the feeling that you have entered a world of wonder where unknown and exotic products, or simply basics of immaculate presentation and packaging would be sold by pure English bred working class gentlemen impeccable in their spotless white uniforms and caps.
Why is the cheese counter looking rather familiar? Why are the Christmas cookies so similar to those ones we’ve just bought at our local shop? Passing by the fresh fruit counter one is not surprised anymore by the Thai Coconuts, which look rather Brazilian, or by the Tamarindos from Colombia which are exactly like those Passion Fruit Tomatoes we have in Madeira.
One cannot avoid being hit in the face by a wave of nostalgia.
Nostalgia for a time when our world was small enough for exotic things to be found in London. Nostalgia for the child like moments of wonder and mystery, a true promise of a world to be discovered, that was inherent to a visit to The Food Hall of Harrods. For a moment we desperately want the movie to rewind as we blame whoever showed us so many more things after the old Harrods.
And suddenly the question looms: Was it the shop that disappeared or did we move ourselves and our world too fast too much?
I suppose we’ll never know for sure…