According to the website, Brentford market was first established in 1306, but has not been running for some years now. Just two weeks ago it began again, giving local producers a chance to rent affordable pitches from which to sell their wares, and local residents a place to gather to share quality food and drink. We cycled down there last Sunday to see what we could find for lunch. With a vegetarian, two fussy kids and a very hungry man amongst us, I wasn't sure we would all be satisfied, but was pleased to be proven wrong.
Brentford plays host to many of the lovely stalls seen at Chiswick and other West London markets and events, such as Thee Olive Tree and Marsh Farm meats. Also available to buy and take home were fresh fish and seafood from Poisson in Northfields Avenue, cheese from Norbiton Fine Cheeses and some lovely bread from Ruben's Bakehouse in Twickenham. However the main difference for me was the presence of several street food traders and a central area for people to sit and eat. This was great as it encouraged visitors to stay and enjoy the market rather than just making their purchases and moving on.
Amongst the traders last week were The Bowler, selling his huge handmade meatballs and Dosa Deli with their vegetarian paneer dosas.
The crepe stall was proving to be very popular, for both sweet crepes and savoury galettes. Unfortunately I didn't get the trader's name but it was a fabulous stall.
After a quick look around we all made our choices and sat down to enjoy our lunch. Evie went for meatballs and pasta, Noah and Pete chose ham and cheese galettes and I went for a paneer dosa. I was hoping to check out some local cake producers whilst I was there, but aside from the well known Maids of Honour, there were no cakes available. Cintra & Cake, a baker from Isleworth, did have a stall but had sold out very early. I guess the cakes must have been good! We were all pleasantly full after our lunch but managed to share a couple of crepes for pudding instead of cake. The Cheeky Monkey, filled with banana, chocolate sauce and broken biscuits, was particularly delicious.
All in all, our visit to Brentford Market was thoroughly enjoyable. I will definitely be back as a customer and maybe even to sell my cakes, if ever there is a space to fill. I know a couple of cheeky monkeys who will be keen to return as well.