I decided to pay a visit to the September Sydenham and was surprised by how many diverse stalls were on offer – everything from cakes, muffins and bread to cheese, ham, tarts and pasta to doughnuts, burritos, honey and biscuits. There was loads to eat there or to take home.
I started at Elvira’s Secret Pantry and chatted about how she makes her bread (a skill I am trying to perfect and so I love any tips). I bought a couple of vegetable tarts that were just the right size for an individual portion, some rosemary bread that smelt fantastic and some very sinful looking cherry cake. (At least it has fruit in it, right?) It was only much later on, after scoffing everything and loving every mouthful, I realised that she bakes everything to be dairy, gluten and yeast free. Who knew that something so healthy could actually taste so good?
I then moved on to Capo Caccia for a taste sensation with gorgeous cheese and cured meat from Sardinia. The pecorino was so good that it had to be added to my bag right there and then. I have since topped various pasta with it and can confirm that it is absolutely delicious.
I kicked myself for having had a substantial breakfast as I got to the burrito stand. (Do yourself a favour and don’t eat before coming along to the market!) I did manage to sample their home made guacamole though, which was lovely and fresh.
Mr Muffin was the next stall, and my goodness, what a revelation! I always thought that muffins were a bit dry, over sized cakes that came in chocolate, blueberry or lemon flavour. How wrong could I be? These were obviously baked fresh and included flavours such as sausage and tomato sauce, cheese and chilli jam and a berry concoction that was literally overflowing with fruit. I bought the sausage and brown sauce version and ate it a couple of hours later for lunch. It was the best darn thing I had eaten in weeks.
The other food stalls included lots of fresh bread, some unbelievably good-looking cakes, several types of honey (one made by bees fed on eucalyptus!) and some fresh pasta.
I moved on to the art and craft stalls and was really impressed with the quality. Nothing looked “home made” but it was all original and made to an exceptionally high standard. It was then I spotted it – in the middle of the first stall, as if lit with a spotlight, a purple tweed bag that seemed to glow. It was the perfect gift for my friend’s birthday. In just the half hour I had been there, I had learnt about cheese, bought lunch, supper and the illusive present I had been searching for. I shall definitely be returning next month!