Lewisham Market

The arrival of a new juicer at Brockley Central prompted us to try Lewisham Market, in search of cheap fruit. Even a state-of-the-art centrifugal machine requires mountains of the stuff to muster a glass, so finding low-cost fruit is the only way to make juicing an affordable hobby.

Lewisham Market - open daily between Monday and Saturday along the pedestrianised section of the high street - is fantastic for fruit and vegetables in the way that Brockley, sadly, isn't.

We managed to get a carrier bag of grapes for a quid, but it wasn't just the prices that were good, the quality of the produce is too, with plenty to choose from across a wide range of stalls.

83 comments:

fabhat said...

My Dad has been a Lewisham market fan for about 25 years now - he is very well known by the stall holders, and gets all kinds of bargain because of it.

He has very specific stallholders he goes to for some things, but not others - when we were kids one stallholder always offered my brother (or whichever child was with my dad) a carrot, from his carrot and onion stall - until my brother said he'd rather have an onion, which he proceeded to eat like an apple. He still eats them raw on occasion...

Brockley Kate said...

Lewisham market is fantastic. The sausage man is great for a snack while you're shopping, too.

But juicing isn't nearly as good for you as eating the fruit is! So stick to that, is my suggestion. Needs less costly apparatus, too.

ade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ade said...

lewisham market is a great market - has a lovely atmosphere at weekends - also has lovely flower stall at the far end - def worth the 20 min walk from 'west brockley' :)

Headhunter said...

For things like wheatgrass juicing is pretty much the only and best option (although you have to have one of those expensive "screw type juicers rather than the cheaper centrifugal type). Unless you're going to chomp on a bale of grass!

Also, the human gastric system is unable to break down the cell walls in most green vegetables including wheatgrass, but juicing it actually "cracks" the cell walls and releases much higher levels of minerals and vits. The juicer basically does part of the job that a cows multiple stomachs do

Centrifugal system juicers (those which employ a cylindrical "grater" to mash the vegetable/fuit and spin it so that the juice is separated from the pulp are good but it is true that the friction heat created from the whizzing blade actually destroys vits susceptible to heat (vits C and B for example) so to get the most out of home made juice, it is best to by a "screw" type juicer. they're also much quieter, and gently crush the fuit and squeeze the juice out rather than mashing and spinning it at high speed. Unfortunately they cost from at least £100 to several hundred unlike the centrifgal systems which you buy at Argos for about £50 or less.

And always remember, you need to drink the juice within 5 mins of juicing. As soon as you destroy the cell walls by juicing, vitamins and minerals immediately start to decay

Sorry to sound like a juicing nerd. I carefully looked into this before buying my juicer! I grow my own wheat grass, don't you know! That must super qualify me for the extra virgin brigade...

Tom said...

HH - you are a juicing nerd! No need to apologise tho - I've just learnt something!

Amanda said...

How excellent, Headhunter, about the growing of wheatgrass. I have successfully managed to keep alive, mint, basil and cress, in my window box 'garden'. I really love growing fresh herbs, I am hoping to move up to small vegetables by next year.

It is a regular ritual at ours to get the 484 as early as possible on saturday down to Lewisham market to get the fruits and currently vegetables. I also pop into Percy's ingles for a ring doughnut. Great way to start the weekend.

Danja said...

And always remember, you need to drink the juice within 5 mins of juicing. As soon as you destroy the cell walls by juicing, vitamins and minerals immediately start to decay

The digestive system takes more than 5 minutes, so it is better to inject.

Brockley Jon said...

Perhaps HH can do a juicer talk at the BC drinks tomorrow? :)

I too love Lewisham Market but I think the Council could do a lot to improve it / make it attractive to more people. The snobbish deli customer in me wants it to go all up-market and la-de-da, while the commoner in me likes it all grubby and '2 for a pound'!

Brockley Nick said...

If vitamins are so difficult to process, it's a wonder we didn't all die of scurvey before the invention of the juicer!

NSFR said...

Funnily enough the inability to produce vitamin C is actually a genetic defect. Nearly all other animals can produce it themselves, without having to rely on an external source.

