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Kingston Market

Home > London > Food and Wine | Markets | Shopping
by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published September 18th 2012
The Ancient Market


Kingston Market has been around since the time of Henry the second. Back then it wasn't a place just to buy tomatoes, but to throw them as well. Criminals were put in the stocks, and since there were so many greengrocers, they were probably frequently pelted with vegetables.



Customers have been enjoying Kingston Market for 800 years, and not just humans. My guinea pigs love it when I go to Kingston. To them it means one thing: parsley. Parsley is their favourite food, but I don't bother getting it from the supermarket; a few stalks costs 1.25, and parsley only lasts seconds when my guinea pigs get their gnashers into it. At Kingston's Ancient Market, I can get a big bundle for only 50p and they can enjoy it for several days. They also love corn on the cob, and the market is the best place to get it because it still comes with the leaves.



Not only can you get fresh fruit and vegetables at a much lower price than at the supermarket, but there is a lot more variety. If you don't mind being referred to as 'love' or 'darling', then you can visit my favourite stall. The grocer sells heritage tomatoes that come in all shapes, sizes (some the size of a small grapefruit), and colours. He also has uncommon mushrooms, and fresh samphire. Down at the fruit stalls you can get doughnut peaches, globe grapes, and varieties of orange I've never heard of before.



Check out the farmers' market stall for organic eggs and apple cider, and don't forget the artisan bread at the two bakers', who also sell delicious looking pastries and cakes.



Some new dealers have recently opened at Kingston, selling preserves such as bacon jam, diabetic jam, and marmalade. There is also a butcher's, fishmonger's, and a pretzel stall.



If you feel like a bite to eat outside then you can try some different cuisines: spicy Moroccan tagines, healthy Japanese noodles, and a burger bar with exotic meats. I tried an ostrich burger there once. It had a nice flavour, but I found it quite chewy.



Food is not the only thing available from the market. There is also a flower stand, party gift stall, and video stall for anyone who still has a VHS. He is a good chap to go to for old films, and I found Disney's Song of The South there. Because of the controversy surrounding the film, it has never been released on DVD; if it wasn't for that stall, I never would have been able to complete my collection. I'm also a big Star Trek fan (I know, Disney and Star Trek couldn't be more diametrically opposed), and I remember the days I spent at the stall searching for Star Trek: Voyager to complete my collection. I was so excited when I bought the last one I needed, but also a little sad that I no longer had a reason to browse there.



Kingston is a lovely place to visit for a day out, and the market is not a place to miss. Once you've finished there, you can take a seat in the courtyard, have a coffee, and watch as children run through the fountain.
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Why? Support British farmers
When: Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm
Phone: 020 8919 0800
Where: Kingston
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