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Farmers' market in the Horniman Gardens
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Posts: 55
Joined: Jul 2010
Post: #1
21-09-2013 05:30 PM

The farmers' market in Horniman Gardens was great - we were so pleased to find both excellent basics - fruit and veg, meat, cheese, bread - and some interesting specialist stalls for cakes, muffins, pasta, sausage rolls etc. Quite a decent crowd too given that there doesn't seem to have been that much publicity. I do hope it gets lots of local support and thrives!

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Posts: 21
Joined: May 2012
Post: #2
21-09-2013 05:54 PM

We went today (saw it on here just this morning) and found it brilliant as well! We took a foodie friend from California who was also very impressed with the selection on offer.

Such a fantastic and sensible idea - as so much of SE23 is already there of a weekend it makes sense to hold a market. We bought lots of tasty treats - reasonably priced too - and especially enjoyed the delicious produce of 'Keik' - totally yummy and more-ish!

Can see this becoming a regular addiction for us during our weekend local time!

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Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2013
Post: #3
21-09-2013 08:01 PM

We were really impressed as well and will be going every week. Bought a massive bag of vegetable for under £10. Nice mix of stuff as well.

It would be perfect if they could get a fish stall.

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Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #4
21-09-2013 08:30 PM

Lee my lovely home neighbour who is the organizer of this great market is trying to find someone to take on a fish/seafood stall. So if anyone has any suggestions I will happily pass them on.

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Posts: 10
Joined: Sep 2013
Post: #5
22-09-2013 11:25 AM

The farmer's market was absolutely fantastic and a lovely way to spend our first Saturday morning in Forest Hill. We will definitely be regular visitors.

Lovely to see such a vibrant local community.

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Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2011
Post: #6
05-10-2013 10:52 AM

Does anyone know the opening times for the farmer's market?

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Posts: 59
Joined: Oct 2010
Post: #7
08-10-2013 10:06 PM

We loved it too, were there last weekend. There was a sign saying fish stall coming soon, think may even be next weekend but can't quite recall...

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Posts: 235
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
21-10-2013 06:39 PM

They've now got a fantastic fish stall. Bought some beautiful spanking fresh scallops. Market seems to be getting better every week.

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Posts: 39
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #9
21-10-2013 07:37 PM

It is brilliant! Got some lovely pasta and some excellent veg including purple cauliflower! Really enjoyed it.

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Posts: 20
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #10
22-10-2013 02:25 PM

Are there plans for this to continue into the New Year? The website says until the 21st December - would be a real shame for that to be the end of it.

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Posts: 622
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #11
22-10-2013 10:14 PM

I was unaware that it was not a permanent fixture, My other half has gone there every week since it opened and the quality of produce as well as the reasonable prices just blows me away.
Its now a part of our weekly shop-We will be devastated if it does not continue and continue to grow.

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Posts: 141
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #12
23-10-2013 11:26 AM remember that we have some great shops (cheese, salami & fresh produce at Aga's deli and the best meat in London, IMO, at Nathan's Butchery) that are open all year round who could also do with your custom....they've got overheads that the farmers market doesn't have and they've taken the brave decision to open their shops as permanent ventures. Holding the market every saturday, rather than fortnightly or monthly like the FHSoc food fair, seemed like quite an aggressive tactic to me, although i admit that maybe i tend to see these things differently coming from a family of small shopkeepers. Nothing wrong with a bit of competition and more choice for everyone, but if that choice is between the farmers market not being there permanently or FH shops struggling or closing because this new venture has drained away a big chunk of their trade, i know which i'd be more sad about.... It's great that there's a new market, but i still want to support the small food (and other) shops in FH as much as i can so that they stay and grow and attract more, independent, permanent businesses, which is better for everyone in the long run.

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Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #13
23-10-2013 09:08 PM

Thanks for your post Red67. I don't think anyone involved thought local shops would suffer from the market, but sadly they are. Dartmouth Road has almost no footfall until around 2pm on Saturday's now which means shops are taking half of what they used to on the busiest day of the week, and some may have to let staff go, me included. I really hope everything balances out between the two as I think the market is great for the area, but hope locals remember the shops too. I like to be honest on here and hope I don't upset anyone with this reply.

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Posts: 622
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #14
23-10-2013 09:58 PM

Its sad to hear the market is adversely affecting our lovely local shops.
We still go to The Butchery and Agas, however we haven't found anywhere in our immediate vicinity that sells such a good selection of Veg as the farmers market, and likewise the nearest decent fishmongers are on Lordship Lane and Sydenham.
My feeling is that the Farmers market attracts more choice to shop locally rather than resorting to Borough Market or the various shops on Lordship Lane-Which is what we did before it opened(I'm a devotee of juicing and raw food and organic produce)
To my mind the thing to do would be to set up a 'Totally Locally' stand at the market, with flyers and perhaps tasters of what is available In the likes of Sugar Mountain,Aga's etc,
Or I would station people at the entrance handing out flyers inviting them to explore further, perhaps suggesting they could also browse the art at the Montage, Vintage at Dapper and Stag and Bow (and the Montage).
Stop for coffee and cake in one of our excellent coffee shops, or a pint at Sylvan post.

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Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2010
Post: #15
23-10-2013 10:04 PM

I'd be surprised if the market was solely to blame for the lack of footfall. The season has changed for a start. Plus the museum and Dartmouth Road are actually a reasonable walking distance from each other.

Getting more people into the local area (up from the overflowing shops in East Dulwich for example) has to be a good thing in the long run and a market is a great way to do it. Must check it out.

This post was last modified: 23-10-2013 10:05 PM by jamster.

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Cellar Door

Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #16
25-10-2013 02:53 PM

P1971 wrote:
I really hope everything balances out between the two as I think the market is great for the area, but hope locals remember the shops too.

