Jesmond Food Market, Armstrong Bridge
I have great memories of the Armstrong Bridge Craft Fair, which used to take place every Sunday. There’d be lots of quirky items from local producers, and I still have a glass necklace purchased from a stall on one particular visit. I was disappointed when it stopped, but not aware of the reasons why it happened.
I was pleased to hear that a market was returning to the historic Bridge, and even happier when I discovered that it was going to be food orientated. Having proved popular at the inaugural event last month, it returned this weekend featuring even more artisan produce. We were busy last month so couldn’t attend, but made definitive plans to visit this time round. We knew we had to go early to avoid missing out, as we’d heard last month there were sell-outs at certain stalls.
The event has been organised by a triumvirate which features local foodie Anna Hedworth, who also runs Cook House. Many know her as The Grazer on Twitter, and she clearly knows her stuff when it comes to all things culinary.
It is hard to choose what to eat at events like this as everything looks so delicious! We’d forsaken breakfast in the hope we’d have more space in our tummies to try nibbles as we walked along. Our favourites La Petite Creperie and Longhorns BBQ were there, but we decided to try some new businesses instead.
Our first stop was the Zen Baker. As it was still the right side of midday to be eating breakfast we started with a fantastic Apple Pastry. We also purchased a Salted Caramel Tart to take home with us. The idea was to share the pastry, but we returned after a few bites to buy more!
Next door was the Northumberland Cheese Company, who had some samples to try. We’ve had quite a few varieties of their cheese before, having met with them at other fairs. This time round we bought the Redesdale, which is a sweet Sheep’s cheese. It has a really clean taste compared to their Kielder, in my opinion, and I’m looking forward to eating it with some of the Carrot Chutney we bought from Northumbrian Preserves. I have to say the gentleman who runs this stall is fab, and we had a great chat about my beloved NUFC 🙂 He’s advised we try the chutney on burgers, and I’ll do as I’m instructed next weekend at our May Bank Holiday BBQ.
I bought some meat for said BBQ from the Northumberland Sausage Company, which we’d highly recommend. Two packs of sausages for £5 is great, especially when Tesco probably charge the same for inferior quality produce in comparison.
Wheatberry have recently started to follow Canny Food on Twitter, so when I knew they were appearing at the market I decided to make a special trip to see what they were about. There was a huge queue for their vegetarian street food as we walked past, which is a great sign. It was one of the most colourful stalls on the Bridge, and their Totally Shredded Carrot & Beetroot Salad stood out in its orange glory.
The hot food stands started to get very busy at lunch time, with Papa Ganoush and Eloudie Raclette experiencing high demand. I decided to pay a visit to Pizzette, who I have never eaten before. I have visited the Boilershop Steamer event many times and spotted their van, but always been sidetracked by something else. This time round I was determined to save space for their fare. I chose the Lamb Polpette, which was ready in super fast time. I had to share with Him Indoors, who had their pizzas when they did a pop-up where he works. It was delicious, and well worth the fiver I paid. I was tempted to get another to take away, but thought that was a bit gluttonous!
The market was super busy, and at times it was infuriating for me when people queue jumped. Curse my English sensibilities. There are a lot more stalls than I could feature, especially when it comes to confectioners like North Chocolates and The Fudge Parlour. We weren’t particularly fancying sweet things when we visited, although purchased some goodies for later on. I also bought my Dad some Smoked Cashews to enjoy with his pint while he watched the match from Northumbrian Smokehouse too. I was slightly disappointed by the lack of pies, and two stalls selling crepes in such a small area was a bit much, in my opinion. We enjoyed our Saturday wander however, and we’ll return again next month!
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