Known far and wide – even outside the UK’s borders – as a smart, sophisticated, chic and stylish district of the capital, Chelsea may be less well known for its fine food markets, but is that fair? Far from it; here are some of the finest markets to be found in the Chelsea area…
Partridges Food Market
(2-5 Duke of York Square SW3 4LY/ open Saturday)
Having only got off the ground 12 years ago, this one’s hardly the oldest market in London, but it surely must be one of the fastest growing. Having evolved out of the city-wide family-food-shop business Partridges, each Saturday it now offers browsing punters (especially those staying at fine local accommodation like the San Domenico House hotel London United Kingdom) around 70 different stalls that vend excellent locally-sourced and internationally-derived foods – and remains true to its original aim of enabling small producers and farmers the opportunity to share not just their wares but also their passion and expertise directly with the public.
South Kensington Farmers’ Market
(22 Bute Street SW7 3EX/ open Saturday)
A fine-food market well-established in the Kensington and Chelsea area (it’s been going since 2009 now), this effort is full of excellent stalls whose names are as distinctive and memorable as the produce they sell. For instance, Ted’s Veg is where to head for, yes, excellent vegetables and Rookery Farm for the very best in-season game and organic eggs. If you like your meat free-range, then a gander at what’s on offer from the Beatbush Farm stall’s a must, as is for the free-range poultry from Fosse Meadows. Meanwhile, Artisan Foods, Olivier’s Bakery and Miriam’s Munchies are tops for breads, cakes and pastries and why not purchase a (yes, free-range) sausage sandwich for lunch from The Parson’s Nose? Why not, indeed.
Chelsea Farmers Market
(King’s Road SW3 4TZ/ open daily)
Strictly speaking, despite its old-fashioned name, this effort isn’t really a ‘farmers’ market’ at all; more an attractive piazza just off the King’s Road where are congregated a clutch of eclectic shops and restaurants that offer up terrific al fresco dining. And, truth be told, the spring and summer are the times of the year to really make a beeline for this pretty square of brightly-coloured stall-like outlets and eateries, especially because The Market Place restaurant becomes a huge attraction; its outside-dining a big draw with lunchtime and afternoon visitors and the surrounding outlets vending everything from stylish handbags and gorgeous assorted accessories to obscure books and brilliant bric-a-brac. Of similar market-like note is The Chelsea Gardener, an upmarket and rather rustic-in-appearance garden centre that’s just down nearby Sydney Street, where you’ll find high-quality outdoor furniture, plants, pots, decorations and garden-related gifts.
The World’s End Market
(The World’s End Distillery, 459 King’s Road SW10 0LR/ open Monday-Sunday until late)
Finally, this may not exactly be a market, but might be argued to be something even more exciting – a dining option that blends all that’s great about a fresh-food market with the high-quality restaurant experience. For, this large eatery’s all about giving visitors exactly what they want in terms of market-fresh, delicious seafood, meats and more – you pick it from what’s on sale and the staff prepare it right in front of you there and then. A culinary concept that’s – perhaps understandably – fast become popular with visitors from far and wide to luxury suites London, it’s all about grill-searing the fish, meat and chicken on sale to lock in all the terrific taste. Who can say fairer than that, honestly!