Monday, 23 November 2009

Sunday Marketing

The children and I have a happy new Sunday morning routine. While G goes for a run or a swim, we get on the bus and go a couple of miles up the road to Walthamstow for the weekly farmers' market.
C, on the bus to Walthamstow, doing his impression of a teenager

Walthamstow has a famous daily market which is a wonderful madness of stalls selling fruit and veg, clothes, toothpaste, buttons, sweets, handbags, shellfish, CDs and herbs. The stallholders are all local Eastenders and they bellow their prices at the top of their voices to the crowds squeezing past.

But the Sunday farmers' market is very different. It is part of the London Farmers' Markets organisation and is much smaller and quieter than the weekday version. The stallholders just sell food and drink and are all producers. Many are from Essex and Kent but others come from eye watering distances to sell here. They don't bellow as loudly as their midweek counterparts.

The first stall the children and I always stop at is The Giggly Pig Company who are there every week (their website gives details of their shop and all the other markets they sell at). I love their slogan: "No fat or crap in our sausages!". The women manning the stall each week are so kind and offer the children endless free samples. I often buy their sausages but the highlight is their faggots, which are the best I have ever tasted - savoury, meaty and not too salty. Ask C what is favourite food is at the moment and he will say faggots.

They're an old fashioned and rather unfashionable food I think, but I'll keep singing their praises and so will my children. Are any of you fans?

The next stop at the market has to be a cheese stall. The cheese producers vary each week; last week we had a buffalo cheese producer from Gloucestershire and this week the Lincolnshire Poachers were there. Yet again they were very understanding about my greedy children sampling every single one of their cheeses. But maybe the stallholders are wiser than me, because pretty soon I had O asking for this one, C asking for that one, and I ended up buying both.

The last stall was one at which I got to do ALL the sampling - the Millwhites Cider stall. So good.

And actually doing all the sampling myself didn't make me any more decisive. I bought one of each type of cider on the basis that G would need to try them all as well.


  1. I hope you got help carrying it all home!

  2. I used to spend Saturdays at Walthemstow market in the late 60s/early 70s when it was like an old-fashion football crowd just to get east end market with jellied eel stalls and pie and mash shopes, nothing vaguely fashionable or trendy about it! Happy days!

  3. Fascinated by Cobbledicks Cider!!!
    Mmm, sausages sound amazing. Never tried a faggot, I am ashamed to say!
    You are lucky having such a fabulous market nearby every week-we have one here once in a blue moon and it's usually on a week day so I'm working. x

  4. No2 was always a terror at the cheese counter, finishing off practically all the tasters!
    I've never tried faggots, and have to be honest, the name alone puts me off!


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