Posts Tagged ‘markets’

Millstream Square Street Food and Artisan Market

September 4, 2021

The last of Street Food and Artisan Market at Millstream Square in Sleaford.

Walking from the station I was surprised how busy the town centre, Millstream Square was packed.

Three markets, this was the last. July I was not aware of, the August market was worth a visit.

Good weather makes all the difference. Today a pleasant warm sunny afternoon.

Stalls I saw last time were not there, many new stalls.

Missing the two wood-fired pizza stalls, but there was a wood-fired pizza truck. At a guess each decide two was one two many and pulled out.

Neither was the honey from Nottingham. Last market, three stalls selling honey Today only one, or I only noticed one.

I regret I did not buy any honey. I never buy from a supermarket, never cheap low quality imported honey, only English honey direct from the producer. It would though have been too much to carry. A couple of days later, I gave a stranger apples from the garden, windfalls, to thank me she gave me a jar of English honey from Washingborough, a village outside of Lincoln.

I was pleased to see the dosa stall. Highly recommended.

Not pleased to see a burger van. This is junk food.

Three Caribbean stalls: food, cakes and fruit juices.

Samples of juice, tiny flimsy paper cups. I suggested put on a compost heap. I came away with a bottle of juice.

I also bought a Caribbean ginger cake.

Craft beer stall and gin stall. From the craft beer stall four cans of beer.

What was the point of the horsebox bar? It was possible to have obtained a drink from Tablez. Or a can of craft beer from the craft beer stall.

I am bombarded with messages on social media, reduce beer tax. Why?. Beer tax is not whey pubs are failing. They are failing because badly run, not pleasant places to be. Cans of beer off the Castle Rock stall a fiver a can, some cans were six quid. But worth it for quality craft beer, something do do find in a pub.

What was needed, a coffee truck serving specialty coffee.

Last market, Jackalope Joe with coffee beans. No stall with coffee. I learnt from the tea stall, July three coffee stalls selling coffee beans.

A chocolate stall, at least had the honesty to admit all they did was bag the bought in chocolate. If a chocolate stall, invite a bean-to-bar craft craft chocolate maker, for example Luisa’s.

Spice stall, different mixes for different dishes. I wanted Sri Lankan for Sri Lankan golden masala.

Interesting discussion with one stall, Great Taste Award scam. Producers pay for this meaningless award. It lacks merit and is no guarantee of quality.

I noticed the stalls I talked to, packaging easy to recycle or compost. I do not know if this is a requirement of the market, cf South bank street food market in London, if yes excellent, if not it should be.

Natty Roots organic juices, Castle Rock craft beer, had plain card boxes to carry away their bottles and cans, easy to recycle or compost.

Pleased that complaints about the music had been heeded. People wish to talk. But better still, spin off the music as a separate summer event.

For each market publish a list of stalls

  • name – produce – twitter – web address

Why close at three? The market should be open until at least four.

I looked in the Thai restaurant. They were closed. Helpful young girl who I met in August shared with me her snack. It was excellent.

Cappuccino from Tablez was not good. A long time coming, they were not busy. I took one sip and left for the station. I missed the train. Well strictly speaking the train was cancelled. I walked back to Tablez. My awful cappuccino still sitting on the table. I took it back. Another long wait. Young server apologised for long wait and poor quality.

Looking at the menu Tablez take pride in the food they serve, quality, sourced locally, or so they claim. Why not therefore take the same pride in the coffee they serve, not insult with cheap crap catering supply coffee?

Ambiance pleasant, very pleasant to sit outside, quiet.

Luckily the next train not cancelled.

Oxford Covered Market revisited

June 22, 2019

Oxford Covered Market established in 1774.

A committee was formed in 1772, when it was decided to build a covered market to rid the town centre of untidy market stalls. Half the money was provided by the town half by the university.

Explored more than my previous visit to Oxford Covered Market when I walked through but still only small part of this amazing market.

Three stalls worth visiting, a craft beer stall, Colombia Coffee Roaster and a cheese stall.

I was reminded of the Spice Market of Istanbul, without the pungent smell of spices.

This is how markets should be, a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of wonders. It puts to shame the Central Market in Lincoln.

Oxford Covered Market

June 19, 2019

Old market established in 1774.

