My Regent’s Canal walk ends at Broadway Market (the name of the street), a food market in Hackney. You will be able to indulge yourself not only in the numerous pubs, cafes, restaurants and artisan shops but, as the walk is usually on a Saturday, you also have the delights of the outdoor market which closes off the street for the day. The market is full of stalls selling artisan food, craft items, delicious street food and much more – it is always busy and buzzing. So here are few of my favourite places to buy food.
At the end of one of my Regent’s Canal walks, which, unusually, was in the afternoon, my group repaired to the pub to dry out as it was very wet. I wanted to sample the delights of the market and headed for one of the stalls specialising in French cheese. However, because of the weather, the stall was closing up slightly early and I thought I was out of luck. The stall holder, however, directed me to their shop, L’eau à la Bouche, just across the road on Broadway Market. I found myself in a wonderful café and delicatessen specialising mainly in French produce – some of which I can usually buy only in France.
L’eau à la Bouche
Instagram and Facebook @labouchebroadway
“L’eau à la bouche” means “mouthwatering” and I must say it certainly describes the food and which is why I now always call in at the end of my walk. It’s been here since 2004 and is owned and run by a Frenchman, Stef. It certainly has a French feel – the staff appear to be all French and there always seem to be some French customers.
The café is extremely popular and usually very busy with some tables inside and outside.
What I love about the outdoor market is how the stallholders are more than willing to chat about themselves and their products.
One of my favourite stalls is – vegetarians and vegans look away – the meat stall of Downland Produce, butchers who come every week from Wiltshire. Their meat is naturally reared, totally traceable and locally sourced in Wiltshire and across the South West. They cure and smoke their own products, make their own sausages and prepare the meat sold. As all the produce is vacuum packed you do not have to worry about getting it home quickly.
My latest purchase from them was diced goat which comes from one of their local suppliers – The Gourmet Goat Farmer . Their herd lives a free range life on the ancient pastures of the Marlborough Downland. I am going to try their tagine recipe.
This is Chris, the owner of Downland Produce, who was very helpful, telling me all about his business and the goats.
Big Wheel Cheese
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to cheese – L’eau à la Bouche for French cheese but another favourite is the stall of Big Wheel Cheese who are based in Kent. They are not cheesemakers but sell a wide range of cheese from small artisan producers all over the UK (I have bought a soft cheese from Scotland in the past) and also some European cheeses. Friendly Dave was eager to give me advice about his products.
A healthy food option is Westlands, speciality grower in the Vale of Evesham of micro leaves, edible flowers and speciality produce.
But if you want something which could be really bad for your waistline look no further than the German Sourdough Bakery stall. Despite its name the business is based in Walthamstow where the German owner and his team produce their wonderful looking bread and cakes –.”…made from scratch, just like you’d do it at home”.
This is just a little taster of what you’ll find at the end of my Regent’s Canal walk. So come along – even if you don’t buy any food at the market, it’s still a feast for the eyes.