Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Pannier Market

We're still here in Bideford so let's stop in at the Pannier Market while we are here. I think you will agree that the market is housed in a lovely Victorian building all its own, built in 1884 for 4,200 pounds. Originally it contained a fish market, butchery stalls and corn exchange.

After its opening, 200 people sat down to a celebratory public dinner, followed by a promenade concert. Later that week, around 2,000 children enjoyed a tea party at the market. The name Pannier Market, comes from the French panier, meaning basket, as the farmers' wives brought their wares to market in wicker baskets. A market has been held in Bideford since 1573. 

These days, the Butchers' Row is located along the outside of the building. Why don't we wander inside to have a look at the vendors' stalls?

There are vendors selling fruit and vegetables, antique and vintage items, arts and crafts and second-hand books. One of my favourite stalls offered knitted food. It was so amusing to see cupcakes and fruits made out of knitting, but best of all was the full English breakfast with wonderful knitted eggs, tomato, rashers of bacon and sausage. There was a knitted lighthouse which I remarked to the lady running the stall would make a perfect thermos cosy. After suggesting a few other knitted projects, she asked if I lived in Bideford. She wanted me to knit for them and come up with ideas!

After buying some vintage hankies and engaging in conversation, the lady at the antique and vintage stall recommended that we visit Hartland and its rugged coast down at the harbour. She particularly loved the rock formations and the pub in Hartland. How could you argue with that? We added it to our list of must-sees!

After touring the Pannier Market we ambled down the shop-lined streets and stopped in at Patt's to buy a box of luscious local strawberries.  The shopkeeper, whom I will presume was Patt, asked if we needed clotted cream to go with them. Well, actually we had already bought cream at Morrison's (you do have to have your priorities straight after all). I took the opportunity to ask my favourite question of Devonians... is it cream or jam first on scones? Well, that launched a very long conversation about scones and how to eat them, the rivalry between Devon and Cornwall in this regard, as well as the pronounciation of various English words. It was a delightful interlude. And in case you are eager to know the answer to the question: Patt's firm reply was jam first, then cream "like a hat on top", and that's the way her mother did it too!

Tomorrow, we'll be off to the charming tiny seaside village of Appledore!

No comments:

Post a Comment