Monkeyboy said...

My prefered juice delivery system comprises of a chocolate coating, or failing that imbedded in muffin.

Headhunter said...

Danja - Injection... Now there's a concept. Actually I've considered setting myself up on a drip of pure wheatgrass juice...

Nick - as I understand it, it's not all vitamins but those in green vegetables which we, as omnivores (carnivores too) are not able to process properly (our stomachs aren't made to digest them). The majority of vits in green veg passes straight through the system, but if you juice things like broccoli, wheat grass etc etc, this is unlocked

Monkeyboy - tsk tsk! Muffins and chocolate have a medium to high glycaemic index, you're just giving yourself a short, sugar fuelled energy rush followed by a crash... Not good.

I would be happy to lead a debate re the benefits of juicing and other nerdy nutritional information including the benefits of Spirulina and Chlorella

Perhaps to end the evening I could give you all a talk about cycling and the benefits of regular exercise?

No.....? Ok....

A said...

The market could do with a spruce-up, at least some nice matching awnings to give it a better sense of place and identity. But apparently the traders absolutely despise the council over some past dispute, and look on any council-inspired efforts to improve the market with total suspicion and hostility.

Tamsinj said...

I would be against tarting up the market (or any market). It seems to work fine as it is so why does it need a "sense of identity". The Council tried to prettify it out of all recognition when Lewisham High Street was first pedestrianised more years ago than I care to remember. I'm glad the market resisted and has survived.

While there, call in at Rolls and Rems - some amazing fabrics. Something that the market actually lacks, unlike Bromley (which has only one fruit and veg man but two or three fabric stalls).

Monkeyboy said...

I subscribe to the 'see food' diet. If I see food I eat it.

NSFR said...

I agree with Tamsinj.

For some reason councils seem to despise markets and do their best to rid their areas of them. Just looked at what is happening in Newham for example.

Lewisham market is a fantastic asset, and is the reason why I am not too fussed by Brockley lack of grocers. The 484 is very handy bus for that reason.

betamatt said...

There is actually a very good juice bar (well, more of a stall really) inside the shopping centre for those without new-fangled juicing contraptions.
I agree about the quality and price of the fruit and veg market - great value.

spincat said...

I go to the market each week and i love the atmosphere espescially early, when the stall holders are chatting and singing and setting up.

Some stalls are better than others - you soon spot the good ones by the queues. There's stalls selling veg and seasoning for Asian and African cooking and I've picked up more tips for cooking with 'exotic' food while waiting in a queue than I have anywhere else.

They occasionally have French stall holders for the day, with cheeses etc.

For those who like a more ' deli ' experience, you must try Gennaro's - one of the best Italian delis I know, in Limes Grove, just a minute away.

jon s said...

I agree with Kate about fresh fruit and have a fancy HH style juicer (with built in heating element) I have used to make organic soy milk, almond milk and oat milk.

BTW a a shot of kaluah, crushed ice in some fresh organic soy/almond milk is lovely summer drink.

Where does that put me?

spincat said...

Correction:
sorry, I mistyped Gennaro's (the deli's) address above - it is actually 23 Lewis Grove (not Limes Grove).

PS: The Turkish shop (TFC) about 3 or 4 mins walk down Lewisham High St, just past the library, is great too.

Headhunter said...

NSFR - Councils probably dislike markets because they involve effort, a lot of micro management possibly with individual stall holders, cleaning up, collection of fees etc.

On the other hand dealing with a nice, shiny conglomerate like Tesco must be easy, with it's corporate policy and efficient management systems. Getting revenue from a big firm like Tesco must be very easy, whereas a market probably costs the council money.

Jon S - Fantastic, a fellow food nerd. I haven't actually got a soy milk maker, but I borrowed one for a while and it was pretty good, although the "milk" tasted more beany than the organic unsweetened stuff you get from Asda.

Have you tried making "nut butters" with the juicer (if you've got one of the screw/non centrifugal types)? I haven't yet and I'm not sure how - not sure how to do it... Am I just supposed to shove a bunch of peanuts and butter down the chute?

