The Duckpond brand has definitely expanded over the past year with a combo of foodie and artisan markets popping up across London (Ruislip, Richmond, Chalfont, Highgate and Radlett), and some extra Christmas markets in the coming weeks as well. What I love is that although the brand is growing, the local feeling remains the same as you would hope in an artisan context where freshness and quality are paramount…drawing on local suppliers.
I ventured out to the Ruislip food market at the weekend (1st Sunday of the month) with no knowledge of what I might find other than the promise of good food because, whilst I have been to the artisan market (3rd Sunday of the month), this was my first full-on foodie experience. Well what I did find definitely did not disappoint…
You’re greeted by a coffee cart with a sign stating “WILL TRADE COFFEE FOR GOSSIP” which of course left me disappointed in myself that I don’t like coffee. Talk about perfect pairings though because as soon as you then step foot in the barn you are greeted by tables laden with fresh pastries to go with aforementioned coffee as you wander around. Better drink up fast though because the rest of the barn has its walls lined with stalls proffering everything from curry spice mixes to caramel meringues, and jars of moonshine to juicy olives. Not forgetting the table where you can barely see the green-checked tablecloth for all of the cheese varieties (and samples) covering it.
Stepping out into the yard you’ll find an eclectic mix of stalls…some selling food to snack on like toasties and empanadas, whilst others are selling fresh honey, pet food, and vegetables so fresh they were picked at 5am that morning! I must clarify that these were from 3 different stalls, this is a market not a sell-all supermarket after all. To cut a long story short, there is something for everyone here even a table covered in lego for children (young and not so young alike!).
After tucking into a beef empanada it was time to head back inside to try numerous cheeses and tapenades (and those amazing pink onions), before finally settling on a chilli goats cheese and Jamaican tapenade and running out to go home before I was tempted by the moonshine.
The problem with amazing markets like this is that purchases seem completely logical at the time but by the time you get home you’re not entirely sure what to do with them. Keep an eye out for future posts where hopefully inspiration has struck before I have to sit and just gorge myself on them with just a spoon!
If you like the sound of a local market with fresh food to fill your boots…..go and check it out for yourself because I have barely scratched the surface…..if you want t make a day of it then try out the artisan market which still has great food bits but also a variety of other crafts and social space (and how did I forget the petting zoo?!)
Check out their official website for the details: Duck Pond Market