My hope too, P1971.

nottinghillbilly wrote:
...set up a 'Totally Locally' stand at the market...

...station people at the entrance handing out flyers inviting them to explore further...

Yes, nottinghillbilly!

Out of interest, do you work in the wonderful world of Marketing/PR? You should hook up with P1971.

I was up there for the first time the Saturday before last.

I loved it.

And ended up down at Aga's Little Deli later that day for coffee beans. (More on that later. It was a bit strange how I got there.)

I didn't think I'd buy anything at the Horniman Farmers' Market. I don't generally like Farmers' Markets around London.

The ones I've had the misfortune to visit have been totally twee and more than a little poncey. People saying things like, "Darling, is that five pounds for that cute tiny loaf of organic pumpkin seed granary bread? Let us buy four with great haste!"

Now then, cut to me a few weeks ago buying:

? Glastonbury Organic Butter for about £1.50. Same size as Sainsburys Taste the Difference butter, which I sometimes buy as a treat. And better. Better Butter!

? A big slab of Glastonbury Organic Cheddar Cheese for about 2 quid. I still can't believe how tasty it is.

? Three huge bunches of yellow flowers for a fiver.

? A Romanesque Broccoli/Cauliflower for 70p. It looked pretty. (Oh God, I AM PONCEY!!)

Romanesque Broccoli/Cauliflower

? One of the extremely tasty Little Jack Horner's Veggie Sausage Rolls. And the amazing chef and owner, a Mr. James Hughes Davies, was serving. (And equally tasty, Ladies, if you know what I mean?! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)

I believe that there was a foreign film crew recording him.

He is famous for his Grey Squirrel Pies. As diligently reported in The Daily Mail.

(Hmm, I'm now wondering if this answers discreet's question over on the "Where are all the squirrels?" thread?)

? And a coffee.

This coffee bit went strange. And is how I ended down at Aga's...

I bought a cheeky little macchiato.

Then, when I sat down to admire the views of London, I took my first sip.

There was a perfect stillness.

A great parting of clouds.

Light pouring forth from the sky.

Angels singing.

When I came to, I realised this coffee I was still holding in my hands was simply...


I do not say that lightly. I've been consuming coffee on this planet for more than 40 years. (I'm already on my 8th cup of java for today.)

From where I was sitting I could see the coffee place. Their sign said, "Serving Meantime Coffee".

I'd never come across it before.

And, fantastically, I could also see that they had three types of Meantime Coffee beans for sale on the side counter.

My mission in life had formed -

Buy exactly the coffee beans that I'd just tasted.


Off I went.

I rushed to the coffee counter with a slightly hysterical look in my eyes to ask which of the three types they were roasting today.

As it turns out, I spluttered to the bloke making the coffee, "What are you roasting today? It is delicious!" with both my feet leaving the ground.

The guy looked at me and said slightly puzzled and perfectly straightfaced,


I stared back at him. Blinking and trying not to laugh at our simple mis-communication.

"Thanks", I said. And pretty much turned on my heel as I didn't know where to take that exchange.

With my bounty of goodies I scuttled down the hill and flew into The Tea Pot. They did not sell Meantime.

From The Forest Café didn't even sell coffee beans! Drat, and double drat!

Then, to Aga's. My first time in there. My heart was still beating wildly. Unfortunately, Aga's didn't sell Meantime. Fortunately, they sold beans called "Union". They smelt great. I bought some.

At this point I was pretty exhausted and still slightly giddy from that coffee moment on the hill.

I then made a deep and solemn, sacred vow to myself and anyone that could read my mind that I'd go back, when I possibly could, to the Horniman Farmers' Market.

I'll be back tomorrow to get the Meantime Coffee. In disguise so that the bloke serving the coffee doesn't recognise me as the guy asking ridiculous questions.

And back to Aga's. It's really nice in their little café. Which I didn't even know that they had at the back bit there.

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Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #17
25-10-2013 03:07 PM

Cellardoor - I use Union Sumatra Gajah Mountain beans in my machine. They are so good I stockpile them whenever I see them in shops. If the Meantime beans are even better, then count me in on the choirs of angels / shafts of light from heaven / floating about the good earth of SE23 shenanigans.

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Cellar Door

Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #18
25-10-2013 03:16 PM

rshdunlop wrote:
Cellardoor - I use Union Sumatra Gajah Mountain beans in my machine.

Cheers for that recommendation, rshdunlop.

I'm off now to the Algerian Coffee House in Soho to pick up some beans. They have everything in there.

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Posts: 285
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #19
25-10-2013 06:18 PM

Count me as another fan of the farmer's market - particularly the veg and butter/cheese. Very reasonably priced. I made a rather lovely roasted romanesco cauli pasta with a few cherry tomatoes and parmesan on top.

I am sorry to hear that it's affecting local shops but aside from some of the baked goods, I didn't feel that there was all that much cross over. The Butchery had a stall up there so I didn't feel I was abandoning them! I'm more likely to shop for non-food items in Forest Hill - or go for a meal.

I do wonder though if it attracts some of the locals who perhaps took a train to Brockley Market previously. If they took the train there, that might lead to less footfall at the bottom of the hill?

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Posts: 18
Joined: Aug 2012
Post: #20
25-10-2013 07:12 PM

I live in Honor Oak and I like the shops in Forest Hill but I don't find I pop up there on Saturday. It's not that friendly for shopping with a toddler. But the Horniman farmers market is brilliant for going with kids, which is why there are hundreds of them running around Smile We go to the market, then look at the animals, then run around the vegetable garden. I am actually excited about going tomorrow, even if it's raining, to stock up on squashes and pumpkins. A great addition to the area.

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