Alexandra Palace Farmers Market, the second destination in our new London Market Guide. Our roving Indie Farmer reporters, Aiste Saulyte and Christie Murphy are on the trail to discover the wholesome, the delicious and the best bang for your buck.
Long and lined on both sides. This market is a bustling and bursting offerings of food to go. Giggling Pig is top of the good value food chain. A delicious double sausage roll is only £3 to go. And that’s from a well reared Saddleback. These sausages 85% lean pork. It to come by quality meat content that high. With 65 flavours and packs at around £3.80 for a dozen. Fill your boots! I’d recommend the 3 packs for a £10 and freeze the rest. This pink and black stand has a rich history to it too. Begun by a strong willed woman who’d learned husbandry after serving a stint in prison.
If you’re looking for a lovely little lunch, Ally Pally Market is the place to be. There’s all sorts of cheer on offer. New British and far flung foods are also available. There’s onion bajiis with chutney which smelt unctious. That’s 4 for £5 with chutney.You can grab delicious pies. Filipino wonders. Or help yourself to British plate of lovely Grove Farm lamb, soft sweet onions and new potatoes for £5.
Grove Farm produce a wide array of meat and poultry. It’s priced at the upper end of organic. And quality of the meat looks impressive. Corn fed free ranging chickens have that colour to their skin indicating a nutritious diet. As well as the deep marbled reds and purples of their cuts of the lamb and beef.
Staples here include Dr. Adrian’s Wild Organic. A known on the Farmer’s market circuit. And one we met at Brockley Market. Adrian’s crew of growers, pickers and stall hands provide excellent tomatoes, fruits and vegetables. Hook & Son’s Raw Dairy is also on the scene. Stephen and Phil run a remarkable dairy farm in East Sussex. Remarkable because their milk is not pasteurised or homogenised. This ‘raw milk’ has absolutely nothing added or taken away. The pastures are free of fertilisers and pesticides. Never fear though! The Hook family claims to have been farming for over 250 years! And their raw approach means that their milk is wholly natural and pure.
Alexandra Palace market caters an unusual range of products. Some of which are bloody fantastic. We have Tom of Thempation hawking hemp based products. Ranging from flavorsome pesto to delectable brownies. Hemp’s had a bad wrap for years being the prodigny of the Cannabis plant. But we seem to be getting past all that now, and recognising, as Thomas Jefferson did, that hemp has properties that make it nutrient rich and a versatile and strong textile too. Thempation brownies are a rich and delicious treat, packed with flavour. At £2.50 for a block, their the sort of price you’d pay in a cafe for a regular brownie. Next up Gareth of the Ginger Beer Engine. A remarkable piece of kit invented by Gareth. The Ginger Beer Engine pumps out sweet sparkling beverages. Gareth makes these drinks by hand and uses a traditional Ginger beer plant. All his berries and ginger are fresh, making these homemade treats compelling to drink. Ginger beer, blackcurrant fizz and lemonade. Each is an exciting and refreshing flavour. Gareth’s concienctious too. Using just the right volume of sugar. So his drinks are flavoursome but they won’t bust your arteries.
Dark Chocolate is a mistress of mine. Kam Alive’s proprietor Ariel hooked us with his ‘raw’ cacao beans. These are an experience. A spectrum of flavours to journey through. From spiced red vine grapes, licorice and into the depth of coffee. A single cacoa bean is a transcendence through memories of flavours, aromas, and ultimately, places. Spain, Ecuador, Columbia. These beans, like all chocolate, are a luxury. But with as little added sugar as possible, this cacaco confectionary is far better for you than any high street bloc-a-choc.
Our approach on this trip worked really well. After a quick scout through all the stalls and produce on offer, we took a selection of treats and headed up the hill to Alexandra Palace. It’s a view well worth the walk and a lovely sight to sit and watch the world go by. It’s where we sat and collected our thoughts about what to try next, which producers we felt positive about and why. So if you’re in the area, or fancy a trip up the hill of the North to Alexandra Palace. Check out the market, take a stroll through the park and come and meet all these incredible independent producers of quality grub!
Held every Sunday at either 1 of 2 locations (Campsbourne School or the Park – at the bottom entrance))