I've also got a bread making machine... I think I out nerd you...

NSFR said...

HH very true. Corporate types make it easy. And the area 'nicer', in a bland sterile way.

Just discovered that the Newham Residents have won woohoo!

http://www.radicalactivistnewham.org.uk/2006/06/queens-market-asda-throws-in-towel.html

Brockley Kate said...

I don't have a juicer but I do have a breadmaker.

Maybe we need a regular BC foodie post to fuel the gluttony?!

Headhunter said...

That's good news about the market in Newham. Having only read one side of the I don't have a balanced view but it sounds like the council and Mayor were trying to drive through this Asda supermarket against the views of locals.... And councils wonder why people resent and feel disconnected from them...

Anonymous said...

Large supermarkets encourage car ownership.

Large supermarkets encourage large weekly shops and a significant portions is not eaten and goes to waste.

Large supermarkets make small local businesses that sell the same things unprofitable.

Large supermarkets promote foods that lead to unhealthy diets.

Large supermarkets impoverish farmers.

Look around Brockley and other parts of London, the empty shops, closed pubs, parking and congestion problems from too many cars. The fat children, the drunken teenagers sold cheap alcohol.

We have been stitched up by a cosy relationship between the councils and the large supermarkets.

This is not good.

NSFR said...

The problem is also that supermarkets work so well with how British society functions. With some of the longest working hours in Europe there simply isn't time for anything but a large weekly shop for many people.

And things to protect smaller business used on the continent, such a France's ban on loss leaders, would be a disaster here for families already struggling with the costs of the basics.

It's a bit of a grim situation that is going to be very hard to ever get away from. Especially since we as a society are hooked on supermarkets.

patrick1971 said...

The whole thing with supermarkets is a bit chicken & egg, though; they function well with our society because our society has developed in tandem with them. If it weren't possible to do a big weekly shop, we may not be working the longest hours in the EU...

Re markets, sometimes the stallholders are their own worst enemies, though. On Deptford Market, they are constantly moaning that the market is dying, that the new people in the area don't shop there, etc. THAT IS BECAUSE IT SELLS CRAP. Any clothes bought from there fall apart after a couple of wears (I speak from experience), a lot of it is obviously dodgy off-the-back-of-a-lorry stuff, etc. People who've paid for a yuppie flat just aren't going to buy that sort of thing. There are a couple of stalls that try to buck the trend - an excellent olive stall, for example - but they're drowned out by the sea of tat that surrounds them.

Similarly on Deptford Market, the traders are exceptionally belligerent about anything that requires them to make compromises. There has been a long-running row about where they're allowed to place their stalls. They have to leave the pavement free (i.e. the back of the stalls should be level with the gutter) so that wheelchair users can get by. Anyone who uses Deptford Market will know that this is widely flouted. The council won't enforce it because they know they would have an insurrection on their hands and it's easier to p*ss off disabled people.

With those sort of attitudes on the part of the traders, IMHO it's no wonder that (a) the market is apparently dying and (b) that the council and the traders are at daggers drawn.

andy pandy pudding & pie troll said...

All the more reason to develop local communities - encourage people to get to know each other and shop local, rather than subject everyone to the soul-less processing by large corporates.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Patrick, thats far too much info. In my experience, write less or you will be branded a troll for upsetting the locals!

Headhunter said...

Interesting view on markets, Patrick. I must admit as a fully paid up member of the extra virgin brigade, I would never deign to visit a market that sells knock of electronic goods and clothes which fell of the back of a lorry.

I suppose in that sense, markets which are made up of many individuals with many interests are less nimble re competition and reacting to consumer demand than a slick, well organised supermarket chain like Asda or Tezzies

I can fully appreciate that some market stall holders are probably set in their ways. They have sold the same products from the same supplier day in day out and do not see the need to change, probably because they don't see much of the local populace beyond their usual customers who have been shopping with them for years

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I really like Markets. Even if its tat you can still try to 'bargain hunt'.

Although, I have never been to deptford market so wouldn't like to comment specifically.