I was reminded of the Spice Market of Istanbul, without the pungent smell of spices.

This is how markets should be, a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of wonders. It puts to shame the Central Market in Lincoln.

Ideal place for a coffee shop thought I, and no soonest has this thought occurred as if by magic one was conjured up, Colombia Coffee Roasters.

Note: A few days later I revisited Oxford Covered Market which afforded more time to look around.

Lincoln Central Market

January 28, 2019

Lincoln Central Market is disgusting, shabby and drab.

The couple of excellent stalls, spice stall, wholefood stall, have gone.

Well done Steve the fruit and veg stall guy for speaking out.

More traders need to speak out, they do so privately but fear to speak publicly.

The City Council jobsworth is talking nonsense.

‘The council prides itself on having a great relationship our traders’, if this is a great relationship, I hate to think what a bad relationship looks like.

I have yet to speak with a single trader who is happy with the way the Central Market is run.

If the Council unaware traders not happy, why did they order the banner be taken down at the fruit and veg stall?

No rent increase. Considering the atrocious state of Central Market, the near zero footfall, the traders should be seeing a rent decrease.

I have never seen anything in the bus station promoting the market. I have seen promoting Greggs.

But in its present dire state, there would be little point in promoting the market as it would be counterproductive and show Lincoln in a bad light.

Lincoln is a market town in the middle of an agricultural county, and yet lacks a market.

Nor does Lincoln have a farmers market in the town centre, not if class one stall, two if lucky, maybe half a dozen stalls if very very lucky, as a farmers market.

The one and only stall has relocated to beside the River Witham, but no one knows, no information in the High Street, no information at its current location of the relocation.

People looking for the farmers market in the High Street assume it has finally collapsed.

On a Friday, one stall representing the farmers market, plus a cake and bread stall and a fruit and vegetable stall.

On a Saturday the fruit and vegetable stall and Curry Jacks a curry stall.

York has a market and a street food market.

Chichester a small market town and yet has a thriving market and farmers market.

Guildford has a thriving Friday and Saturday weekly market with three excellent fruit and vegetable stalls, that if in Lincoln would stretch the length of Sincil Street, once a month a farmers market, that if in Lincoln would stretch from St Mary’s Street up through The Stonebow.

Mercado Municipal en Puerto de la Cruz en Tenerife, ground floor little shops, including an excellent little bookshop, first floor fruit and vegetable stalls, a deli cum wine stall, a deli cum little restaurant, a fishmonger. On a Saturday, many stalls selling everything, the fishmonger serving cooked seafood with champagne, the delis also serving up food.

Lincoln Central Market needs gutting, most of the traders kicked out, then revamped with the emphasis on quality independent traders.

Look to Trinity Market in Hull Old Town. Light and airy, quality food stalls, indie specialty coffee, craft beer, bench seats to sit either inside or out. Then contrast with the disgrace that is Lincoln Central Market.

One of the ironies, at a time when we should be moving to eliminate plastic, when Tesco is looking to close its fresh produce, when we should be supporting markets, local shops, zero waste stores like Hisbe, Lincoln instead of moving ahead by supporting its local markets, is doing its best to kill them.

Trashing of Sincil Street has not helped.

Sincil Street was once a busy street of thriving indie businesses. Now look at it. Most of the businesses destroyed, buildings destroyed, new build with large plate glass windows, large size units, neither matches the Victorian street scene, nor of suitable size for the small family businesses that have been kicked out, let alone afford the rent.

Moving in, rubbish chains that find in every ghastly shopping centre up and down the country.

I have yet to meet a single person who is happy with the trashing of Sincil Street.

Look to North Laine in Brighton, three long streets, each one longer than Sincil Street, side streets, similar street scene, except it is busy, full of indie businesses not a chain in sight and very rare to see empty shops, and if empty do not remain empty for long.

Instead of building on Sincil Street and highlighting it was different to the High Street, it was trashed.

How it could be.  The Central Market used for start ups, as they grow, expand into an empty shop in Sincil Street.

Lincoln lacks a wholefood store. If Gaia Wholefoods was still in Central Market, and successful, it could have relocated to Sincil Street.  Not possible as pulled out due to lack of footfall, and even were it still there and successful, no longer anywhere in Sincil Street to relocate to.

