We call our county the Garden of England - but we couldn’t do that if we couldn't showcase masses of locally-grown produce and fantastic food and drink, could we?
Kent is a foodie's paradise, famous for it's fresh oysters, succulent fruit and Michelin-star dining, and the first port of call for our county's top chefs and budding cooks is usually one of the county's bustling farmers’ markets. So if you fancy tucking into lamb from Romney Marsh or strawberries from Linton, our round up of fantastic farmers markets in Kent will help you put a little more flavour on your plate this season.
Remember, if you craft a dish from your favourite local ingredients and you feel it's worthy of its own Michelin star, share a picture with us on Twitter ready for #FoodieFriday.
What seasonal produce should you be buying right now? Well, as the South East’s leading food hall and with a butcher, baker, greengrocer and cheesemaker (no, not a candlestick maker), Macknade Fine Foods ought be able to tell us a thing or two. This season Macknade recommends the humble potato, anything from Desiree and King Edwards, to Maris Piper and Pink Fir Apple. They also recommend artichokes, Bramley and Quince apples for tempting pies and crumbles, and for the cheese lovers, check out the Vacherin Mont D’or.
This farmers’ market is a foodie’s dream! Freshly baked bread, cheeses of Canterbury, locally sourced meat, and veg from as a little as 12 miles away can all be found under the beamed ceiling of The Goods Shed. This market is a hive of activity and a hub for foodies - if you’re more of a sampler than a chef, pull up a stool at Wild Goose, The Bottle Shop or Fermental on the ragstone floor for bites of freshly prepared small plates, a vegan feast or a glass of craft beer. The Goods Shed restaurant is also a must for a fine lunch or dinner.
Our come, buy, leave! Gravesend Borough Market the pop-up market is open from 10-2 pm. The market will operate a one-way system, with floor signage and hand sanitizers available for use on arrival and exit. They are asking you to maintain social distancing of 2 metres in and around the market building at all times. Find beauty, fashion, antiques, food and drinks, and much more. Support your local market.
Great news! Cliftonville Farmer’s Market is back, visit them on the last Sunday of the month, the next market is Sunday, July 26th, 10:00 am-1:00 pm. The Farmers' Market is located on the clifftop with wonderful sea views and surrounds the historic Oval Bandstand. They have 18 Food stalls and 2 Home & Garden stands. Turn your Sunday shopping into a good day out! Go for a walk along the cliff tops, meander around the Farmers' Market and shop local.
Just yards away from the best example of a Motte-and-Bailey Gate - Tonbridge Castle - lies one of the region's bst loved farmers' markets. Every second Sunday of the month, treat yourself to tempting street food and pick up tips from the best with a little cookery theatre. Plus, as no budding chef would be without the best tools, there is a knife sharpener on site to sharpen up your skills.
Another farmers market in an impressive setting (is there a pattern emerging here?), the Aylesford Farmers Market is held on the third Sunday of the month at the historic Aylesford Priory. More than thirty stalls are there for browsing, but with some of the best local produce in Kent, we’re sure you’ll be doing more than window shopping.
Cheeses, smoked fish, crusty bread, local honey and WINE, what more could you want? Tour the stalls at the West Malling market for a taste of local produce and then be sure to check out one of the pubs or restaurants in the high street for a little alfresco dining, café culture, or a rewarding Sunday pint.
We’re in luck, the Quex Barn has reopened! Their mission is to bring fresh local produce to local people. Open every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Come along they have a butchery, a delicatessen, a wet fish stall, bakers, fruit, veg and floristry, coffee shop and a restaurant. They’re also going above and beyond and are offering food deliveries to local customers in isolation.
Within minutes of a visit to Rochester Farmers’ Market, you’ll be laden with fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, cheeses and chutneys, all local, delicious and seasonal. A benefit of farmers’ markets over supermarkets is you can chat away to the cheese-maker, discuss the best marinades for the meat you’ve bought and hear all about the perfect way to cook those very fresh, seasonal vegetables. Perfect.
We couldn’t list some of Kent’s favourite farmers’ markets without mentioning the historic market town of Faversham now, could we? Mix it up and visit the market on a different day each week to see the full spread of stalls and find everything from fresh flowers and plants, to gifts and vegetables.
At the foot of the of the North Downs, the picturesque village of Wye hosts a farmers' market that's bursting with fresh local produce. The sweet-toothed will find cakes and jams to tempt them, with plenty of fresh fish, cheeses and meats to take home for sensational suppers.
To discover more about Kent's fantastic farmers' markets, visit Kent Farmers Market Association.