If you’re visiting the UK capital on a short-break and have selected as your place of stay somewhere to the west of Central London (say, in the Marylebone/ Hyde Park area), you may be surprised to learn that, come the weekend, you’ll be blessed with a fine selection of farmers markets to choose from for an hour or two’s perusal. Blessed with a plethora of fresh produce – and much more – they’re ideal for a mooch about and for purchasing a tasty lunch before heading off to do whatever else you’ve planned for the day…
South Kensington Farmers Market
(Bute Street and Brompton Road SW7 3EX)
A gem of a little market in the heart of South Ken, this is the place to head to on Saturday mornings (9am-1pm) for the very finest in quality, fresh organic produce. Owing to its popularity with those-in-the-know, be sure to get there early so you can choose from the best on offer before it’s whipped up and away by locals! Indeed, there may be only between 12 and 15 stalls on any weekend, but what they serve up tastes so much better than the packaged produce (even the organic stuff) you’ll get down a supermarket – and, thus, it’ll last longer too. Don’t forget to check-out the fresh herb stall; perfect should you want to take away seeds to try growing your own chili or pak choi plant – depending on how green your fingers are, of course!
Earl’s Court Farmers Market
(12 Warwick Road SW5 9UE)
If it tastes good, is nutritious and unprocessed; you name it, you’ll be able to find it – and buy it – at this market in the district famous for its exhibition halls. Well, this Sunday-only space for food browsers features exhibits of the finest fruit and veg, meats and seafood, breads and cheeses, hot burgers and sausage rolls, eat-straightaway-sandwiches and, yes, ice cream. Smaller, more intimate and, happily, far less crowded than its illustrious competitor over at London Bridge (Borough Market), it’s perfect then for a relaxed Sunday morning or afternoon’s worth of foodie discovery.
Marylebone Farmers Market
(Cramer Street Car Park W1U 3BN)
Offering visitors a little bit of everything (that’s good for the stomach and the taste buds), this one’s a true treasure of the district just north of Mayfair – it pretty much lies between the attractions that are Madame Tussauds and the Wallace Collection – ensuring it’s the ideal place for a Sunday morning jaunt should you be staying at a hotel in Hyde Park like, say, the Shaftesbury International Hyde Park hotel. Indeed, if it’s in season, you’ll find it here – everything from quality potatoes to irresistible oysters and berries of every kind to flowers of every bold, brilliant shade – and its reputation for generating a genuine neighbourhood-style atmos and vibe right in the heart of one of Central London’s most salubrious districts draws all and sundry from miles around. Why not join them? Why not, indeed!
Chelsea Farmers Market
(125 Sydney Street SW3 6NR)
Another destination that’s perfect for a weekend wander, this place may like to call itself a ‘farmer’s market’ but, in truth, that’s a bit of a misnomer, as it’s really a charming little hideaway of respite from hustle-bustle of Chelsea’s King’s Road; just a few short steps away. Comprising a number of permanent shed-cum-chalets hosting individual small-time traders and a handful of eateries and restaurants, it’s unlike anywhere else in the oh-so upmarket, stylish area; the order of the day here then is a fine selection of plants and gardening paraphernalia, fruit and veg and meats and breads, alfresco snacking and pizza-eating, an impressive little bookshop and even pet grooming and dry cleaning. What more could you ask for?
Pimlico Road Farmers Market
(Orange Square SW1W 8UT)
A small but perfectly formed market that, being as it’s located in a neighbourhood that’s perhaps most famed for where British Intelligence hangs out, may be a little out of the way and rarely visited, but nonetheless comes highly recommended should you wish to espy – and try – some outstanding organic produce come a Saturday. Tiny enough to walk around in minutes it might be, but it rarely gets crowded and means you can check out and purchase exactly what you want while easily fulfilling your plans for the rest of the morning/ afternoon. Among all the organic food stalls you’ll find a dairy farmer or two and fish and meat vendors. And, afterwards, why not imagine what it’d be like to be James Bond as you gaze at the striking MI6 building across the other side of the Thames while munching away on your lunch – a hot, tasty sandwich, of course (bring your own vodka Martini)!