Saturday, 24 September 2011

Brockley Market

I first heard of plans for a new weekly market in Brockley on the ever-excellent Brockley Central. Asked what we would like to see there, I had hoped for a fish stall, good bread and decent vegetables. The commenters can be a pretty funny old bag, with one complaining that the Lewisham Way location was a crime hotspot; at 10am - 2pm on Saturdays, I don't think you have much to be worried about.

Today was the opening day, and made the half hour stroll to see what was on offer.

Bees! Local Brockley honey was for sale. The man there was happily answering questions on how to make honey.

The range of breads available was staggering and this stall also offered vegan / gluten free cakes. No idea what it was called though, it didn't seem to have much signage.

There were a few fruit and veg stalls, all local produce from Kent. I particularly liked a veg stall that sold salad leaves by the weight and you're invited to grab your own. The man serving told us to feel free to taste the leaves; sorrel was a huge eye opener for me, a citrus ka-blammo on the tongue.

The fish stall was plentiful, though I found the prices a little higher than F. C Sopers in Nunhead, where I usually shop.

The largest queue while I was there was at Dark Fluid, serving up beautiful coffees. Likewise, The Red Herring Smokehouse were doing a roaring trade with BLTs and bacon sandwiches. Served in decent bread, the bacon had the rind on which made things a bit messy, but it had decent flavour. I was hoping to see some of their smoked fish to purchase but alas, it was not to be seen; perhaps in later weeks.

A small area with tables and benches is a nice touch as I'm not great at standing up eating.

I came home with this beauty - a Numex Twilight chilli plant. The chillis start off purple and progress through to orange and red when ripe. Though only 5 / 10 on the chilli heat, it was just so pretty. £4.50 was a good price too. The man at the stall we bought this from seemed really knowledgeable, giving us advice on when best to water and pick them. He had other really interesting plants too, like chocolate mint, lemon balm and pineapple sage. We skulked round the stall, gently rubbing the leaves exclaiming "it really smells like pineapply sage! / chocolately mint!" etc.

By the time we left, the market was nicely busy; not Borough Market-level of busy, thank god, but definitely buzzing. Of course there will be those who moan about the yummy mummy brigade - the prams were out in force - but you know, they need to eat too. Others will moan about produce being more expensive than Deptford / Lewisham markets, or the supermarkets, but the quality is definitely better. It is not a pahhnd-a-bowl place. I for one welcome the market and am excited to see it develop.


Every Saturday, 10am - 2pm

Lewisham College Car Park, Lewisham Way, SE4 1UT

Cash only - nearest cash point is by Tesco Express on Lewisham Way

All my photos from the market are here.


THNick said...

You must have got there early. By 12.30ish all that bread and several other stalls had totally sold out and the queues were huge. A great success, but I'll be there early next week.

Richard Elliot said...

I'm even more looking forward to my Brockley return now that we've got such a fabulous looking market.

Great photos.

Kavey said...

We have some chocolate mint in the garden, in a big old pot. Every winter it seems to die away completely but resurrects in spring, like clockwork.

We used to have pineapple sage too but it died and never came back.

Am envious of the Twilight chilli. I did a seed swap with a friend but not a single seed of the Twilight germinated. :(

Brockley Jon said...

I saw a girl walk past with that fab little chilli plant - must have been you! Keep up posted on how they grow, I don't have much luck with the herbs, but have yet to try windowsill veg.

Lizzie said...

THNick - Yep, got there just after 10. I'm not surprised they sold out early; the turnout was great. If I were a trader I'd have underestimated rather than over too.

Richard - thank you. It's a great addition.

Kavey - What do you do with the chocolate mine?

Brockley Jon - I will do! I find basil, mint and rosemary are the hardiest of window herbs.

Nic said...

Lucky you, what a fabulous market!

offmotorway said...

I was involved with a Brockley regeneration project some years ago, so it's great to hear about this market. That bread stall does look amazing. And good luck with your chillis - I've yet to have success at growing them...!

Gin and Crumpets said...

That is the prettiest chilli plant I have ever seen - I want one!

Perry said...

I was there selling at this Market (Perry Court Organic Veg) Going to bring lots more produce next week so hopefully we will still have plenty of stuff by 12:30!

ASTONS said...

Hi there everyone, we are the bakers with no signage, I do apologise for not having enough stuff last Saturday. There will be a lot more next week, together with free little parcels of sourdough starter for any budding sourdough bread bakers. By the way, we are ASTONS, but please don't tell everyone.

Crystal said...

That crab looks amazing! We can't get them easily here. Makes me miss the coast!