Irish and British treats at Spencer's Jolly Posh Foods

December 1, 2012 9:21:40 PM PST
While the downtown hotels ramp up their holiday tea service, one small shop is hoping to attract an audience on a scale much smaller.

The theme is all things Irish and British, but there's a lot more than just tea and scones.

It's as if you'd stumbled into a country store, located just up the road from Downtown Abbey. Here, on the overstuffed shelves of Spencer's Jolly Posh Food Store, are the jams, spreads and sweets that any British or Irish ex-pat craves.

"It runs from some very standard British and Irish staples like branston pickle and mustard and hp sauce and salad cream, through to some really nice higher-end stuff that's very hard to get a hold of," said Nick Spencer, the store's owner.

But there's also prepared food, like Spencer's own sausage rolls. Or just opt for a simple, densely-packed scone with clotted cream and preserves.

"The plan is that walking in here is like walking into a little country kitchen in Britain or Ireland, so you wander in, you can have a cup of tea, have a scone, you can have a fresh sandwich," said Spencer.

Two versions here - both of them hearty - include a ploughman's sandwich, consisting of hearty whole meal loaf bread, guinness caramelized onions and mature irish cheddar. Don't forget the rocket - that is, arugula - and some tart branston pickle relish. They'll also make blts with Spencer's line of back bacon or sausage.

Plus, Spencer has also assembled a number of "hampers"-- gift packs, so you can send some British love to a hungry friend or family member.

"We have Christmas puddings, we have mince pies, brandy butter, Christmas cake, Christmas crackers, a ton of items that are very hard to get a hold of over here," he said.

You could just come to Spencer's for a spot of tea and a scone or maybe even a sandwich. Or, you could rent out the entire space for up to 30 people and have a proper British private party.

Reservations are required only if you want to rent out the entire store. Otherwise, you can just drop in anytime.

Spencer's Jolly Posh Foods
1405 W. Irving Park Rd.
312-415-6919
spencerfoods.com

Spencer's Christmas Launch Party
Sunday, Dec 2nd
12 ? 4 pm
www.facebook.com/events/452342348135315


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