DAYTRIPPER: CATFORD FOOD MARKET
Updated: Jun 15, 2019
Since moving to London some 6 years ago, I've found myself inching further South of the river, finally settling in the South East of the city around three years ago. Before I moved here I'd never heard of most of the places I now love to hang out in. Over the next few months I'm going to share some of these lesser known spots with you, should you wish to explore somewhere new.
Kicking off this series is Catford: One of the South East's hidden gems, it's surprisingly easy to get to. The town itself has two train stations - Catford Bridge and Catford, both conveniently located beside one other - with direct links to Charing Cross within 20 minutes and Kentish Town in under an hour. Sunday travel is a little more sporadic but with excellent bus links to Lewisham for the DLR and Forest Hill and Honor Oak for the Overground it's pretty easy to get to nonetheless.
Catford Food Market takes place on the last Sunday of every month in a pedestrianised area of Catford Broadway - a couple of minutes' walk from the stations. It starts at 10am and runs until 4pm but you're best to get in quick as it's very popular and food tends to move quickly! I couldn't resist checking out Daniel and Heleena's Jerk Off BBQ and can confirm it was every bit as delicious as it looks. The business was born in their home kitchen in South East London and celebrates their Caribbean roots with a London twist. Think no frills food with a focus on flavour; their jerk chicken with fried plantain is a must. Don't eat meat? No problem! They always offer a vegan option as well but get in quick - they'd sold out of it by the time I arrived
(Not pictured: a raspberry bombolone from Brett&Bailey which I gobbled up the second I got it home. It was incredible. I'm still thinking about it.)
MORE THAN JUST FOOD
One of the great things about this market is that there's much more than just food on offer. I picked up this beautiful bunch of wildflowers as well as some pot plants to brighten up my flat.
Living in a small space I try to bring the outside in as much as I can. I've been travelling for work for a large chunk of this year so it's a real treat to be able to buy a bunch of flowers and know I'll be around for long enough to enjoy them!
I picked these up from Into the Wild and my plants came from Wilde Jasmine.
Catford Food Market is the brainchild of Team Catford - a group of consultants working on the town's regeneration. It's a chance to promote the plans for the town while shining a light on its local producers and makers. All the traders at Catford Food Market come from South London with 35% based in Catford and 60% in Lewisham. All the produce on sale is high quality, supporting artists, chefs and makers who live and work in the local community.
I had to stop myself from picking up too many items but it's definitely somewhere I'll be visiting again to pick up birthday or Christmas presents in the future. When I called down I saw locally made produce, clothing, natural skincare, jewellery and a little homeware. If you're looking for a unique gift for a friend or loved one this is a good place to start.
WHILE YOU'RE THERE
Ladywell Fields is a stone's throw away from Catford's train stations and the perfect place to while away a few hours on a sunny day. If the weather's on your side, why not pick up some picnic goodies from the market and hit the park. There are tennis courts if you're feeling sporty and a great play park to tire out the kids.
If the weather takes a turn fear not, there's still plenty to do until it's time to head home. The Catford Constitutional Club is a local stalwart and on the last Sunday of the month hosts Catford Film - a free film screening event run by volunteers. Check out their Facebook page for details on the next screening.
A couple of doors down from CCC is The Bottle Bar & Shop. It's a sophisticated space selling good cocktails (I recommend a negroni served with a spot of people watching by the window); locally brewed craft beers as well as their own brand of cocktail mixes you can buy to keep the party going at home. They regularly host tasting events and their walls are adorned by the work of local artists, which is also available to buy.
You may not notice at first glance but Catford is a creative hotbed with hundreds of artists and creative industry professionals calling it home. Every Autumn the town hosts Catford Arts Trail, where local artists invite members of the public into their homes and workshops to take a behind the scenes peek at the creative process. If you can't wait to October keep your eyes peeled for art around the town, from the sculpture of the beloved Catford cat (just off the Broadway) to the newer splashes of colour beneath the railway bridges.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Catford Food Market - Sunday 30th June, 10am - 4pm
Catford Vegan Festival - Sunday 14th July, 10am - 4pm, Catford Broadway
Catford Free Film Festival - 13th - 22nd September 2019
Catford Arts Trail - 28th - 29th September and 5th - 6th October 2019
I hope you've enjoyed a visit to Catford this week - and that you'll do so in person, soon.
Wishing you a lovely week ahead and I'll see you at the same time next Sunday.
Until then, keep wondering,