Itching Up To Get In Your Kitch-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!
March 25, 2014
That Was The Food Week That Was!
This Little Piggy Went To Broadway Market
March 9, 2014
Broadway Market is ‘Brand East London’ in action. It’s a picture-perfect movie set, in a Richard-Curtis-goes-hipster kind of way. The sun is shining, the cherry blossom is out, the colourful stalls are in full flow and we even get a celebrity spot - Mischa Barton sitting outside the pub.
Just ten years ago Broadway Market was a rundown corner of East London, today it has achieved gentrification, trendification and destinationification™ (I own that one).
The market is packed. Girls with louche topknots, beardy boys, decent sized dogs (no handbag rodents round here), the highest concentration of creatives outside of Shoreditch (probably)…and, of course, us two infiltrators from South of the river. In short, it’s the market to be seen at.
So what can foodies expect from Broadway Market? The answer is a lot, all squashed into a short stretch of high street. There’s choice galore and all the buzz words are accounted for - organic, sustainable, local, artisanal, you name it...Independent food producers' stalls are laden with everything from the local German bakery's huge slices of cakes to home-brewed ginger beer, Lancashire bomb cheeses, French saucisson, chutneys made with Colombian feijoa, Iberico bellota and fabulously fresh fruit, veg and flowers.
It's even educational! Thanks to one of the veg stalls, I now know that Flower Sprouts (the lovechild of Mr Sprout and Ms Kale) are the next big superfood with double the amount of B6 and Vitamin C than English sprouts - just cut the flower sprouts from the stem and cook like kale. Next on my list to try.
There are plenty of high quality take-away food stalls too serving up dishes from around the world - haggis toasties, posh hotdogs, Persian street food, Indian curries, crepes and plenty more but the biggest queue was for Spinach and Agushi, the Ghanian stall (much to Chrissa's delight!).
Its not all about the food though, there are a few stalls dotted in between the cheese and chutneys selling knitted baby gear, vintage clothes, books and, get this…lingerie with knickers at £15 a pop!
The London restaurants and shops along the road play to their strengths too. There's a lady making delicious-looking spinach and cheese gozleme perched in the window of the Turkish Broadway Cafe, the local launderette doubles up as a vintage clothes shop and Fin and Flounder, the fish mongers specialising in fish and wine pairing, have a stunning window display complete with ship’s lanterns. We reversed at top speed out of the vintage furniture shop though, the sight of a 60s formica kitchen table going for £240 was just a gentrified step too far.
When it's time for a break there are plenty of choices - several pubs (as modelled by Mischa), plenty of restaurants, a handful of cafés and a bunch of deck chairs in front of the pop-up cafe/bar on a side street. But be prepared to get cosy. Everywhere is jammers and, with space at a premium round here, benches and communal tables seem to be the order of the day. Never a problem - foodies must surely be the friendliest crowd on the planet?
Broadway Market is one of London’s most attractive 'up-market' markets, full of great food stalls, unusual flavours, delicious smells and vibrant colours. The quality is right up there and, like all the best markets, it’s the perfect place for people-watching - but good luck with finding a seat.
Getting to Broadway Market...
Check TFL for the tube, train and bus options. My personal recommendation is to walk along Regents Canal - the market is well sign-posted so you won't miss it.