That is how shortsighted Lincoln City Council, not only killing existing local businesses, but killing off the growth potential of any future new businesses.

The difference between Hull Old Town and Brighton where they value their cultural heritage and Lincoln, is a lack of vision, useless jobsworths who are clueless on what constitutes good town centre planning, clueless on how local economies function, on the need to recycle money within a local economy, lack of support for local businesses, but only too happy to fall over backwards to facilitate greedy developers and corporate chains.

It is quirky indie businesses, markets, that make a town, give a sense of place.

The City Council in cahoots with the Co-op have done an excellent job destroying Sincil Street, Cornhill and the Central Market.

Lincoln would make an excellent case study in bad planning.

It is not only Sincil Street, Cornhill and Central Market, ugly tower blocks ruining a historic skyline, accomodation for students, temporary residents at best, homeless living on the streets.

Lincoln Co-op a disaster as a retailer, but by historic accident owns large parts of the town centre, and abuse their position to destroy local businesses.

Sincil Street, the frontage of the buildings should have been restored to Victoran frontage, no garish signs.

Central Market the foodie area cf Trinity Market Hull Old Town.

Sincil Street a mix of retail, bakeries, little restaurants, boutiques, bookshops, music shops, coffee shops cf North Laine Brighton.

I have no problem coffee shops, but these have to be high quality indie coffee shops eg Coffee Aroma, Madame Waffle, Base Camp, no chains

No corporate chains.

Corporate chains destroy towns, lead to sense of isolation, sameness, drain money out of the local economy, then go bust or a head office spreadsheet exercise leads to store closure, leading to boarded-up shops never to be filled, desolation.

This has happened to too many town centres, Aldershot the classic example, stores pulling out weekly, the few remaining waiting for lease to expire, main street shop after shop down the street boarded-up, junkies and losers lost on the streets.

it is not only the market area the Council has trashed.

Up until the late 1960s early 1970s, Brayford Pool was lined with mills and warehouses.  These could have been renovated. Ground floor indie businesses, workshops, indie coffee shops, first floor studio and office space, top floors flats and apartments. A pleasant urban park leading off the High Street, accessed down the side of Stokes on High Bridge.

Instead what do we have, a desolate wasteland, an ugly urban eyesore.

Yet another example of City Hall jobsworths completely clueless on what constitutes good town centre planning.

Chichester farmers market

August 3, 2018

What was I doing travelling to Chichester then on to Arundel on a very hot day when I would have been better off sat in the shade of the trees in my garden?

It was already hot by nine o’clock in morning.

Whilst changing trains at Guildford Station, a cappuccino from FCB kiosk. It was not great.

Train to Portsmouth from Guildford packed. A fast service London Waterloo to Portsmouth only five coaches.  Drunks on the train.

At Havant, slow train to Brighton pulls in, time to run across the bridge and catch the train. Why not time it better?

Train packed, standing room only. Train full of drunks.

Many more drunks when I alight at Chichester. The reason  why,  racing at Goodwood, Glorious Goodwood.

At Chichester Station a train of Pullman coaches. I expect a steam locomotive. Sadly not, diesel engine front and back.

Train is so long,  diesel locomotive on the crossing, road closed.

I decide to take a walk along the Chichester Ship Canal. I think not far to Chichester Harbour. I am wrong, a long way.

Amazing sculptures along the route.

I call in Coffee Lab. Very annoying, Clifton Coffee beans shipped from Coffee Lab in Winchester on Wednesday not in. Makes it even worse. Old beans. Their Colonna beans also old. They say they have more recent, will bag for me. I say ok, will pick up as I pass by later. Cold brew? No, but will do me a Japanese iced filter later.

To the market. Only one stall I am interested in. The stall with the excellent onions and tomatoes.

At first I mistake the wrong stall, but eventually find.

Environmental standards on this market a disgrace. On one stall, fresh produce wrapped in plastic, sweating in the heat.

The man with the tomatoes and onions, tells me that on the Arundel farmers market they will not even be able to use plastic carrier bags. I say use paper. He says costs. I say tough. There is a cost to the environment on using plastic,. Society should not carry the externalised costs, but at least the stall is using brown paper bags on which to drop produce, as do most market stalls.

