Mention London Fields and food market, and many immediately think of Broadway, with its flat white coffees from Climpson & Son, fish from Fin & Flounder and flaky pastries from L’Eau à la Bouche.
But Broadway Market is actually just a street not a market (apart from on Saturdays when there is in fact a market on Broadway Market!). The market we’re talking about here is London Fields Farmers' Market, held on Sundays at the nearby London Fields School. The market launched in May 2010, and in August 2011 changed hands, with Louis Loft Schultz taking over the reins.
Though this little patch of Hackney may already be a foodie destination, unlike the shops, restaurants and Saturday stalls of Broadway Market, the Sunday farmers’ market focuses on produce: fruit, veg, and meat. “The Saturday stalls on Broadway Market offer lots of interesting cooked food,” explains Louis, “but there’s not a huge range of raw food. Some people also find it too crowded to do a proper bit of shopping.”
The farmers’ market is about buying top-notch ingredients from individual producers. James Evans from Pastures Farm sells his carefully reared poultry, and Perry Court Farm comes in from Kent with seasonal fruit and vegetables – not organic, but unsprayed, local and good value. There’s also Johannes, a German running an Italian stall called Primo & Ultimo, selling homemade pasta, pesto, and tiramisu. “At the moment he’s also selling blackberry jam made with fruits he’s foraged from nearby Hackney Marshes!” says Louis.
Throw in the bakery stalls – one from Tottenham, another from Neasden – and you’ve got a great range of specialist producers. “Most people who go to Broadway Market come from the surrounding areas,” says Louis, “but the people who come to the farmers’ market are very local, mostly from within this postcode. We have around 10-11 regular stalls now, and more will be joining very soon. I see this as a really good community market, focusing on great quality products.”
Flourish Craft Bakery, based in Tottenham, north London, turns out an array of artisan breads and pastries from what used to be a bagel bakery inside the former Tottenham Brewery. The small bakery makes simple but fantastic bread from a variety of wild starters, changing the percentages of ingredients and fermentation processes to produce a range of mostly stone-baked breads, from pain a l’Ancienne – fermented for at least eight hours – to classic sourdough. Pastries include traditionally-made croissants, pain au raisin and an irresistible pear Danish with chocolate and almonds.
By Caspar van Vark
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Market stalls embellishing the colourful tarmac of a primary school playground is no unusual sight. After all, most people will have been to a fÍte of some sort at their local primary school.
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