Monkeyboy said...

A foodie page, now you're talking..

Dinner two nights ago:

Organic chicken thigh fillets, flatten them out with the heal of your hand. heat up some olive oil and a little butter and get some fresh rosemary sage sizling then fry the fillets. serve with a greek salad (tomatoes, cucumber, olives, parsley, feta cheese a little olive oile and lemon juice or white wine viniger)

And ingredients all bought at Sainsbury's

Anonymous said...

Andrew Brown (http://andrewkbrown.wordpress.com/) regularly takes pictures of his dinner and posts them on his blog, which is a little bizarre, but I guess we must be tolerant of dispossessed councillors, looking sadly at their dinner...

Brockley Kate said...

Mmmmm Mokneyboy, that sounds delicious! I nominate you to host the inaugural Brockley Central dinner party ...

Mokeyboy said...

...mind you I got pissed yesterday and had a pasty from the station and a peanut butter sandwich made with stale bread when i got home.

I'm a man of many parts...

jon s said...

HH, you out nerd me, but I have wanted a breadmaker since studying the industrial process for mass producing bread in a factory.....

btw. Milk doesn't tase beany if you soak the soy beans overnight before making it and chuck in a few almonds.

Cor, the anti supermarket brigade. Advantages of supermarkets:

Food is cheaper
Clothes are cheaper
Toiletries are cheaper
Cleaning products are cheaper
you get more variety for less money.
And finally.......
Ssupermarkets pay their taxes and ensure low income households get cheaper milk, not small farmers getting inflated subsidies.

patrick1971 said...

@headhunter: "I suppose in that sense, markets which are made up of many individuals with many interests are less nimble re competition and reacting to consumer demand than a slick, well organised supermarket chain like Asda or Tezzies"

Interesting; I'd have thought it would be just the opposite. I used to work for Sainsbury's, and it was a nightmare to try to get anything done quickly because of the endless layers of bureaucracy you had to get through (it took them eighteen months to launch the FreeFrom range, for example). I'd have thought that individual market stalls would be quicker to respond to new trends/demographics, and others would follow in their wake. But clearly not ;-)

patrick1971 said...

"Food is cheaper"

Not true, certainly as far as fruit & veg are concerned.

"Clothes are cheaper"

Maybe not cheaper, but certainly of better quality, agreed.

"Toiletries are cheaper"

True.

"Cleaning products are cheaper"

Possibly true, only ever buy these at supermarkets so not sure.

"you get more variety for less money"

Arguable.

"Supermarkets...ensure low income households get cheaper milk, not small farmers getting inflated subsidies."

But as anyone will tell you, milk is a deadly poison. We're the only species to drink another's milk. It's gross! I do eat dairy products occasionally but I've always hated milk just on its own. Yuck.

Brockley Kate said...

There's a reason why those things are cheaper, and the payoff lies in the wider effects of supermarkets. It's your choice whether you think that's a good deal or not, really.
I think there's a role for supermarkets but as with anything, moderation is the key. I try to shop local and independent because I value having those options. But I also use supermarkets for the variety they offer (and, yes, sometimes the cheapness!).

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Patrick, you are completely right. Smaller stores/markets are generally better at innovating (meeting consumder needs)

Tressilliana said...

Sorry, can't let that bit about cheap milk pass. Dairy farmers are going out of business like there's no tomorrow because supermarkets pay such low prices. Supermarkets make enormous profits because they screw their suppliers. They make them pay for displaying their stuff and as revealed a week or so ago they also make them pay if it's shoplifted!

Also - cheap clothes are cheap because they're produced in sweatshops. Plus, throwaway clothes are ethically all wrong - clothes should last, like furniture, cars and everything else that uses energy to produce it and is made out of resources that are either scarce or energy-intensive to produce.

Having said all that, I rarely use Lewisham Market, which I need to remedy.

Headhunter said...

Patrick, I guess you're probably right that supermarkets are heavy on bureaucracy and can take ages to approve new product lines, but they've probably also got huge teams of people investigating what consumers want and can spend money marketing new products.

