Great foodie shopping at Cape Town’s Oranjezicht Market

Today we’re heading to beautiful Granger Bay close to Cape Town’s Waterfront. How I love a food market and the Oranjezicht farmers market is absolutely fabulous. It’s a community farmers-style market for independent local farmers and artisanal food producers that’s set overlooking the sparkling sea.

There’s plenty of seating where you can relax and munch on the many dishes available and a wide range of stalls to delight. The tempting displays definitely make me buy more, but as I love everything I’ve bought there that’s really not a problem.

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The market looks out over the azure sea

As you walk in you’re greeted by a fabulous floral display, include vibrant bunches of perfect proteas – South Africa’s national flower.

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Beautiful bunches of proteas to take home

Fresh produce

This has got to be the best place in Cape Town to stock up on all the fresh stuff you’re going to need for your week. The fruit and vegetable displays are stunning and everything is of the highest quality. Boxes of fresh figs, massively juicy watermelons, plump grapes, carrots in myriad shades, tomatoes, chillis, herbs, leaves, garlic…well, pretty much whatever that’s seasonal and delicious. Make sure you take a bag – you’re not going to be able to carry it all if you don’t! I think I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Chillis in different shapes, sizes and colours

Oranjezicht farmers market

How’s this for a vegetable display…almost makes me want to become vegetarian

More chillis to add spice to your life

A fresh herb selection and beans that are purple and yellow

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Heirloom tomatoes – juicily bursting with flavour

A table full of squash is a work of art

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Love the pink oyster mushrooms…and you can even grow your own

Some of the wonderful fruit on offer

There’s also plenty of great-quality meat, cheese, bread, fish and sauces available.

Snacking opportunities and takeaways

As well as all the fresh produce there’s so much to tuck into at once to keep your shopping strength up – or to take home for later feasting. Baked goods, fresh bread, samosas, sushi, pies, wraps, Vietnamese rolls, eggs Benedict, steak rolls in many forms, bacon and egg croissants, bagels..it’s astounding. Here’s a small selection of what’s on offer.

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You’ll find plenty of sweet treats to indulge in

Perfect little pies made in a muffin pan

Oranjezicht farmers market

The sweetest and most custardy of Portuguese custard tarts

Oranjezicht farmers market

The chefs are busy with bacon and potato rosti

Oranjezicht farmers market

The colourful sushi selection is described with passion

The prettiest of plants are also on display

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There’s a lot of eating on the go happening here

This is some market – seriously, I could go every week and take a batch of pictures like this showcasing different products – there’s so much on offer here. My advice is to go and see for yourself – and go soon, cos you’re going to want to go back again and again.

You’ll find the Oranjezicht City Farm Market at Granger Bay Boulevard, V&A Waterfront, Cape town.

It is open every Saturday from 9am to 2pm.

Read more about the Oranjezicht City farm by clicking here.

 

Food market: Alchemy Festival at Southbank Centre

I love a food market. My sister recently sent me a feature listing the best food markets in the world and I thought: What a good way to spend a year (or however long it might take) – flying around the world testing and rating food markets. Well, I can dream, can’t I? Luckily there are plenty of delicious foodie shopping opportunities right on my doorstep here in London. Like the Alchemy Festival which has just popped up on the Southbank.

This is a 12-day celebration from London street food specialists KERB exploring the cuisines of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. And what a celebration it is with plenty of brilliantly colourful stalls to shop from and the aroma of spices filling the air.

How about some curry from the Peckish Peacock?

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Love the style of this food truck

Or something from the perfect pinkness (and blueness) of Dosa?

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How can you resist such a beautiful decorated stall?

I couldn’t decide and meandered around and around before choosing something from a country I’d never experienced the cuisine of – Afghanistan. YumAfghan’s menu looked tempting and I opted for some Afghan-style BBQ – one marinated lamb skewer coming up.

While I waited for the chef to cook it I spotted another Afghan speciality called Mantu. A delicious-looking (and sounding) dish of steamed dumplings. Next time?

The tempting Afghan menu

The tempting Afghan menu

My skewer was wonderful. Perfectly tender, tasty lamb cooked medium-rare and served with a spicy green sauce and yogurt.

Close up to my tasty Afghan treat

Close up to my tasty Afghan treat

There are also plenty of drinking options, from coffee to cocktails, custom-made sodas to lassis, plus a full bar. And some more exotic choices. How’s this for a drinks list with a difference?

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And just around the corner you’ll find The Bloody Oyster. A traditional red London bus where you can indulge in a bloody Mary and oyster feast. Who can resist that?

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All aboard for oysters and bloody Marys

Alchemy Festival started yesterday (May 19th) and runs until May 30th 2016.

You’ll find it at Southbank Square, Belvedere Road, London SE1, a few minutes walk from Waterloo Station.

Opening times

Monday – Thursday 12pm to 8pm

Friday 12pm to 9pm

Saturday 11am to 9pm

Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday 12pm to 8pm

Sunday funday at Fourways Farmers Market

I do love a food market so I was excited on a recent visit to Johannesburg when my friend Sharon (a local Joburger) suggested we spent Sunday morning/lunchtime at the Fourways Farmers market.

This beautiful market is set under the trees with plenty of fantastic stalls offering local and home-made produce. Plus there’s breakfast and lunch choices and plenty of drinks to sample. It’s beautifully peaceful and hard to believe you’re pretty much in the middle of a large city. The perfect escape.

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The welcoming sign leads you into the market

One of my favourites was this spicy selection. Pretty much every spice you could imagine, beautifully laid out and tempting you as you inhale their wonderful aromas.

