Sunday, 9 October 2011

Talented people and gorgeous things

It's been a weekend of markets for me.  I drove up to South London on Saturday to check out Balham Farmers Market as I will be starting there in a few weeks time and just wanted to get a feel for the place. 

The market only started on 17th September, so it's still pretty new and it always takes a while for shoppers to get into the habit of coming to a market regularly.  Not a huge market but some lovely stalls with delicious food and a steady stream of shoppers spending money (which is what we like!).  And it would have been rude to go all that way and not buy anything, so I filled my bag with yummy goodies to bring home.  Raw cow's milk and buffalo mozzarella from Alham Wood in Somerset, fresh ravioli filled with courgette flowers and ricotta, the most fabulous baked cheesecake you have ever tasted and freshly made salsa dip.  Delicious!

Today was my local market at Lenham and, although we set up in wind and pouring rain, the sun did eventually come out and brought the good shoppers to our stalls.  Lenham is classed as a 'country market' and features a lot of craft stalls as well as the traditional food and plant stalls.  I always admire the craft stalls - those people are just SO talented, they make you feel very boring and plain!  One such exceedingly talented lady is Claire Matheson who designs and makes the most gorgeous handmade scarves, handbags and jewellery.

These photos don't really do her justice but they give you some idea of her range.  I am the proud owner of one of her bags (the large giraffe print one above) and it really is the most wonderful thing.  I make no excuses for advertising her here as she is one of the most talented people I have ever had the pleasure to meet.  If you are looking for unusual or unique presents, then Claire is your woman.  She doesn't have a website yet but you can email her on   and she also does personal visits and party bookings.  Fab ideas for Xmas ... 

Back at the ranch, the goaties have been enjoying their new hayrack again today.  Seems that the British Alpine goats are getting a head for heights:


  1. Looking forward to seeing you at a London Market sooner rather than later! Your goats all look very very happy (and I love the bag!)

  2. London market update (for those who are interested) .. I will be attending the following markets:

    Balham on 2nd Saturday of each month and 5th Saturday (when there is one!)

    Parson's Green on 1st Sunday of each month and 5th Sunday (when there is one)

    That's for starters. I am going to see how those work out and then perhaps do a few more. LFM have offered me several others but I don't want to over-commit at the moment, especially as the milk yield starts to drop off a bit in the winter.

    Look forward to meeting some of you there!

  3. Saarff East London no less!!

    Hopefully we'll get the chance to visit the market one Saturday ... love those bags!!

    We're still here on Fuerteventura, the island famed for its goat cheese, but haven't tasted much better than the cheeses produced from Ellie's Dairy goat milk.