A market stall holder may just get set in his ways, he/she knows that what they're selling shifts and may be unwilling to risk revenue by committing some of their limited stall to a new product which may take time to "bed in" with customers (who equally know the stall holder and what sells there).

However to give market stall holders some credit, I'm sure they know their customers and know that if they shifted from selling dodgy electronics to marinated olives for example, their revenues would initially plunge as customers who buy mainated olives would only slowly discover them in the sea of tat that makes up the rest of the market.

At the moment I suppose, the sort of people who shop at famer's markets and delis are unlikely to go to Deptford market and as such it's difficult for individual stall holders to change their ways to appeal to new customers

Deptford Dame said...

Markets are the same as supermarkets, in that some things they sell are good quality and cheap, others are not. As a consumer, you need to use your judgement. Supermarkets profit by tempting people in with special offers, once you are in there, you 'might as well' do all your shopping, but if you compare the prices of all your goods with markets or local shops, you will find you are spending more in total, either that or you are buying more than you intended in 'three for the price of two' offers, etc.
The benefit of somewhere like Deptford High St is that there is choice and competition. If you can't get a ripe avocado or fresh spinach in one shop, you will certainly be able to get them in one of the other half a dozen shops.
In Deptford the local shops are also very competitive with the sole supermarket (Iceland). I will give you an example I saw yesterday; 6 free range eggs in Housewives Cash & Carry (Deptford High St) 79p; 6 free range eggs in Iceland (about five doors away from Housewives) £1.25.
Toiletries and cleaning products are most definitely cheaper on Deptford market than in the nearby Sainsbury's, for exactly the same product.

Deptford Dame said...

oops, just had to reply to HH's last comment. I am 'the sort of person' who shops at farmers markets and delis, I also use Deptford market at least once a week for food and groceries, and rate it very highly for certain things.
And yet when I lived less than a mile away, I never went to the market a single time. The snob in me assured me that it was not worth the walk.

Pete said...

"Toiletries and cleaning products are most definitely cheaper on Deptford market than in the nearby Sainsbury's, for exactly the same product."

Can you be sure that they are exactly the same product though?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/jul/12/jamessturcke

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I find any sort of street market, very interesting (becuase they really do offer innovative products).

I go to Deli's, but also go alot to street markets (Brixtons is very interesting for example).

Tom said...

Overall, supermarkets are a bit more expensive than markets, particularly if you like eating fresh food. I know this partly because I 'gave up' supermarkets at the start of the year.

There is also the extra cost because of the social losses, as noted by Kate.

However, supermarkets are more convenient.

Markets can be a lot cheaper, but only if you know where to go, who to trust, where to buy from etc. Markets also force you to adapt your lifestyle and timing to them, rather than vice versa.

I now see visiting the supermarket as something of a luxury, given their greater convenience.

Deptford Dame said...

Obviously not! Although personally I buy my toothpaste from the health food shop in Greenwich :-). I do however buy toothbrushes two for £1 from the market.

Tamsin said...

Probably the same product and if not it either doesn't matter or you notice and don't go to the same stall holder. Definitely cheaper in the markets and the pound shops, just less choice - one brand of Fairy liquid rather than three. (Evil stuff anyway - the only generally available detergent - apart from co-op own brand - strong enough to de-oil sea-birds so think what it does to your hands and the environment.)

And in markets you get the fun and banter - walking in haste through Deptford one day I suddenly remembered I needed some fabric conditioner, picked up a bottle off a stall in passing, was told the price and tossed the guy a coin. Would never happen in a supermarket!

Fruit, veg, biscuits, cakes cleaning stuff, fabric (what Deptford does have lots of) - all cheaper in the markets and pound shops.

On a different subject - bread-makers? What's wrong with your hands? (Although I agree that for people who work normal hours the protracted timings are difficult...) And one thing that I do have to go to Sainsbury's for (since the health-food shop closed down a year or so after they opened) is fresh yeast.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I remember as a child buying 'Milka' chocolate bars from the street market. Mainstream stores wouldn't stock them (as they were foreign) but they were cheaper and higher quality!

Tom said...