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Let’s get spicy…there’s so much choice

An amazing array of chilli sauces and relishes, with heat to suit all tastes. Simply Wild also has a range of mayos, including delicious garlic and wasabi.

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Time to stock up on chilli flavours

These fried chicken wraps were very much in demand and smelled delectable.

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Lunchtime…tuck into a tasty chicken wrap

There’s no shortage of sweet choices, either. From fudge in myriad flavours, wonderful Turkish Delight, macaroons and plenty of cakes and tarts.

Something sweet to tuck into

Something sweet to snack on

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All roads lead to good things

It’s hard to resist lamb on the spit. This flavoursome meat was stuffed into pittas with tatziki for our satisfying lunch choice. A piece of advice: make sure you sweep the whole market before you decide what you’re going to eat! There’s a large selection, after all it’s always a good thing to know exactly what’s on offer before you commit.

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Succulent lamb to savour

The leafy market was buzzing with people enjoying a sunny Sunday, good food and an amazing atmosphere. There’s also live music to enjoy as you picnic under the trees sipping on a glass of local bubbles.

I’d definitely be a regular if I lived in Joburg – and no doubt would be filling up my cupboards with new delicacies to try. And it’s a great place to absorb some of that friendly “Joburg vibe”…they really do make everyone feel right at home. Thank you Sharon for the local knowledge!

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Dogs are welcome at the market

Fourways Farmers Market is at the Earth Outdoor Nursery, Corner of Monte Casino Boulevard and William Nicol Road, Fourways, Johannesburg.

It’s open from 10am to 3pm on Sundays. Click here to find out more.

Viandas Salamanca: a Proper Spanish deli in The Strand

Living in London is wonderful, there’s always something new to discover. And I can’t tell you how excited I felt when I spotted this place. I visit Spain a lot and love the country, its people and the food. And now there’s a little touch of authentic Spain in, guess where, Covent Garden! Hooray.

Viandas Salamanca sells foodie delights from the Salamanca (north west) area of Spain. The first thing you notice when you walk in is the aroma of ham and cheese filling the air, inhale it and enjoy. One wall is covered with hanging jamons in all their glory, there are fridges full of different meaty delicacies in vacuum packs and cheeses from the region.

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A wall full of jamon…paradise

You can also ask for your jamon to be freshly carved for you off one of the legs that sits temptingly on the counter. Impossible for me to resist!

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Cheese glorious cheese

And then there’s the sandwiches – large baguettes packed full of Spanish jamon – well, overflowing with it really as you can see from the picture below! When you order one you’re given the choice of adding tomato, which is in the form of a little sachet of the tomato concotion that is used on pan con tomate. Lunch really doesn’t get much better than this!

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Looking into the Spanish treasure trove from the street, check out the amazing baguettes

This sort of produce is not cheap, but that’s no surprise as it is of the highest quality and takes a lot of time and love to produce. So go on, treat yourself. I know I did!

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The special pigs are acorn-fed to produce the delectable jamon

Viandas Salamanca is at 99 Strand, London WC2

Olivar market in Palma – it’s magical

I do love food markets…and boy did I have a treat in store in Palma.

The Olivar covered market is in a class of its own! So many stunning ingredients, so inspiring and a real taste treat, too.

First stop, the oyster bar for a glass of cava and some oysters to get the day off on the right foot. Choose your size (the biggest ones were, well, gigantic) and a squeeze of lemon and a dash of Tabasco and you’re done. I can’t remember tasting fresher oysters, they melted on my tongue. There’s also a range of other seafood available which they will cook for you straight off their stall. Yum!

First stop, oysters and Cava

First stop, oysters and Cava

Now that's what I call breakfast

Now that’s what I call breakfast

The fish counters are overflowing with the freshest of seafood and fish with a massive selection, from miniscule shrimps to juicy lobsters, sardines aplenty, clams, mussels, octopus and all that fabulous Spanish white fish.

The fish stalls are truly spectacular

The fish stalls are truly spectacular

And what can I say about the fruit and vegetables? The displays will take your breath away and good luck choosing what you’re going to take home. I loved the look of these fresh artichokes.

You can't beat the vegetables in Spain

You can’t beat the vegetables in Spain

And then there’s the jamon, loads of it!

The very best of Spanish jamon

The very best of Spanish jamon

My love for tomatoes is well documented, and the different ones in Spain amaze me. They all have different flavours, too.

The glory of Spanish tomatoes

The glory of Spanish tomatoes

At this jamon stand you can sample a plate of his wares. There are different varieties available, simply make your selection and it is sliced in front of you in the traditional way. More food that melts on your tongue, all washed down with a little glass of wine.

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The sheer variety of produce amazes me, how about these mushrooms?

The sheer variety of produce amazes me, how about these mushrooms?

Tuck into a plate of deliciousness and some Rioja

Tuck into a plate of deliciousness and some Rioja

And, of course, you have to taste the cheeses!

A selection of Menorcan and Manchego cheeses

A selection of Menorcan and Manchego cheeses

Traditional Mallorcian sausage called sobrasada

Traditional Mallorcian sausage called sobrasada

What a market! What an experience! Ostras, Cava, jamon, queso y vino tinto while surrounded by a true wonderland of edible treasures. Now that’s my idea of a beautiful morning.

Special thanks to our lovely friends Dave and Sue who spend a lot of time in Mallorca and volunteered to be our expert guides for the day. Dave certainly knows the foodie secrets of Palma and it was a delight to share them.

Mercat Olivar is open from 7am to 2.30 pm Monday to Saturday and from 2.30pm to 8pm on Friday.