It doesn’t seem that long ago since I was sitting at the family table with my sister, eating chicken nuggets, potato smiles and beans for dinner. But daily eating trends and being an adult means that what I eat on a regular basis seems to have changed a lot since then. Whilst convenience food still thrives (and I’ve probably eaten 70% of M&S’ ready meals!), the ‘no nasties’ trend of fresh produce, top quality meats and health boosters has taken hold of the city and it’s pretty hard to ignore. Londoners are now as happy to see a fresh produce market pop up nearby, as they are an independent coffee shop. Markets are no longer made for bargains, but for top quality ingredients and a place to grab a quick bite to eat. They’re popping up where they can all over the city.
Primrose Hill Market is what I’d call a local community city market. Much like the south-eastern Brockley Market, organisers found a gap in the affluent area and filled a school playground with fresh food for local residents and visitors alike. It’s one of the newest markets, opening up September last year. I popped along on Saturday to see what it had to offer a South West guest.
Just 10 minutes from Chalk Farm underground station, sandwiched between residential streets and Primrose Hill’s magnificent view, it has grabbed a pretty great location in a school playground. There’s enough room for about 20 or so traders aiming to satisfy your shopping list and hunger.
I had taken a cocktail-induced hangover with me so I was pretty pleased to find a coffee stall right at the entrance.
Then it was time to make the all important decision of what to eat!
Toasties from Toastits?
They didn’t quite fit that day’s cravings, but I am fond of a gourmet toastie!
Duck confit burger from The Frenchie?
One step too far for breakfast/ brunch but could have made a great lunch.
Scotch egg from Finest Fayre? You probably know I don’t like eggs by now!
Or one of the latest additions to the market – Muffin Man & Co?
Homemade muffin and bacon jam, sausage meat, a slice of pork belly and an egg (for those who eat them), with a chorizo hash brown (not pictured). It’s not really my usual first choice but I was in the mood indulgence and it did hit the spot. I was expecting something quite firm and a bit crispy but it was a really soft mouthful of flavours.
The muffin kept it’s integrity but I didn’t do very well at maintaining my food dignity as I lost a bit of control of the fillings and got my hands in a mess. (Note to self – take hand wipes to food markets). Luckily, if you don’t want to be seen demolishing your food on Primrose Hill (or by the main entrance where I accidentally defaulted to in a fit of hunger!), I later discovered that there are a few seating options around the market.
Having fixed the hunger issue, I thought I’d take a look around the other options. It has staple items on the shopping list covered with fruit and veg…
Freshly baked bread.
Including truffle cheese, pictured far right above.
Meat, not pictured as no one finds it attractive to look at.
Tea. I sampled one of the flavours and it was much nicer than anything I’ve tried from the supermarket.
I was also sorely tempted by Roxy’s homemade jam but I only really eat it with scones so I thought I’d save that for a Primrose picnic.
Alongside a few of these for my friends who love salmon.
And maybe some cured meat or cheese.
With some of Oliver’s Bakery bread (pictured earlier on).
And a cute puppy would just help me fit into the local area.
(Any excuse to share a cute puppy picture.)
As for my final verdict on Primrose Hill Market, it has brought a good selection of traders to the area from markets Londoners might already be familiar with, alongside some tasty food-to-go options and seems to have found a balance between the two for the space it occupies. I might like to see a few more food-to-go options vs grocery options (pizza option maybe? because well pizza!), but I’m sure that’s not what the locals would say as it should definitely fulfill their fresh produce needs.
Either way I’d definitely go back on the way to Primrose Hill this summer to check out what’s new. I can totally picture myself with resting on a blanket, perched near the top of the hill with a glass of rose in hand and a basket of food sitting next to me.
Primrose Hill Market can be found at St Paul’s School, NW3 3DS. It’s open every Saturday, 10am to 3pm.
You can find all the details, including a full list of traders, on their website.
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Do you enjoy visiting local food markets? Do you have a favourite or market trader?
I was invited to pop down by the market organiser, but it has been on my visit list for a while so it was a great excuse to visit. As ever, all opinions are my own.