Coffee stall with beans in the midday sun, temperatures in excess of 30C a disgrace.

If want coffee beans, Edge coffee van in Draper’s Yard or Coffee Lab, but not off this stall.

Lunch at St Martins Coffee House. It is packed, but I manage to find a table in the shade in the garden.

Owner not around. A pity as I had found sources of organic coffee.

Head down Pallant, North and South. Quiet streets running parallel to South Street.  Lovely buildings.

Cut down a narrow street, which brings me out at Coffee Lab.

They have bagged the beans, make me a Japanese iced coffee.

Train is running several minutes late. I miss connecting train to Arundel, have to wait for next train.

I nearly miss Arundel. I see Arundel in the distance and think that is where the train is heading. No, have to alight at Arudel Station and walk to Arundel.

As I am about to leave the station, Chinese girl asks me the way to Arundel. I say I am going that way. She joins me. Do we need a taxi? No, we will walk.

It is not far.

We look in a few coffee shops, catering supply coffee.

We find Tarrant Street Espresso. It is closed. It is a little after 3-30.  What sort of place is this? He closes at four, but today early. We make do with a takeaway. For Square Mile Red Brick espresso blend it is a disappointment. The coffee shop more of a kiosk.

As we are half way up the hill, we head further up the hill to what could be the entrance to Arundel Castle. It is not,  and does not even list the opening hours. My new found Chinese friend had been told entrance was at the bottom of the hill, but I thought we best check, not walk down the hill to have to walk back up the hill.

We find the entrance, to be told as we walk in it is closed. Not even a quick look? No, go for a walk along the river.

We walk a little way along the River Arun, then back up the hill to Arundel Cathedral.

At the bottom of the hill, a square with on one side a lovely little food shop. I buy cheese and a Florentine and a yoghurt coated flapjack. Lady serving tells me top entrance used to be the entrance or at least the exit. She said its closure has killed the town. People enter the castle at the bottom entrance and most not aware of the existence of the town.

Interesting exhibition in Arundel Cathedral. Ghost like apparitions in the pews. At first I thought only those near the door. But no, throughout the Cathedral. I guessed it was the departed souls of those who died in World War One. I was surprised how many, Arundel only a small town. My guess was correct, to mark 100 days of the end of WWI. I think 95.

Then to the station. A train at 1902, only running late. Caught the 1832 running late at 1807.

Change for Havant. Havant to Guildford. Then another train.

Walking home very warm.

Home a little after ten, very tired.

Trinity Market

May 5, 2018

Trinity Square, with Hull Minster centre stage.  More strange fountains, this time squares in the square, water flows upwards, flows to the edge.

On one side, Trinity Market.

Trinity Market, a recently refurbished Edwardian market, 1902 the oldest covered market in Hull. Stripped back exposing the iron columns and girders, open and airy.

They have attempted to create something like Borough Market in London, artisan food and other independent traders.

Contrast with grim failing markets elsewhere, too often destroyed for redvelopement.

Contrast with Central Market off Sincil Street in Lincoln. Grim an understatement, Coop and the City Council have done their damnedest to destroy the market and the surrounding area. Empty stalls, trash, one of the few stalls worth visiting a spice stall, closed at the weekend.

Trinity Market shows what could be if local councils had vision.  Develop for local quality businesses, not as Lincoln, destroy an area, invite in chains.

It was in Trinity Market I found Caffeinated, as the name implies, a coffee stall.

One area of Trinity Market has bench seats. An area to sit and relax and enjoy the food on offer.

As I was leaving, a noticed a stage being set up, therefore I assume live music in the evening.

Lincoln farmers market

April 14, 2017

Is this sad little market someones idea of a joke?

Half a dozen stalls.

Maybe middle of winter, early January, but this is mid-April, spring.

I chatted to one of the stalls, to learn it does not get much better in the summer, when fresh produce.

I found a leaflet, but what was shown appeared to be wishful thinking, as only fresh meat on the market today. I saw no bread, cheeses, cask ales.

I learnt there was a market Saturday, but up by Lincoln Castle. That there was a market every Friday, but in a different location.

