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Fergus Henderson of St John Bakery shares his top five London market traders


What do we have more appetite for than our local market traders? Reeling off a list of our favourite ones, of course. Enter Fergus Henderson – the godfather of nose-to-tail dining who, by the sounds of it, has a bit of a soft spot for creamy things. 

Hook & Son, Oval Farmers’ Market

'Raw milk, raw cream, raw butter: The most brilliant excuse for a pudding I know, and the stallholder has a very nice nature which must come from dealing with all that raw cream.'

Perry Court Farm, Islington and Bloomsbury Farmers’ Market

'Talking of pudding, what better way to use that raw cream and butter than in an apple crumble? Just a stroll away from St. John Smithfield, there are lots of old apple varieties here, and even some strange and ancient strains around October for Apple Day.'

La Grotta Ices, Spa Terminus

'The arches along the railway line from Maltby Street up to Spa Terminus are all full of wonderful producers – proper makers, many the result of an exodus from Borough Market when the rents and tourists became too much. On Saturdays you will find Kitty Travers of La Grotta Ice Cream, with a stall outside Neal’s Yard Dairy. It glows with ice cream radiance!'

St. John Bakery, Druid Street

'Forgive a mention of our own bakery, but Laszlo, our head baker, makes the most glorious loaves – and of course the doughnuts, our little pillows of joy. We sell amongst the flour bags from our bakery arch, a welcome respite from the pressing crowds of Maltby Street. And of course there’s our little St. John Maltby wine bar just a moment away, where you can take a glass and a plate before you stroll up the road to Spa Terminus…'

Neal’s Yard Dairy, Spa Terminus and Borough Market

'While you’re having an ice cream, admire what is still the finest cheese around. They have managed to grow big without losing themselves or their charm.'

Bonus: Margot Henderson of Rochelle Canteen weighs in with her favourite London markets

'The flower market in Vauxhall feels as if the world passed it by. Fergus often comes with me and heads straight to the café for a bacon bun and cup of tea. Oval farmers' market is quite good – it has a brilliant fishmonger and a young cute farmer who seems to sell just one sheep a week. The dairy guy has cream to die for. And the guys selling Caribbean food are wonderful, all sitting happily underneath the church there. It's exactly what church grounds should be used for. I could go on and on. And on.'

Fergus' St. John Bakery is open Saturdays & Sundays 9am–4pm. While you're at it, don't miss out on Maltby St. Market nearby.


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