More on the convenience angle ...

Given that I work 'normal' hours, and like to either get away on weekends, or attend a bike training session on Saturdays, the only way I could eat would be to either:
- give up my job
- give up my weekend plans
- employ someone to buy stuff for me

Markets made sense when you had single-earner households.

What do people that go to markets every week do? How do you manage?

Deptford Dame said...

Many of the shops in Deptford High St stay open till 7.30pm or later, which is fine for me. I either go to the street market on Saturday or the Blackheath farmers market on Sunday. When I am away at the weekend, I manage by using stuff from the freezer, shopping in my lunch hour, eating out, etc.

Brockley Kate said...

I have a live-in student slave, which works well.

Monkeyboy said...

Re: milk is gross and no other animal drinks another....

Interestingly (well to me anyway) is that cultures that have used milk for thousands of years tend to produce lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose - the sugar in milk. Those that are loactose intolerant do not have that enzyme. far eastern peoples tend not to naturally produce lactase either - you don't tend to see many Japanese dairy products. Interesting eh?

Danja said...

Most animals lack the nous to milk other animals. Cats might argue that they are happy to drink the milk of other species, but they are bit useless at it without some human help.

Not many other species eat tofu, soya milk, bread, pizza, mashed potato, chocolate, etc, etc, etc. What does that prove? Are they all deadly poisons too?

Monkeyboy said...

well some insects milk aphids, which is just plain weird.

Anonymous said...

The promotion of milk as an essential food source was heavily promoted by the Milk Marketing Board after the war as a cheap, easily digestible form of protein. In more recent years it has been marketed as a high source of calcium to aid in the prevention of osteoporosis. This is rather disingenuous as countries who don't drink milk (ie in SE Asia) have low incidences of osteoporosis, and countries who drink milk but eat low quantities of animal protein also have low osteoporosis rates. The two countries with the highest rates of the disease are the US and the UK, who also happen to eat the highest quantities of animal protein and milk. The two seem to be connected.

Anonymous said...

Vegan alert! Be careful - they've got carrots.

NSFR said...

And an interesting grasp of scientific rigour...

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Does anyone still have a packet of 'powdered milk' lurking in the back of the cupboard? Or is that a 1970's thing....

Headhunter said...

Tamsin - I think you answered your own question re bread makers! No time to stand and pound at dough, leave it to rise etc etc. Bead machines are brill, just tip everything into the top the night before and wake up to a freshly baked loaf...

I would shop at markets more often, but I agree with Tom, unless I take a chunk out of the weekend to head to Lewisham especially, none of the markets are open late enough. I'm often in work too late to go to markets in the evening. 7.30pm closing is way too early for me, so I just end up in Asda, Sainsbury's et al

Headhunter said...

Most bread machines suggest adding powdered milk to the mix, but I tend not to. Adding milk to bread is an American thing, but unfortunately the recipe booklets you get with the machines tend to be written for the American market.

jon s said...

That's a bit of a storm about supermarkets now!!

If you add the tax and minimum wage requirements (which many market stalls and family cash and carries avoid) then supermarkets are cheaper. Hmm which is actually exploitation??

As for exploitation for third world clothing production - absolutely agree that is wrong but don't see the problem is with supermarkets and corporations but weak states and lack of womens sufferage.

Finally, protecting inefficient farming practices from efficient competition seems a bit bizare to me. Smallholding farmers need to move up the value chain and produce luxury goods or supply to niche local providers where their increased production costs can be compensated by reduced transport costs.

Anyhoo, I do buy local too and milk was only an example of why I support supermarkets. The message was cheaper basic food of consistant quality for lower income families as opposed to regulation which artificially increases prices.


Still happy to mooch around a market though and by the surplus production of fruit and veg rejected by supermarkets or from smallholdings.

patrick1971 said...

Ex-vegan, thank you very much!