Therefore had one found next week, a market further down the High Street, then turned up the next week, and found no market, would you turn up again?

And what of publicity? I have seen none.

I had had afternoon tea at Henry’s, was walking back down the High Street, through The Stonebow, was passing Stokes on High Bridge, when I noticed a few stalls further down the High Street.

As I walked past the stalls, I noticed people were walking past, not even glancing at the stalls, let alone stopping to have a look.

Very apparent no one was there for the market, but then with no publicity, only half a dozen stalls, hardly surprising.

I would not make a special trip.

Is this the best Lincoln can do, a city of 100,000 souls, surrounded by villages, a county town for an agricultural county?

But then Lincoln, a market town, does not even have a market.

Whoever is responsible for this market should hang their heads in shame.

I did at least pick up excellent strawberries.

Lincoln Street Food Market

March 17, 2017

Wednesday was a lovely warm spring day, some parts of the country almost reached 19C.

Today 9C, strong cold wind, with windchill factor much lower, then it started to rain.

Begs the question, why hold a street food market this time of year?

Would not late spring, summer or early autumn be a better time?

No publicity the days before.

Large generators beside the stalls, very noisy.

Why not an arrangement where plug into power sources from lampposts, as they do in other towns?

Awful music blasting out from many of the stalls, which was very unpleasant.

It was only later, I learnt there were stalls the other side of the level crossing, by then too late. Nothing anywhere to say more stalls.

I did not try any of the stalls, and none seemed busy, too cold. I did though have a cappuccino off The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop.

Organised by a travelling circus, which explains why not very good.

Godalming has an annual street food festival, that puts this to shame.

And if true what I was told by a local coffee shop, Lincoln BIG are paying to bring this travelling circus into town, then not good.

Lincoln should  organise its own street food festival, invite stalls.

Though on the other hand, looking at their competence or lack thereof on running markets in the town, then maybe not.

The street food market will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Through the busy pedestrianised High Street, an idiot driving through in a van, even though not permitted, with one hand on steering wheel, the other holding a mobile phone. Several pedestrians nearly run down.

Coffee Aroma is harassed for leaving tables and chairs outside after four o’clock, on the other hand blind eye turned to traffic driving through a busy pedestrianised street putting pedestrians at risk middle of the afternoon.

Guildford farmers market

December 3, 2013

High Street

High Street

Celtic Bakers

Celtic Bakers

Guildford farmers market is not at its best in the winter months, fewer stalls, and on a day like today, cold, miserable and damp, and yet the High Street was packed, far busier than I have seen it mid-week for a farmers market.

At the bottom of the market a guitarist Rob Berry playing, hard to tell how good, as he was playing playing to backing music, which is always annoying, but from what I could hear, quite good. I picked up a leaflet, so badly designed, as to be almost illegible.

I suggested he uploaded all of his albums to bandcamp, would reach a far wider audience, and people know where to find him, share with their friends.

At the top of the High Street, a guy and a girl playing, Undercover, he on guitar, both on vocals. In a better setting and with better choice of music, potentially worth listening to. They have recorded a few demo tracks. They should have with them on CD or DVD. Either give away, or sell for 50p or a £1. You never know who may pick them up. But essential quality recording. Nothing worse than a bad recording. Upload to soundcloud, ideal for demos, work in progress. And please, no covers trying to copy the original. If I wanted the original, I would go to the original. Improvise, make it your own, show you have talent as musicians, any fool can copy.

Before the market, I made a detour to St Mary’s Church. Three schoolchildren from the Royal Grammar School, two on violin, one on cello, they were surprisingly good. Sufficiently good, that if they played a concert in St Mary’s, record as live concert and upload to bandcamp.

St Mary’s have installed new heaters, maybe just the one. Before the heat came out via convection. This one was fan assisted. I would have thought someone would have had the intelligence to turn off during the concert.

Off Celtic Baker a wholemeal loaf. He gave it to me already wrapped, said he had saved it for me. Now that is what I call service, especially as I was not at the market last month.

Off the bee stall, honey with walnuts. Though they seem to have overdone the walnuts. Usually, honey with added walnuts, today, a jar jammed full of walnuts with added honey.

