Saturdays at Primrose Hill Market

Saturday isn’t usually the day I’d associate with walking around a market, my memories of being at markets are early morning trips on Sundays and my Nan bartering down the price of bananas – which of course she always manage and then she’d buy ‘an ass load’, as we’d say, along with the broccoli, potatoes – a well known staple in every meal, yes we’re Irish – and a few onions, carrots and bits for the week, whilst my Grandad handed over the money and carried the bags.

There wasn’t much my nan didn’t buy from the market stalls, assured they were better quality and value for money. It’s a trend or a survival manner somewhat lost by a generation overtaken by far too much packaging and branding – it’s a shame to think organic is top shelf fresh produce, priced at a cost less realistic for today’s working families, where the cheaper food is modified for mass production, whilst markets that support local farmers and producers are a higher quality yet a less frequented option; with the fast paced lifestyles and so many convenient food on the move options we no longer shop for the week but for the situation.

This is where value is lost, if we all managed to take, what is in fact, extremely pleasurable and leisurely time at the weekend to visit a local market and spend an extra few pennies on the organic and locally produced products we would not only support small, local businesses and their families but we could start to feed ourselves more nutritious and wholesome foods for far less; if only we could resist convenience and posh packaging.

So if Sunday is your lazy day and Saturday claims you with a hangover, worry not and pop yourself down to Primrose Hill Market, there’s nothing stressful about wandering around here (or probably any local market you might happen upon). It’s more like a visual feast, sensory hug and a vibrantly gentle bustle of food education from the stalls, whilst amusing conversations exchange mostly inspired by the surroundings – “How do I cook this Kale?”, “Ooh shall we get some sausages for a sarnie tomorrow morning?”, “Oh look – I need that dog!”

Open from 10am – 3pm there’s plenty of time to get yourself down there even after a lay in and it hosts some really lovely stalls, I took plenty of pictures to encourage you out of the sheets and down to the stalls, so take a walk with me and let’s discuss….
Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Arriving around noon the place is bustling with plenty of stalls already looking like their wares had almost sold out for the day – the bread stall is extremely popular – but there’s plenty more on offer here

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Something for the nutters out there, this peanut butter from Australia is.. shall we say, the nuts!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

If you still haven’t woken up yet, it’s time to smell the coffee – Pact is a new coffee supplier making a big caffeine hit in the ethical and ‘bloody delicious’ markets right now and this particular batch sourced in person from Guatemala – it’s a fruity and pungent little number – definitely woke me up!  

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

There’s something about big wheels of cheese – strangely alluring and once again I find myself fascinated by the sheer volume and variation of colour, texture and flavour all from modest milk. It’s a marvel really.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Trying some of a few of their selection just confirms that the supermarket ‘cheddars’, mass produced ‘bries’ and from freezer to oven breaded ‘camemberts’ are really not cutting the mustard.  THIS is what Wallace and Gromit were flying to the moon for and it’s worth the trip, much better than a quick trip to Tescos.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cheeeeeeese Gromit!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

The cured meats and pancetta are vibrant and the scent of them sets the scene for tapas or a smokey chilli con carne dinner date instantly.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

What a bunch of tarts! These are freshly baked and all ingredients are locally sourced…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Usually out of bounds for me with all that pastry… shortcrust pastry…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Filo pastry…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

And a vanilla and chocolate sponge.. all forms of gluten intolerant torture, but that of which I’m used to at markets

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

But wait! There’s gluten free! Gluten free tarts..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

and gluten free cheeeeesecake… Gromit. Oh yes, and rest assured they had plenty more options but they’re clearly very popular.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

You might not have mush-room for the pate by now but buy a jar and take it home – this stuff’s both diverse and delicious!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Thankfully my pudding stomach’s still empty, because…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Oh. Yes. That is one bad brownie.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Another one for the nutty lovers…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

And even something for the gluten free Goddesses out there

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

There’s definitely a buzz about this place…

 

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

All naturally flavoured honey…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

All completely organic ingredients and the flavours are intense!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

The extra hot chili? Yeah, no messing about here – you just need to try it – this is amazing! I’d happily put this in a marinade, a salad dressing or in my chilli con carne.. it’s packing seriously good heat!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

And this is a better alternative for the kids (and me) when it comes to treating your sweet tooth to chocolate

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

This place is a total honey trap!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Fresh produce – the colours, the smells, the textures, it’s hard to think why would you want to hide any of this in packaging? Pick it up, give it a squeeze, give it a sniff become more intuitive with your food – what do you actually fancy?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

If I was hungover this would be the perfect cure.. a cold craft beer or two?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

and perhaps some fresh duck buns on the side? I hear they taste quacking!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Honestly, I’m opting for the fresh juice, lured in by the array of  vibrant colours – I feel better just looking at them.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Now it’s a shame they have to emphasise with the word ‘very’ but I can understand – again you see ‘free range’ frequently now, but sadly I’m not even sure I believe the packaging on most products in shops, their feed and quality of freedom is still up for debate if you ask me. These however, farmer’s own fresh and I bet they taste like very  free range eggs.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

And a real chicken stock, the perfect base to mix with your fresh veg for a homemade soup or maybe a casserole. Local and free chickens, surely there’s something satisfying in enjoying this produce that overwhelms the need for a quick trip to the supermarket or local takeaway? At least some of the time! I appreciate that life isn’t always so free to make the right choices and it definitely takes some forward planning to stay on track with it.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

All the fruit and veg here is organic and my god it looks wonderful just all stacked and piled up everywhere

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

All shapes, sizes, colours and variations with a choice for as little or as much as you need

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

and some handy advice and tips on hand should you be wondering, “what on earth is that and how do I cook it?!”

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

A good reminder, if ever one was needed that all shapes, sizes, lumps, bumps and colours are equally beautiful without the labels and expensive packaging and more so it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Organically grown fruit and veg offer up so much more nutrients it’s quality over quantity and ultimately you’ll need less to attain the benefits.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Starving after having a good wander and some rather in-depth chats with the traders of the stalls it’s time to buy some sustenance of a high standard!  We all know eggs work every time when it comes to brunching..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

but this time I went really indulgent..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Toastits to the rescue – gluten free brown bread with goats cheese, caramelised onion chutney, chili, prosciutto toasted to crispy crunchy delight and spruced up with rocket… Yes, yes and yes.

Well having shared that with Rachel (trying to savour the flavours, but mostly just a two minute period of ooh and ahh and mmm’ing and between us it was gone) naturally it’s only fair to try the other one on the menu too…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Gluten free seeded bread with melted mozzarella, juicy sundried tomatoes, a little kick of chili (totally optional), rather crispy bacon and that ravishing rocket escaping from all angles.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Rockin’!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

There’s so many local market’s around London, but I have to say I really would recommend popping by Primrose Hill to visit this one.. it’s lovely, the food’s beautiful and the people and the atmosphere is wonderful.

Making food shopping an occasion and don’t forget to bring a tote bag to carry home all your incredible goods for the week!

Happy weekend!

C.x

Links:

Primrose Hill Market

Primrose Hill Market Traders List & Details

 

 

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Flip Dunning
    October 8, 2015 at 10:30

    Superb blog – I thoroughly enjoyed it. Stands out from all the others! X Flip

    • Reply
      Catherine
      October 8, 2015 at 14:31

      Thank you Flip, it’s so kind of you to say so, that’s made my day 🙂 Best of luck with the Market – I’ll pop by and say ‘Hi’ next time! x

  • Reply
    Mike
    October 12, 2015 at 15:08

    Thanks Cat! This is a great summary of the market.

    Look forward to seeing you again there soon.

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