Sadly, there aren’t a lot of markets in west London. One pops up every other weekend east of the city but us westerners have pretty limited pickings. Portobello is an obvious – and excellent – choice but yesterday me and Susan headed out to Kings Road to Christmas shop, be confused in the Saatchi Gallery (seriously, a toddler could come up with some of that) and to gorge ourselves at Duke of York Square – home every Saturday to Partridges Market.
There is something very upper class about Partridges; the prosecco stalls & the ladies with their Miu Miu bags and adorable French Bulldogs strutting around (by the end of the day my puppy-ovaries were twitching) will make you feel quite special, whether you’re out looking for lunch or picking up bread & cheese for the weekend.
Susan and I are becoming pro’s at this food market business and – because I’m so kind and all that – I will share our tactics with you:
1) Prowl. See what’s going on and what looks tasty. Never ever ever buy the first things you see as you’re bound to see something tastier and more exotic just round the corner.
2) Taste things, especially if you’re looking to buy for later. Some people get shy about tasting and then walking away. If you try something and don’t fancy it don’t be shy, just say it’s not your thing.
3) For optimal consumption, share. When you buy a plate, share it with your friends and vice versa. That way everyone gets to try everything. It’s a sad feeling when you see something you fancy but you’ve already eaten enough for a small army. Boo hiss.
Susan started with a goats cheese, beetroot, spinach and walnut quiche which was was lovely. They give you plastic forks which are a waste of time, just go in with your hands.
This little store was a gem – Woodford & Warner homemade sorrel (hibiscus to you and me) cordial. This stuff is delicious in prosecco (we had our fair share *hiccup*) and also apparently in gin and vodka. It’s also full of antioxidants which magically makes your prosecco healthy, yes it does. A perfect Christmas gift if you ask me.
Susan’s going through a ‘I’ll try anything once’ phase and I was horrified to hear that she had never tried oysters! I treated her to one, promising she’d love it…
She hated it. But for you oyster lovers out there, The Maldon Oyster Company they’re £1 each and fresh as you can get. Delicious with a squeeze of lemon & a glass of fizz.
These guys were pretty entertaining too, playing a mixture of jazzed up Christmas tunes & covers.
They even had Paddington! (I cannot wait to see the film!)
Looking charming as ever.
We wondered around for ages trying little bits and bobs. Susan got herself some goats cheese from a business called Neustift Dairy Goats Cheese (he milks the goats, she makes the cheese, sounds like a good life to me) which sold plain goats cheese along with lots of other weird and wonderful flavours. It was creamy, mild and delicious. Definitely worth a visit.
Once we were full on savouries, we moved on to the puddings. Oh my goodness there is plenty of choice. Stalls upon stalls of cakes, cookies and pastries.
In my opinion, these babies stole the show:
Lovely, crispy Sicillian pastries piped with cream and an assortment of fillings. Passion fruit, chocolate chip or pistachio. Passion fruit was my favourite but I would seriously recommend getting one of each. Absolute heaven!
After we’d stuffed ourselves like Christmas turkeys we headed back home for Elf, Love Actually and a copious amount of tea.