The Lower Marsh Saturday Market launched in Waterloo last weekend Saturday, with a variety of stalls selling artisanal produce including fruit from Brambletye Farm, meats from Boarstall Meats, and charcuterie from Cannon and Cannon. It was a great Saturday, and resulted in my friends and I bemoaning our full tummies, but giddy from the lively atmosphere and fun experience.
Basket of umbrellas caught in the wind
The market was a wonderful show of the local and exciting produce cropping up in the UK, as well as the imagination of the traders. I spotted basil and blackberry muffins, stunning flower arrangements from Hope Floats florist Kelly Marsh, and the prettiest gluten free treats from Raffo and Ridge.
I absolutely love markets, but to keep me (and my gaggle of girlfriends) interested there has to be a je ne sais quo; something we can't quite put our fingers on that pulls us in. At Lower Marsh Market it was the sheer inventive nature of every single trader, and the variety.
We've seen 'rare breed pork' advertised, the 'freshly baked' cakes, and commonplace 'authentic' cuisine from a country far East, but it all gets a bit boring when it's the same old produce. Lower Marsh Market was decidedly different. Firstly, we spotted fresh almond milk from The Pressery. Now, I have a thing for almond milk and have tried to make it, unsuccessfully, myself, but I've yet to try freshly-pressed almond milk. It was even better than I imagined - sweeter than the cartoned stuff and very creamy, I loved it. The Pressery claim to be:
"Nutritionally-engaged, locally-minded and community-driven. We aim to offer a simple measure towards a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Super-Natural Goodness."
The Pressery: Almond milk
I couldn't help but agree, and drinking their almond milk was like slurping their mission statement and feeling good about it.
On to more substantial stuff. My friends and I like to get our fill of a market by trying samples, feigning ignorance, and accepting more than one sample if we like what's on offer. When you're hungry, however, and a few nibbles don't cut it, everything looks appetising. Instead of reaching for a pie at the market, we decided to choose wisely, and that we did with a tub of an Italian pasta special.
Our tubs were filled to the brim with beef meatballs drenched in a tomato sauce, fresh pasta topped with a creamy pesto sauce, chicken, green peas and peas, all for £5.00. Now that isn't bad regardless of which city you're in. It wasn't just value for money, the tub of goodness was delicious and very filling. We all polished off our portions and had happy 'just-fed' smiles on our faces.
Food traders pack down at 2.30pm (or before if sold out), so get there with enough time to look, try, and buy what you want. I recommend arriving around 11.30am, so you can mooch before lunch time kicks in, and choose something tasty to munch.