Sunday, 9 June 2013

Monthly Farmers Market, Church Street, Colchester

*I think I need a new camera. I'm not going to make anything look worth visiting with my crappy old Canon, but for the time being I'm afraid you'll have to bear with me and use a bit of imagination...*

I had heard of a monthly Farmers Market that is held on the first Friday of every month in Colchester so thought I'd sniff it out last week. We had friends up for the weekend and I wanted to cook something for them using some local produce. Whilst in Hackney we had lived within walking distance of Broadway Market and often took a short bus ride to Borough Market, so I suppose I was going to the market here with very high (unrealistic) hopes. I really do have to keep reminding myself that the only place like London is London but maybe that's one of the reasons we don't live there anymore. I don't even know if that makes sense.

Anyway, the Farmers Market here is held in the Colchester Arts Centre which is based in a huge converted Church. I hadn't been here before but have heard a lot of good things about the place. Among other things (plays, exhibitions, music) a lot of well known comedians test out their shows here before they go on tour as apparently the local audience are very polite and they never get heckled!

Unfortunately, the market isn't very well publicised which is a shame as I think that explains why it wasn't very busy, I was rather surprised at first by the lack of stalls. The little I had managed to find about the market on the internet said there were 20 stalls. There definitely wasn't 20 stalls last Friday. However, the standard of produce for sale was really high. It was very much quality over quantity. There were stalls selling Chutney, Herbs, Fish, Meat, Honey, Cakes, Soap (which I thought was cheese, must wear my glasses next time), Vegetables and Bird boxes. So not a great amount but the prices were very good and the stall holders were super friendly. One thing I've noticed since moving from London is that everyone here has time to talk to and chat. It's great and is a bit like going back in time. In a good way.

Delicious Capers. 
Not grown locally (from the Pyrenees!) but pickled and 
packaged locally which sort of counts.

Huge Oysters

Skate Wings

One Skate Wing for tea, I've never had one before, and a bag of cockles for Wig. 

Small Moroccan Mint and Massive Fennel which could grow up to 5 feet tall if I don't kill it.

I couldn't bypass a stall with the word Wig in it and I'm glad I didn't.
I bought eggs, bacon and sausages for our breakfast on Sunday and it was all delicious. 
It's worth going to the market for this stall alone actually. 
As well as delicious food from the farm, you can also buy sheepskins.

So, even though its only a small market I've already decided I'm going to go next month. Small but perfectly formed. It's really good to support local businesses and hopefully next time there may be a few more stalls, apparently there is usually a game stall that sells homemade squirrel pasties. Wig will love that.

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