Tuesday 11 February 2014

Stroud Farmers' Market

Window of Cornflower & Calico

Unlike our first visit to Glasgow the other week, Stroud in Gloucestershire is a place we have been to many times and also have a connection with, as both friends and family live in this hilly town on the edge of the Cotswolds. It had dawned on us recently, that several years had whizzed by since out last visit, so a timely invite from our old college friends was a welcome reason to make a weekend break of it.

It is always a culinary delight when visiting these particular friends, as the lady of the house has the ability to rustle up the most amazing meals in front of our eyes with what appears to be the absolute minimum of effort. As we sat catching up on the past few years, eggs benedict, on a bed of chard fresh picked from the allotment, was produced from scratch, and just as a lunch-time snack. Delicious! So it comes as no surprise that our friends are also huge fans of the multi-award winning Stroud Farmers' Market that takes place each Saturday in the streets surrounding Cornhill Market Place.

It was a bitterly cold wind that whooshed us down the steep hill into the town, with the two men making straight for the calorie-laden Pippin Doughnuts stall, (oh, if only!) followed by an interested mooch towards the Artisan Baker, where I was delighted to find (one) gluten-free loaf available.
"The rest have already been snapped up this morning" said the girl.
This must surely say something?!

Following this gluten free discovery, I made it my quest to see what else I could find. Funky Falafel clearly advertised their gluten-free products, and the Hinton Marsh Farm had gluten-free sausages.
"Only the plain GF ones today. Usually we rotate all the other flavours in turn"
I took a pack of the plain ones and having had them for tea last night, I can say they were truly delicious.

For the non-meat eaters there were plenty of wonderful vegetables available...

...as well as vegetarian options, often doubling with dairy-free and gluten-free.
As the men were indulging in the calorie laden doughnuts and cheeses, I was opting for these comparatively healthy and interesting gluten-free options, with products from both the Veggie Deli and Saira's South Asian Savouries having passed the 'ok for me' test!

Back to the off-limits but delicious looking home made pork pies from the Stowe Herd Farm (oh, if only!)...

...and a colourful array of local vegetables from Duncan Paget & Co...

...and hidden away at Hobbs House Bakery, these happy little chaps!

On a morning where sharp rain showers punctuated the sunshine and the bitter wind whipped the awning covers into the faces of the passing shoppers, it certainly didn't seem to deter the masses coming out to visit this veritable congregation of culinary delights (and indeed, other products too). For those of us with dietary requirements, I'm pleased to say there was plenty of choice here, which is reassuring to see.

With our bulging bags wafting their delicious aromas, we began the long climb back up the steep hill, stopping off along the way for a reviving cuppa in front of the fire at the Bisley House Bar.
What a delightful way of spending a Saturday morning.

(Thanks to all for allowing me to take photos)

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