The sign is right there on the windy Notting Hill Gate sidewalk in plain sight of all the tourists that flock to Portobello Road market on Saturdays. But many people miss one of London's most delightful farmers markets, hidden in a grungy parking lot behind Waterstones bookstore -- which makes the bounty and color of the market even more of a pleasant surprise.
I spent years apartment swapping with my late friend Peter across the street and came to rely on the Saturday morning market as an oasis of fresh, local, healthy food in a city whose supermarkets for the most part make me want to shed a tear, with their frightening potato chip flavors and aisles of ready-made meals and plastic wrap-suffocated fruit and veg.
If you're in London on a Saturday, check out this lovely market, which manages to be small enough to feel manageable (unlike the overwhelming if wonderful Borough Market) while having literally everything you need to produce a balanced meal -- sweet tomatoes, venison sausage, organic chickens, local apples, organic buffalo cheese with wild garlic, organic goose eggs and more -- plus flowers and potted herbs. And there are many stalls where you can buy quality baked goods and prepared foods with a British slant, like steak and kidney pies ready to be popped into the oven.
For more information about the Notting Hill farmers market, go here.
- Kristin Hohenadel blogging from rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, France. She can be reached at kristinh @ apartmenttherapy . com