The lady who runs the stall with excellent pies, had run out of her Cornish pasties. I say Cornish pasties, actually not, far better. She gave me the one cut in half which she had on display, which I thought very kind of her.

Excellent lunch in Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage, cappuccino in Harris + Hoole, then although only mid-afternoon, I decided to call it a day, as a cold, damp, miserable day, and it was already getting colder.

Guildford farmers market takes place once a month, first Tuesday in the month, in Guildford High Street, January being the exception.

This month, there is to be an extra market in two weeks time, on Tuesday 17 December 2013. But what a pity not the week later, or maybe as that Christmas Eve, the weekend, Saturday 21 December 2013, then catch people just before Christmas. The lady who sells the excellent pies, told me she would have brought a lot of extra stock, including decorated pork pies, but 17 December was too early for Christmas.

Aldershot Thursday market under threat

June 27, 2013

Thursday, market day in Aldershot, is one of the few days when Aldershot is busy. Though busy is a relative term. Busy as opposed to dead, which is the norm on other days of the week.

Saturday is a day when most town centres are busy. Not Aldershot. Lion and Lamb Courtyard in Farnham has more people on a Saturday afternoon, than are seen on the street in Aldershot.

Market day is the only day worth going into Aldershot, and only then for the excellent fruit and vegetable stall at the bottom of the market.

A rare example of the local council making an intelligent decision, was when the market was relocated to the town centre from the ground floor of a multilevel car park just off the town centre. When the market was in the car park it was depressing, damp and cold, access was down a stairwell from the street that doubled as a public urinal. Relocating to the town centre, meant the market was out in the street, visible, not hidden away.

When Westgate opened last year, it hit the market hard. Yes, it has recovered, but not to the level it was before Westgate opened. Before, I used to find a queue at the fruit and vegetable stall, now I never find a queue, and often the market is deserted.

Now, as I learnt today from stallholders, the market is under threat. The first the stallholders knew of this was when they saw they were on the front page of the Aldershot News. [see Market may move from town centre]

Shopkeepers apparently are complaining, one said it brought people out onto the street in front of their shop!

Now it is difficult to comprehend why a shopkeeper should complain that there are people on the street. Would she rather there was no one on the street? And if they do not go into her shop, that says more about her shop.

Another, who is quoted as complaining of the competition, I have spoken to, and he says he has no problem with the market.

It is also claimed, Guildford only has a farmers market. Simply not true. Guildford has a popular farmers market once a month in the High Street on the first Tuesday of the month. It also has a very popular market in North Street on a Friday and Saturday.

Very shoddy reporting by the Aldershot News. It would appear they have spoken to a few whinging retailers, who are not representative.

A few more corrections to the what was reported in the Aldershot News.

The stallholders do not bring their vans in at 2pm and knock down their stalls. What stallholder is going to knock down their stall when there is business on the street? They bring their vans in at 4pm. Only rarely do they do so earlier, and that is when there is very bad weather and no one is on the street.

What of the problem of cars and vans, late afternoon every day? A pedestrian street should be just that, pedestrian.

Yes, there is obstruction. The obstruction is not the market. The obstruction is Costa with their tables and chairs outside, reducing the highway to a narrow gap where people are forced to walk in single file to get past, and to wait, if pedestrians are coming the other way. The council is well aware of this obstruction, and chooses to turn a blind eye.

It is difficult to comprehend a handful of retailers who are complaining of a market that is bringing people into Aldershot. Not only into Aldershot, but into the town centre.

It goes without saying, there has been no consultation with the stallholders (the first they knew there was perceived problem is when they saw it on the front page of the local rag). It goes without saying, no consultation with those who use the market (the first I knew was when the stallholders told me).

This would appear to be yet another example of the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor (as it is known locally) wishing to destroy small businesses.

What is destroying Aldershot is not its Thursday market, it is Westgate (or WasteGate as local retailers call it) and a dysfunctional local council that appears to be hell-bent on destroying not only Aldershot town centre but also Farnborough town centre.

The sick joke is that £1 million is being spent tarting up Farnborough town centre, £1 million poured down the drain. And the justification for this waste of public money? In order that markets may be held in the town centre!

Aldershot applied for Portas Pilot status. They failed, but it would have been money down the drain. Mary Portas stresses time and time again, diversity, local community, markets.

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