Posts Tagged ‘Sleaford’

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.

Street Food & Artisan Market

August 7, 2021

Mixing street food with artisans an interesting concept. Adding in live music not a good idea.

Thunderstorms and rain forecast. Midday in Lincoln sunny.

A choice, an hour by bus or half an hour by train. I decided on train.

The first train journey since before Christmas. An old train, windows open, a minority not wearing masks.

As the train neared Sleaford, dark clouds.

I had no idea where I was heading, well ok a rough idea.

Sleaford Station on the edge of the town centre. I headed roughly North into the town.

I almost walked past where I was heading, Millstream Square, but luckily I noticed some stalls off to the left.

A quick look round, then I noticed more stalls across the millstream.

An interesting mix, a couple of wood-fired pizza trucks, an Indian dosa, a couple of cake stalls, India spices, fresh fruit juice, oak chopping boards, honey, loose leaf tea, coffee beans and live music. Between the stalls park benches to sit and eat.

Dosa from Delicacy Of South Asia was excellent. A chat before I decided. Then later I popped back to thank them.

Not enough park benches, at least that was my initial impression. But no, ignorant people sitting to chat with their friends forcing people to eat standing. Organisers should have had polite words.

The live music was a bloody pain. Too loud, female singer last session, could not sing, distorted and far too loud. I had gone for a walk out of the town centre, along a river and could hear the music.

Conversation with the stall holders nigh impossible.

A chat with Hanna of Jackalopy Joe, coffee stall, less about the beans, more about the packaging. It would have been good to have a more in depth conversation but impossible due to the music.

An interesting chat with an Indian stall selling spices, Kiran’s Spice Kits. Not individual spices but spice mixes. I asked of Sri Lankan golden masala. Yes, but not today. I described the dish. She knew what I was making and was envious.

A stall with a selection of tea. Sadly I did not chat to, I was getting a headache from the music.

I went for a walk in search of a coffee shop. Could I find, no. Not even a greasy spoon café masquerading as a coffee shop. I did later double check on google maps, possible yes, had I doubled back to the station and checked a few side streets, but I headed the opposite direction, not having seen any on my way in.

I walked past the Market Square, headed out of town, through a field, Lollycocks Field, and out along a river. I guess the River Slea.

I thought maybe the Market Square a suitable location for the market, but then thought no, passed on two sides by traffic.

The centre of Sleaford not pleasant, lined with the same shops found everywhere, continuous flow of traffic, not pleasant, lacking in character, though not as bad a Markey Raisen.

Were it not for the market, Sleaford not worth a visit.

On my return, as the market was packing up, a chat with a man hand-crafted oak chopping boards, Simply Crafted. Did I want one? No, too heavy and bulky to carry. A reduction. Ok then.

I realised too large. A refund and a smaller board. But yes, I did want a good chopping board.

Why did the market close at three? A pleasant afternoon and still very busy. In the summer remain open until four, spring and autumn three -thirty, winter close at three.

I contrast with the travelling junk food circus held in Lincoln.

The market good for local business. A bakery Emily’s Bake House and Thai restaurant Thai Sabai said they were very busy and closed later than they usually close on a Saturday afternoon. Staff at both, friendly and helpful, especially the Thai restaurant, a little girl went in and brought me out a menu.

I was directed to what I assumed to be an Italian restaurant for a coffee, it was a bistro, Tablez Cafe Bistro. I walked in and was stunned by their machine, a lever operated espresso machine. Very pleasant ambience inside, and very helpful friendly staff
.
I did not have time for a coffee, ran the risk of missing my train, but how could I not have a coffee from this machine?

Pleased to see the girl ground fresh for my coffee. It also looked as though the grinder provided a calibrated dose, but no time to inquire further.

Sadly my coffee not very good. Cheap crap catering supply coffee. They need to source quality coffee. I would suggest try Seven Districts. Their machine deserves better coffee.

It then chucked it down. I saw the black clouds, decided to head to the station, but then dallied.

I made it to the station in time and luckily a fellow passenger more alert than me. An announcement half way across the bridge, wrong platform.

Back in Lincoln, warm and sunny.

High Street, far fewer people than would expect at five o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. I later learnt that footfall was less than half the the previous Saturday. Who measures, how measured, I do not know.

A cappuccino at Coffee Aroma.

Additions to the market, a coffee truck, maybe craft beer, a hog roast. I suggest Cafe Classique invited for coffee, they could serve tea and coffee from the two stalls, mutually beneficial stalls direct to the truck, truck directs to the stalls. For hog roast invite Redhill Farm. Craft beer problematic, not problem obtaining a license, the problem do not want drunks hang around. Thee focus should remain on local and quality. No junk food. No burger and kabab vans.

I thought there was two stalls selling honey, there were three, one too many

Ditch the live music. It was a nuisance. Stallholders whish to be able to discuss what is on their stalls.

A list of stallholders an absolute must, name, product, twitter and web address.


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