Q: What is a really, really good way to end a week full of snow
and rain and transport disruptions
and construction work at home and associated general madness?A: Hope the Sunday morning dawns bright and sunny, and when it does, you pick up your camera gear, put on your flaneuring boots and head off to the Chiswick Farmers and Fine Foods Market!
click on photos to enlarge
I took the picturesque route down the Chiswick Mall (the posh Chiswick riverside walk down the Thames) that leads to Dukes Meadows. The Chiswick Farmers and Fine Foods Market sits in the Grove Park Farm just beyond Dukes Meadows every Sunday morning, and is a collaborative initiative by the Dukes Meadows Trust (formerly called Friends of Dukes Meadows).
If the sound of a Farmers Market brings to mind visions of scores of stalls bustling with people, then this market is a surprise. It’s tiny – with only 10 to 15 stalls at any time but the moment you enter the Grove Park farm your senses are pleasantly assaulted with the smells – fresh fruit and vegetables, freshly baked sweets and cakes, savouries, Moroccan delicacies, freshly ground coffee, flowers, fresh bread, barbecued hetties…
…it’s a really tough choice between succumbing and clicking!
And then there are the sounds – friendly haggling between farmers and customers – some of them regular and familiar, some amblers and photogaphers like me, children playing at the adjoining Dukes Meadows play area, and the profusion of pet dogs. I think the presence of a seller dedicated to home-baked dog biscuits explains it.
The proceeds from the market are dedicated towards the conservation of the Dukes Meadows area, which, according to the Trust, has lost its former glory in the last few years. To me it still looks stunningly beautiful and is the perfect antidote to to the city life that I live just a ten minute walk away from this place – an urban life in stark contrast to the overwhelmingly verdant, almost-rural setting of this market. Two hours spent walking here and I’m rejuvenated for the rest of the week ahead.
I’m saving the haven that is Dukes Meadows and Chiswick Mall for another post. This one’s all about the Farmer’s Market, which deserves its own glory. Just don’t blame me if you are hungry now.