Monday, 8 April 2013

Vale Harvest Market, Haddenham

Location: Banks Park, Haddenham Village Hall, Haddenham, Bucks HP17 8EE
Food Reviews & Events. FoodieOnTour

You weren't imagining it folks, we finally got some sun this weekend. It might have lasted a week, it might have lasted a day. Hell, it might have only lasted a few hours! So what better time to get out of the house, into the fresh air... and over to a brand new food market.

I'd been chatting on Twitter to local food producer Lucy, from Made by Mums, about the new Vale Harvest Market. Held in the large Buckinghamshire village of Haddenham, on the first Saturday of every month, and with the promise of producers from within a 10 mile radius of Haddenham and Thame, I was eager to check out the markets delicacies.

Armed with a hungry MrF and a pocket full of readies, we hopped in the car and headed on over. On sniffing out the market (I was surprised to see no signs), I was pleased to find there were a good number of stallholders - 25 on this occasion, as I understand. You see this market is in its infancy, at only three months old, it is yet to reach full maturity. Gladly, popularity doesn't seem to be an issue, there were plenty of visitors to the market - in fact it was the steady stream of people, carrying bags of goodies, which assisted me in navigating correctly (ask MrF, this is no mean feat!) to the neat cluster of stalls.

The range of produce was extensive - beef, pork, bread, jams, cakes, sausage rolls, scotch eggs, oils, biscuits, gelato, coffee..... Where to begin?! I felt like a kid in a sweet shop, so who caught my eye?

Food Reviews & Events. FoodieOnTour
Slap bang in front of us was a large baked goods stall belonging to Cornfield Bakery. All of the bread here looked gorgeous, all plump and fresh. MrF snaffled a Sausage Roll for his lunch (he tells me it was thoroughly enjoyable), and we're still working our way through a very enjoyable Tomato Bread.

Food Reviews & Events. FoodieOnTour
Despite the sunshine it was still pretty chilly, so coffee from Gyre & Gimble was next up. Unfortunately there was no decaf available (boo), but I happily tucked into a truly tasty Hot Chocolate (yay). We also grabbed a couple of packets of Propercorn Sweet and Salty Popcorn while we were there - if you've not tried it yet, TRY IT, it's awesome!

Food Reviews & Events. FoodieOnTour
Hopping along to the next stall, I landed at The Egg House Charcuterie, another producer I was aware of from Twitter-land. With some fresh bangers being cooked alongside, the stall had been continuously surrounded by eager customers since I arrived. Unfortunately for me, but less so for them, they had sold out of Smoked Bacon. One packet of Unsmoked Back Bacon selected, plus a Sausage Selection Pack (consisting of Traditional, Cumberland and Breakfast), we cooked them up for a delicious Sunday brunch. Whilst the bacon wasn't particularly large, it was well flavoured and a perfect thickness - with no shrinkage when cooked. Having a good old sampling session with the sausages, the Cumberland was my favourite, but all were well seasoned, plump, and a gorgeous soft texture inside - again with zero shrinkage.

Food Reviews & Events. FoodieOnTour
Based in Haddenham herself, the lovely Lucy who brought the market to my attention in the first place, was here selling her delectable range of cakes, jams and chutneys. One sweet and tangy slice of Lemon Drizzle, two crumbly and gratifying portions of Millionaire Shortbreads, plus one piece of rich and moist Chocolate Pecan Brownie later and I was well stocked up for the weekends sugar cravings!

Food Reviews & Events. FoodieOnTour
Kirsty is another Haddenham local to have started up her own food business. You may have spotted Soft-Centred Scotch Eggs popping up on many a gastro-pub menu these days - enjoying a resurge of popularity, the good old Scotch Egg has become a more gastronomic feast since going soft. Kirsty's Kitchen produce an impressive selection of Soft-Centre Scotch Eggs including Original, Black Pudding, Smokey Bacon, Kedgeregg, It's Thyme Deer and Mature & Mitey, along with a range of sausage rolls. MrF tried a Kirsty's Original egg on my behalf (I'm avoiding soft cooked eggs while carrying a bun in the oven), not a man of many words he gave a thumbs up!

Food Reviews & Events. FoodieOnTour
Happy with our booty, we bid farewell to Haddenham. Would I recommend visiting next month's market? Absolutely - you'll likely see me there too. The selection of stalls was varied and appealing, the stallholders genial, and the location convenient and spacious. If you don't believe me, check it out for yourself - the market runs on the first Saturday of every month, from 9am to 1pm.

Vale Harvest Market
Banks Park
Haddenham Village Hall
HP17 8EE

Twitter: @valeharvest


  1. It was our first visit too, and, like you, we really enjoyed it. I think your description - along with the excellent photos - gives a great sense of the varied delights on offer.

    1. Thanks Hazel, glad you liked the blog. Market was great for showcasing such fantastic local produce.


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