And so it came to pass, on a miserable, wet Sunday, you know, one of those that Londoners relish or despise. The debut of Newington Green Market, the latest addition to the area’s weekly markets was launched.
Did I mention the launch fell on a wet, horrible Sunday? I think I did. You see, I was pretty distraught at having to say goodbye to my duvet but moved by greater forces (an empty fridge and an even emptier stomach) off I went, rain-proofed from head to toe, on my bicycle.
First impressions as I arrived at the Newington Green Primary school: good location and a nice little setting, with plenty of seats. There was the customary farmers market fare, a combination of fresh produce, food stalls and a distinctively local feel to it, which is what I think the organisers were trying to achieve. Founder Jessica Vos, whose previous project was the Harringay market, told us she wanted a place to bring the community together “where locals could celebrate good food, meet, shop and eat”. And that’s what I set about doing.
As well as the usual offerings, vegetable stalls, butcher, pizzas and other baked goods – breads and cakes, a little stroll revealed some nice surprises. I chatted to Nick Vadasz, of Vadasz Deli, about his Hungarian-style pickles. It was the first time someone had talked to me so passionately about fermented vegetables! I’m still not entirely convinced about the “incredible health benefits” of this delicacy but that was one damn good beetroot sauerkraut, that much I can tell you.
And then the best surprise of the morning: beef jerky! I’ve yet to meet anyone more enthusiastic about beef jerky than moi, and I’ve yet to find the good stuff in London – the best examples of my beloved snack had to be brought back from the US – oh, you should see the face my friends pull when I answer their question: “Going to America, want anything brought back?” Priceless. Anyway I digress. Yes, I’m glad to announce the search is over. I found my beef jerky supplier from now on, Cobble Lane Cured, the cured meat stall of Adam, Matt and Mat, three friends and butchers who decided to get together and go down the charcuterie road.
Their meat is British and free range and their workshop is just down the road, at the Angel. You can’t get more local than that. Happily clutching my brown paper bag of tasty desiccated cow, I decided it was time to eat and I went for the obvious choice on a cold, drizzly day: a stew. A hearty, warm stew on Christabel’s stall, where you always have two options, meat or veggie, both gluten free and accompanied by delicious home-made bread and home-made pesto.
Shopping done, belly full and the rain finally decided to give the punters a break, the market was starting to liven up as I was leaving, I was tempted to stay but my duvet beckoned.
Newington Green School, Matthias Road, N16 8NP
Every Sunday from 13 October, 10am to 2pm
Underground – Highbury & Islington.
Overground – Canonbury, Dalston Kingsland Bus – 21, 73, 141, 236, 341, 476
By bike – bike racks available on the Green and on Green Lanes (outside Tesco Express)