Bigger is not always better!

Back in day….

Not that long ago villages and towns never had these huge supermarket chains that we have now which sell everything under one roof. Then you would have to visit the local greengrocers and bakeries to get your shopping; so why do we think we have to be a “one shop” kinda world why not visit your local markets and small business shop owners.

Now, I cant say I don’t shop in the large supermarkets because I do. One, due to there accessibility as the market doesn’t open at 9 pm and two because some things you just cant get elsewhere. However, I’m obsessed with artisan markets, small business owner shops and any other shops or eateries that are unique. And I ask you to do the same, become obsessed! Because you will love it!

It’s CHRISTMASSSSS!….

And what does Christmas equal, Christmas markets! The jewel of the markets, Christmas markets are always a super favourite of mine. I love Christmas and I love markets so its a win win.

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This years I was invited to the Christmas markets at Chatsworth House in Bakewell. I’ve never been before but was really looking forward to it as the pictures on line looked amazing and ever year the house decorates its beautiful interior differently.

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Now normally I would eat before I leave for a Christmas market, just in case, as there is normally not that much savoury food to eat whilst there for those with allergies, intolerances or specific food choices. However, due to the distance we had to travel I wasn’t able to eat a big meal. So I prepped and took a packed lunch, which fit nicely into my backpack. As it was a market there was no bag check on arrival so no need to worry if my food would be confiscated, plus everyone everywhere was munching on delicious market foods!

On arrival freezing our bottoms off first stop the coffee truck. Oh how I do love a good coffee, but that old sensitivity to caffeine can be an issue on coffee trucks as most of the time its a machine that makes the coffee. So add in the lactose intolerance its normally a no go. However, to my surprise decaff and soya milk available, I was all over that! And it was perfect.

We had a look round half the market before visiting the house before doing the other half of the market and then once round again for good luck!

As expected there was no food at the markets I as a gluten free, lactose intolerant vegetarian could eat but there were several restaurants within Chatsworth House, however I can not comment if they had suitable food as we only popped in one for a drink. They did however have soya milk and decaff teabags.

Good job I packet a lunch!

On our second look round I found a lovely little stall selling condiments. Now I do love a good condiment and my favourite being Branston Pickle. I was initially told I couldn’t have Brandston Pickle due to the barley content, however I’m now learning I can.

Anywho, this stall was selling Blueberry Hill preserves, and these guys had everything you could ever want from chilli pepper chutney to strawberry and black pepper jam and a Yorkshire ploughmans pickle. The man on the stall was full of information on his products and told me that they were all gluten free and my ploughmans pickle was also vegetarian! You know I got one, and to be honest I should have gotten more. It is the most delicious pickle I have ever tasted, my mouth is actually watering as I type thinking about its sharp yet savoury fruity taste. I have had it with cheese, jacket potatoes and just on its own straight from the jar, yum!

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There website is easy to master if you are unable to attend a market they are selling at. I will most definitely be purchasing several of there products from there website and maybe even purchase some for Christmas presents.

The markets….

In my local town we have an artisan market ran by the Makers Market which runs on the second weekend of every month, and if i’m not stuck in work I will attend. If unfortunately I am in work there are several artisan markets around my local area which many of the same stall holders attend.

There are several stalls I will make a bid for when I go to the market, one being Lush Brownies and the other Taylors of Cheshire pie makers. Both produce beautiful gluten free and vegan products.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures of Lush brownies brownies as they tend to go straight from stall to mouth, but please believe me when I say they are the nicest brownies EVER! They are chewie squidgy chocolatey squares of yummieness! The lady who makes them offers “normal” brownies in many flavours as well as her gluten free range and her vegan option. Now I have unfortunately not been able to sample here “normal” range or her vegan brownie as they contain gluten. I tend to zone in on her fudge gluten free brownie as it addictive.

But as my mam always said you need food before puddings so pie it is!

Taylors of Cheshire make award winning gluten free pies and cakes, they have a vegan, vegetarian and meat range. I have tried many a pie and cake from Taylors and totally enjoyed every single one. What I love about Taylors pies is that they are freezable and taste the same on unfreezing which is lovely.

There pastry is crumbly but sturdy unlike some gluten free pastry I’ve had which crumbles into a million pieces on first bite. Taylors pies stay in pie shape yet are not tough or dry. And When I say they fill them, oh boy do they fill them!

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Normally when I visit the stall I’ll buy 4 for £10 which I think is a good deal, especially as there freezable, but I’ve normally ran out before the next market.

So pie for dinner and brownie for pudding, Artisan market day is always a winner in my book!

Chatsworth House pictures by Franchesa Gaffey.

Visit your markets, small is also powerful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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