Soon after publishing my list of “must visits before 2014” I went straight to work ticking each London eateries off the list. After all, what better excuse to indulge in some of the best food and drink around town. Apart from the occasional brunch with girlfriends, the majority of my Saturday’s this month have been spent alone whilst Sam study’s hard for his final accountancy exams. This has been the perfect opportunity to work on the blog and pick up some on-the-job treats.
On this occasion I decided to stay local and head to Clapham Common which has a number of nice eateries including new Australian cafe Brickwood Coffee and Bread. Caravan roasted coffee and a selection of freshly baked cakes makes Brickwood the perfect working environment. Unfortunately they are yet to install WiFi so I had to resort to the local Starbucks across the road. I can just about get over my coffee snobbery when working in Starbucks but when it comes to ordering something to eat, I just had to go elsewhere. Luckily Venn Street market is just around the corner and it was a Saturday which meant trading was well underway. What’s more, Venn Street Market is also on my “must visit” list.
It had been a good few years since my last visit so a number of traders had changed so to me, this was a new experience. Venn Street is the most popular and possibly the largest Saturday market in SW London, not including those at Brixton or Nottinghill. Traders vary from those selling fresh farm produce to Spanish street food. You can find everything you need for breakfast, lunch and dinner including fruit and veg, handmade pasta and pastries galore. As it was before midday I was on the hunt for something sweet to accompany my Starbucks coffee.
It took me a while to walk around as although the market stems the length on just one rather small street, there is lots going on, plenty of food to try and people to chat to. Some of my best finds include mushroom pate from Pate Moir and fresh filled pasta from Pasta di Grazia. I also spotted new traders The Tartelettes with an array of fantastic looking miniature cakes which although looked very nice, would have been a little too sweet for my first meal of the day.
I’d already decided which stall I would be visiting for brunch and I was delighted to find them setting up shop a little late of schedule (if you can’t spot them I’d advise to wait around until midday). Vegan soda bread from Creole bakery Global Fusion was my choice of treat as I knew it wouldn’t disappoint. Creole baking is popular in Central America, the Caribbean and South Africa, where the sweet soda bread tastes more like cake, but contains half the fat and sugar (yippee!). I have previously come across Global Fusion at Taste of Christmas and the Foodies Festival where they sell their sweet cake-like bread in a number of different flavours. I’ve tried them all with my favourites being apple crumble, banana & chocolate and mango. I also like their coconut bread and their double chocolate – oh I love them all!
These breads are the freshest, moistest and gooiest I’ve ever come across and I can’t get across how delicious they taste. Made with fresh fruit and root tubers they are not too sweet or heavy but a slice is enough to fill a hole and at £3 a loaf, a bargain too! On this occasion I asked for a small (our idea of small was slightly different – it was huge!) piece of apple crumble bread which to my surprise, was still warm from the oven! The slice contained large chunks of soft cooked apple in an extremely moist buttery cake. Although marketed as a bread, I would say it was more like a cake but less sickly than say, a Victoria sponge so ideal for anytime of day. The slice was topped with crumble which added texture and sweetness – yum! All this for just one English pound, this is one hell of a find. Global Fusion can be found at various food shows and at Stoke Newington Market and at Venn Street on Saturdays. This is one market trader to make a special visit for.
Venn Street Market is a lovely little stretch of food traders in which you can find all the fresh food you’ll need for the week as well as pick up some hard-to-find treats. I’m sure it won’t be long until I’m back as I hope to try my hand at cooking a lovely pasta dish for Sam one evening using the freshly filled pasta, fresh veg and baked focaccia bread all on offer every Saturday. Leave the stresses of your packed local supermarket and support independent traders whilst enjoying a day out at Venn Street Market.
Living life, loving cake,