Last Wednesday, Laura and I decided to go to the Northallerton Farmers Market, which is held on the 4th Wednesday of every month.
Northallerton is about a 45 minute drive (depending on the whim of our SatNav) from where we live in Easington Colliery.
We arrived in Northallerton at about 9.30am.
The high street was busy with market traders, shoppers, and cars. I drove along one side of the high street looking for a parking spot, missed one, then drove back along the road in the opposite direction, missed another spot, and then third time lucky, found a spot and parked. Laura chucked some coins in the pay and display machine, and off we all went for a mooch about.
I say all, because we took Barley, our Lurcher with us. No doubt he thought we were going to the beach as that’s where car journeys usually end, but he was very happy being somewhere busy, well, much busier than where we live, and he received a lot of attention from people stopping to chat to us about him, and to stroke him. He seemed to be of great interest to the people of Northallerton, no doubt due to his good looks.
So, enough about the dog, more about Northallerton. We had a good wander, looking at the town, popping into the church yard, and then sightseeing over, we began the main event, we started on the food shopping – the reason we’d gone to Northallerton.
Our first purchase was 4 Lobster and Crab burgers (£7) and some Rollmops from the Carricks Fish van.
I cooked the Lobster and Crab burgers for our lunch the next day, and they were might tasty. They had a lovely strong fish flavour, we could really taste the lobster and crab; they weren’t full of fillers, and the texture was really good. Impressed.
We continued strolling along the high street, browsing the market stalls and the shops.
Our next purchase of the day was some Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb. Laura said she’d make rhubarb crumble, it’s a favourite of mine, but I’m still waiting……. I could make it myself, but sweets are not part of my kitchen duties. Hahaha!
I also picked up half a dozen eggs. Not really sure why, because we had about a dozen at home in the fridge, but when I get into food shopping mode, nothing can stop me!
We were pleasantly surprised by Northallerton, it was really nice to be somewhere that felt alive, unlike so much of Britain with its boarded-up shops and dying high streets.
Northallerton is a thriving market town, with a decent number of good food shops, and we spotted at least two butcher shops that stocked a wide range of fresh and cooked goods, as well as several small independent shops, which gives it character; it’s not all big chain shops; betting shops and take-aways, that you see elsewhere. There were lots of pubs too, but unfortunately Barley can’t drive, so we didn’t imbibe.
One of the butchers we spied had pies in the window, they looked tasty, and I couldn’t resist them. Laura went in and purchased a pork and black pudding pie, and a pork and apple pie, while I kept a very firm old on Barley who was seriously eager to go in the butchers and help Laura.
The meaty aromas coming from the butchers (Thompson J, 125 High St Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL7 8PQ), were driving Barley a little crazy.
After the pie purchase, we continued walking until Laura spotted a market stall selling baked goods. Laura perused the stall for a while before deciding to purchase some vegetable samosas. I reheated the samosas a couple of days after we’d bought them, they were fairly large, had a lot of filling; various vegetables, obviously as they were vegetable samosas, and a good amount of spice, they were might tasty indeed. Another good buy.
Last but not least to go into our shopping bag, was some bread from Olivia’s Bakery and Cafe. I bought a sourdough loaf, a baguette, and a trio of rolls.
The bread was excellent quality. The baguette reminded us of the ones we used to buy when we lived in rural France. The sourdough was as good as any I’ve ever made, and that is high praise indeed.
All three of us enjoyed our trip to Northallerton Farmers Market, and I’m sure we will return.
Blog post by Richard Randall