Berkeley restaurants

Willow on the Green brings a taste of Britain to SF’s inner sunset

At the Inner Sunset, it’s easy to satisfy your craving for Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Peruvian, or Indian cuisine, but there seems to be something missing in the neighborhood.

Willow on the Green, a store which opened in May, offers two dozen types of British cheese as well as chilled and pantry goods from the UK, including haggis meat pies, apple scones of land and more varieties of chutney than you knew. .


Tartan abounds, both on the chocolates and picnic blankets available for purchase, at Inner Sunset’s Willow on the Green.(via Instagram)

There are packets of potato chips in smoked pheasant and wild mushroom flavors. Along one wall is a selection of teas, honey and jams. Cartwright & Butler teas are on the high end, but of course there’s also PG Tips. Lime curd, damson jam and blood orange marmalade from Thursday Cottage sit alongside Jacob’s cream crackers, Walker’s Highland oatmeal crackers and Bath’s charcoal squares. Your sweet tooth can be indulged with a tub of gooey caramel sauce or a bar of Scottish chocolate flavored like Almond Raisin Orange Dundee Cake.

Specially commissioned paintings of grazing animals by Richmond District resident artist Amelia Hogan decorate the walls. The boutique’s floral arrangements are meant to evoke the subdued colors of a British country meadow. Out back are picnic baskets, perfect for filling up with your choice of cheese, crackers, cold cuts and sweets before walking the block and a half into Golden Gate Park. Scottish tartan picnic blankets with a waterproof backing are also on sale.

A selection of chutneys for your pantry.You didn’t even know you needed all those Celtic chutneys for your pantry.(Frederic Hamber)

Sinclair’s culinary knowledge runs deep. In London he attended Butlers Wharf Chef School, founded by Sir Terence Conran, and later was part of a pilot for a Channel 4 show called food factory. He became a chef at Copthorne Barracks in Shropshire and soon became head of the officers’ mess and the general’s personal chef. He is proud to represent some small brands brought to the United States for the first time.

He also delights in the occasional moment a British customer walks in, clearly reserving judgment on whether the store is the real deal until their eyes land on the jars of pickled cockles, a specialty so unique to London that all doubt evaporates. How exactly are pickled cockles properly eaten? “A toothpick and a beer,” he said. “It’s a bar snack.”

// Willow on the green, 1327B 9th Ave. (Inner Sunset), facebook.com/willowonthegreen

Willow on the Green offers over 20 varieties of British cheese.(via Instagram)