l love a good market, especially one that promotes being local. So LFE cannot help but feel excited by the soon-to-be Crystal Palace food market given its philosophy of locally sourced, locally sold.
This not-for-profit market is an initiative of the Crystal Palace Transition Town, a scheme committed to building sustainable communities, including local food systems. Stalls are available to environmentally sustainable producers, those "as local as possible" to the area, who produce seasonal food on a small scale.
Bread Bread of Brixton with its sourdough and wood oven bread; Brett & Bailey, two local lads who just love to bake; seasonal marketers - Jacob's Ladders Farms from East Sussex, as well as the organic producers from Brambletye Farm, East Sussex, have already signed up to take part in this great community-based food initiative.
The market will open on Saturday 11th May and will run weekly from 10.00 - 15.00 at Haynes Lane, London SE19 3AP. (More details can be found on their website. You call also follow them on twitter @cpfoodmarket.
A few weeks ago, I promised a write-up of my walk through Islington. Here it is ...
Islington is by far one of London's most eclectic, abet expensive, and interesting of London villages. Avoid the immediate area around Angel and head straight for Camden Passage to the lively antique market and design stores. Here you’re likely to pick up that set of bone-handed cutlery that you’ve always longed for or some champagne-frosted art deco glassware. Amidst the old, you’ll also discover some modern finds like Loop for beautiful hand-crafted knitwear or the effervescent and fifties nostalgic cafe, Issy’s Milk Way. Along Upper Street is design central. Aria is a must see for its well curated selection of home wares as is relative new comer, Folklore. End your day with a cocktail at the speakeasy inspired The Bar With No Name on Colebrook Row.
HAVE you ever wondered about the green shelters scattered throughout London that look like lost garden sheds?
They are cabbie shelters, of which there are only eleven of these Grade II buildings left in London. The shelters predate the modern black cab and were first built for hansom and later hackney cabs by the Cabmen's Shelter Fund in the 1870s and continued to be built until 1914. Their aim to provide cabbies with a place to buy some decent food and rest. (Ask a cabbie and he will tell you they were built so that the aristocracy would be guaranteed a way of getting home.)
With very few left in London, I felt extremely honoured to be invited inside one when I was last in Kensington. I had always presumed that the front window was all there was. A window kiosk used by workmen and cabbies to get a cup of tea and a sandwich while on the road.
Not so. Around the back is a cabbie-only entrance and inside, a small café equipped with a kitchen with bench tables and seating. (If you have ever wondered about their size, the shelters were only allowed to be the width of a horse and carriage, when built).
Inside, cabbies sit, enjoying variations of a full English breakfast. The menu is classically British and it looked and smelt good. The conversation was equally appetising reminding me that cabbies are a vibrant and living part of London’s history.
Asked for their tips on the best places to go in London, I was told Bermondsey and Wapping. The Town of Ramsgate pub came highly recommended because of its gruesome history. Men pressed ganged into serving on ships and convicts destined for the Colonies, were held in its cellars. In nearby Execution Dock, the condemned were hanged then chained to posts in the river. Another spoke of the spice warehouses along Shad Thames and how the smell continued for five years after they were closed in the early seventies.
So, the next time, you are in a black cab, ask – what is the best place in London to visit. Chances are you’ll be surprised by the answer. The tip will be worth more than your cab fare.
A big thank you to Sidney born on 26 January who introduced me to the folk at Kensington shelter. My cup of tea was one of the best that I have ever had.
Who said that the pop-up had become urbane? Last weekend's Kath's Cakes and Today's Special Pin Up Pop Up showed us that the planned spontaneity of the guerrilla renegade pop-up is still with us. More installation than restaurant annex and more community that the cult of the individual, it was a reminder of what makes the London food and design scene so interesting. All I can say is that I can't wait for the next one.