Not wanting to go to the Brick Lane market, I decided to seek refuge in a smaller, more manageable market off the beaten path. Maybe only a tenth of the size of Borough, the Marylebone Farmers’ Market is one of the city centre’s real hidden gems and because of this it’s virtually tourist free.
Selling everything from fresh veg and organic greens to sausage sandwiches and homemade quiches, this place is a more subdued foodie haven. I was pleasantly surprised by the wide selection given the market’s small size and unassuming location (it’s basically in a car park by the way).
However, this is not a place to go to if you are just hoping to soak up the atmosphere and grab a quick bite to eat and hang around. This is very much a place to go if you are looking to buy food as part of your weekly shop. It was very evident by the number of baskets and bags people were bringing into the market that they were all locals doing just this. Along those lines, this is the kind of market you have to go to and then go straight home because if you’re buying meats that need refrigerating and a heavy sac of potatoes, you’re not going to go strolling around London carrying them.
I picked up some pizza bianca and focaccia from one of the bread stalls, a tomato and spinach quiche from Popina, some organic eggs from Galileo Organic Farm, Poulet Chasseur (chicken in a white wine sauce with mushrooms, tarragon, dijon mustard, onions, garlic and herbs) from Madame Gautier, and a jar of tomato sauce from The Tomato Stall.
Madame Gautier is by far the most visually impressive stall, producing freshly made dishes from regional French recipes, some of them simmering in giant pans in front of you, while others are conveniently packaged for you to take home and re-heat. The Poulet Chasseur wasn’t that cheap at £8 for two breasts, but it was worth it (and we are in Marylebone after all – posh doesn’t come cheap). Prices for all the dishes were pretty consistent – 6 beef meatballs for £7.50. Next time, I’ll go for the French Shepherd’s Pie or Pot Roasted Chicken à l’Ancienne or Confit of Beef.
Despite the somewhat steep prices (£1.90 for half a dozen organic eggs and £1.30 for a square of focaccia bread), if you want good quality, organic, fresh produce, meats, and ingredients then this is definitely the place to come. It’s also really interesting to see and hear the passion all these farmers and vendors have for their products and livelihoods. An example is The Potato Shop, selling a range of 20+ heritage and more well-known potatoes. They know pretty much everything about potatoes.
Or The Parson’s Nose. They’re very into their sausages (that was not meant to be sexual)
Other such yummy looking delights include assorted farm-pressed juices from Chegworth Valley
And the pizza from The Old Post Office Bakery
All in all, there’s so many farmer’s markets in London I wouldn’t rush back here due to its distance from my flat, but if I lived in Marylebone I would absolutely come here frequently to buy some fresh greens and meats.
I also really enjoyed the high number of dogs in attendance at this market, including this little guy who was just loving it