I guess what I object to more than the drinking of milk itself is its constant promotion as something intrinsically healthy, when in fact it can cause as many health problems as it allegedly solves. Some epidemiological studies of Crohn's Disease, for example, have linked types of milk production to clusters of the condition.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Guys, I am so tempted to start talking economics re.supermarkets! I may have to change to my troll alter ego....!!!!

tyrwhitt michael said...

milk - yum
butter - yum yum
cheese - yummy yummy yum yum

Sorry I think I lapsed into Harry Hill mode then.....

Monkeyboy said...

I'm always up for some milk products. In fact I avoid 'low fat' stuff because it's usually shorthand for taste like s**t. I was after some full fat fromage frais for my carrot cake recipie on Saturday. Could I find it? could I bollocks. Had to use a virtually fat free version, the result? the topping made the cake soggy because all the water leached out of the low fat version. not a happy chappy.

Anonymous said...

Getting back to Lewisham Market.....

It needs a tidy up, packinging etc left lying around, each stall with its own commercial bin, the stalls look shoddy as do the awnings.

Then there's that great big waste machine at the main entrance to the shopping centre, yes highly attractive and adds to the shopping experience.

Anonymous said...

I'd choose the shabby look of a market over the sterile, bleach cleaned look of the thousand and one shopping centres around the country which are nigh impossible to tell apart any day.

Anonymous said...

There is a chic shabbiness but Lewisham Market is definately not chic!

60% of customers arrive by bus and their first view of the market is an urinal, with commercial bins sprawled across the pavement.

Those passengers then have to negotiate their way pass the urinal, through the smelly ugly commercial bins, avoiding the boxes and pallets before they get to the market stalls.

Look at the fish restaurant which has tables outside, what is the vista.....a man loading rotting smelly fruit and veg into a noisey mechanical compressor.

Headhunter said...

MB - I know what you mean about high water content of low fat food. I can't stand those nasty low fat "spreads" like Flora, they just make your toast soggy. Also a lot of them a full of the latest food demon - hydrogenated veg fats. Give ma a slab of proper butter any day (preferably organic).

On another note though - you sound like quite the chef, Monkeyboy! For the next drinks (sorry I missed last night), perhaps you could provide a small finger buffet?

Bea said...

What I can't understand is why so many markets in the UK (and not only Lewisham market) look so shabby! I'm thinking here of Petty Coat Lane, Brick Lane, Bethnal Green Road, Whitechapel, Deptford and Lewisham markets as well as a few "up North" that I have been to too.

The markets in France, Belgium and Germany are always a pleasure to walk around and the products on offer fantastic. Not a patch on what many, many UK market stall holders have.

The only ones in the UK that I know of that are a pleasure to browse through are Colombia Road Flower market, Spittal Fields (even before it was all smartened up) and some local country markets such as the one in Marlborough.

It is a shame that Lewisham market creates such a poor impression and I agree totally that getting off the bus and navigating your way through the mess of palettes and rubbish is a real challenge.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Not everyone cares about the way the UK looks like, see my post on temporary immigration. What you are describing is one of the consequencies of having free labour markets (people with no national/regional tie).

Amanda said...

Lewisham market is an old school market and the so called shabbiness is part of the experience.


It's a rough and ready, get on with kind of place. The kind where the produce was sold by the pound and the traders called you "love" and "darling". It's not ideal for wheelchairs or pushchairs, but it's not ideal for your pedestrian either.


The rise of farmer's markets address the needs for a more gentle outdoor trading experience.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the markets are shabby and seem poorly managed. The council doesn't help with its ugly commercial bins. Those things are eyesores and blight the borough.

Markets do not have to be posh to look nice, they seem to be able to do this in market towns outside London.

I think it is probably to do with the silly class politics that you find in London which encourages Phillistine attitudes.

Anonymous said...

You live is sarf east London blud, a kid was stabbed in a bakery in Lee, I think the council have other priorities than the nicety of the bins.

And who these days uses terms like Philistine talk about culturally inept.

Anonymous said...

I see...so we should all realise that we are living in war zone and the council is too busy dealing with emergencies to make the place look nice.

Of course, this being the 'hood, the kids can't read too well. Maybe I should use the work vulgar instead.

Fact is councils can most obviously be judged by how they deal with rubbish.

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