Queen's Park Farmer's Market: Here's to a lazy Sunday afternoon...

Though A and C now spend a lot of their time hanging out in the Docklands, A is still a north London boy at heart and needs to go back every once and a while for a fix of his old haunts. Given that many of his friends still live in the area, there is generally no shortage of opportunities to return to an NW postcode. A little while ago, A's friends T and E invited A and C up for a visit Queen's Park farmer's market and a spot of lunch at their flat in Kilburn, so A coaxed Surrey-girl C into venturing north into the polar wastes of NW6 find out what all the fuss was about.

The big cheese

A and C are believers in farmer's markers - we've written about them before - as we like the idea of buying organic and local. As Queen's Park's has often won awards, we were particularly keen to check it out; and, as T and E live in the area and go all the time, they were happy to show the rookies the ropes. The market takes over a primary school's playground on Sunday mornings, and there is a huge range of stuff on offer: amazing organic veggies, splendid bread and cheese and hot food stands make sure the goods on offer are fresh and varied.

The spread

We came back with quite a haul: fresh tomatoes from the tomato punnet man, some English charcuterie (such things exist, but apparently come with quite a price tag!), fresh bread and a Bath soft cheese. The latter was really the stand-out item of the day: soft, creamy and incredibly moreish, it disappeared quicker than you could say Jack Robinson, with C making short shrift of a quarter of it about as soon as we'd taken it out of its wrapper. 

The quality of everything we had was excellent, though Queen's Park does suffer from the malaise of some of London's farmer's markets: outrageous pricing. For some reason, organic farmers think that middle class Londoners will pay silly money for even the most basic ingredients. A caught sight of bottles of passata for a fiver and the small salami A purchased cost £8.50; a fact which we only found once we'd agreed to buy it as no price was displayed. 

A fine lunch

The trick of not giving a price and then asking for an arm and a leg once you'd agreed to take an item was repeated in several parts of the market and it means that if you're not careful you can part with a significant portion of your pay cheque in a very short space of time. Oddly, this doesn't seem to happen beyond the M25: such silliness was not in evidence in Stroud, nor has A seen it at Yorkshire farmer's markets near his grandparents, uncle and brother. We suspect it's a London thing.

T and E contributed some salad ingredients (all off shot), more bread, fruit, some Indian delicacies, and hobnobs (from Sainsbury's, not the farmer's market). The pair clearly knew their way around the market; everything they'd picked out was great, and the hobnobs went down a treat too.

And now for dessert...

The result was a wonderful, if decadent, lunch, which left all four of us feeling full and happy. We discussed going for a swim to burn the food off, but by the time we'd got around to deciding anything, we'd all hit a post-prandial slump and all we wanted to do was loaf about.

All hail the lazy Sunday afternoon and here's to the next farmer's market Sunday lunch...


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