Belinda, my partner in crime, market lover and market promoter arrived rather cruely at my door, blowing the settled sleep dust from my fragile frame with excited demands for a market crawl….How could I resist?! She’s Australian and doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of ‘no’ nor recognise a debilitating hangover, so out I went, mildly feverish with my pants on inside out, mumbling incoherently about coffee….
First port of call was the keen and fresh pop up market at the back of aptly named Market street; it’s called Food n Flea. I was clothed and washed but far from alive yet, so after a good strong coffee in the rather vacuous square, I slowly allowed the market to filter in via a sedate form of osmosis. I sat for a while on the concrete block seating focussing my sights upon the spacious array of stalls selling various craft, food and drinks. It’s a lofty venue which lacks energy but in fairness I was keen on the space and air, given my fragile condition.
The trickle of tourists from the Royal Mile was steady, with many drifting foreign languages weaving among the rather sleepy crowd. The smell of fried food enveloped us, while the rythmic rattle of skate boarders hearded us ever closer to the shabby chic market stalls, clad in reclaimed wood.
It wasn’t long before we met Liam, a most amicable starter entrepreneur with his stall, humorously called ‘Bingo’. He was selling inviting open trays of chicken wings that have a superb crisp finish and inner succulence clad in the steadfast flavours of either BBQ or Hot Sauce. What could go wrong here? Fresh, crisp and energetically spiced wings, combined with a restorative mug of Barney’s Volcano beer… There’s no public toilets here, but I was feeling brave and I figured that the Costa coffee over the road would save the day, if I had to suddenly run!
I didn’t run, instead I got great hangover curing chicken wings, garnished with fresh chilli and coated in a sweet BBQ glaze that picked me up, spun me round and said ‘Yes’! You’re alive! Dam fine, finger licking grub that sorted me out – hair of the dog style. Thanks Liam! I do hope we see this dashing chap at another market near you. Look out for those scrumptous Bingo Wings and don’t chicken out of the hot sauce….it’s bloody exciting; I just love that tingly feeling on the lips and not even a kiss in sight!
Next up was the Stockbridge market; 40 stalls crammed under a delightful, leafy roof of tree foliage. There’s a distinct lack of seating here and you find yourself gravitationally pulled into a circular vortex, with hoards of folk shuffling past an eclectic array of craft stalls. It seemed like the food stalls stole the show here though, with massive pans of paella bubbling away next to fresh crab and gyoza scenting the air with fresh herbs and cooking oil. The Artisan stalls of Soap, Mead, Arts & Craft, Jewellery and Clothing peppered the market and are all beautifully dressed and visually alluring, drawing in many a market goer, keen to dilligently empty their purses. There’s a real busy hussel and bussel about this market, improved by the addition of a guitarist playing popular well kent tunes. I felt all was well with the world, except there really was nowhere to relax, and boy I needed to relax!
Other than in front of the sweet smelling crepe van, seating was limited to a few steps, the edge of a wall and the kerb. Folk lined the pavements and perched awkwardly while clutching their food trays before being sucked back round the vortex of stalls for one last look.
I was soothed by today’s offerings and welcomed the casual ambiance of the food and flee market earlier in the day. I did lap up the frenetic hubub down in auld Stockerie but maybe this one is best visited hangover free. Long live the Edinburgh Market scene and all those lovely traders who make it happen. Thanks guys.
Aug 17, 2018 0Street Feast food market concept gains added scale with new opening
Aug 15, 2018 0London’s New Covent Garden Market (NCGM) is pushing on with its bold venture to turn the historic wholesale market into the capital’s dominant food hub, as well as an incubator for up-and-coming food makers, creators and thinkers from the UK and beyond.