In the market for food
Diana Brocklebank Scott of the award-winning Creake Abbey Farmers' Market gives us an insight into what fantastic local produce you're likely to find...
Norfolk's outdoor markets are vital to the county being seen as a destination for food lovers. From weekly council organised markets to the big monthly farmers' markets there is everything from micro-brewed beer to serious "posh nosh" derived from local ingredients.
Farmers' markets are known to provide opportunities for shoppers to talk directly with producers, taste the products and support local smallholders but we have been slower to appreciate them as a key part of food education and as entertainment.
The French have taught us of terroir, particularly important for visitors - knowing a place by its land and food. The Americans have helped us to make markets entertaining for all ages, a real day out. Markets, by providing close interaction with producers, have enabled us to improve food education, of increasing relevance in a world of food insecurity.
Norwich's 'Norfolk Diet' market is a prime city centre market benefitting from accidental shoppers as well as those dedicated to buying seasonal, high quality Norfolk food. The bigger markets at Creake Abbey, Fakenham, Wymondham and Swaffham offer raw ingredients from butchers and greengrocers plus artisan bakers, brewers, confectioners and chefs selling ready to eat marvels including delicate pies and scented curries. The best markets allow visitors to buy everything they need for the weekly food shop (or longer if you have a generous freezer).
Making the market fun and engaging for children and adults is a priority. Norfolk's markets and food festivals offer cookery demonstrations by local chefs, children's activities such as cupcake decorating and the chance to meet some surprising local experts like Dr Sally Francis of Norfolk Saffron. Education is of paramount importance and a key reason why the best farmers' markets in Norfolk are growing and thriving. Come and visit one soon!
List of good markets (in alphabetical order):
Acle Farmers' Market – 2nd Saturday of the month NR21 3BU
Aylsham Farmers' Market – 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month NR11 6EL
Creake Abbey Farmers' Market – 1st Saturday of the month NR21 9LF
Fakenham Farmers' Market – 4th Saturday of the month NR21 9BE
Hoveton Farmers' Market – 4th Saturday of the month NR12 8DU
Loddon Farmers' Market - 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month NR14 6NB
Norfolk Diet Market – 2nd Saturday of the month NR2 1DF
North Walsham Farmers' Market – 2nd and 5th Saturday of the month NR28 9BT
Poringland Farmers' Market - 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month NR14 7WB
Swaffham Farmers' Market – 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month PE37 7AB
Weybourne Meet the Producers Market – Fortnightly (April to Oct) NR25 7HW
Wymondham Farmers’ Market – 3rd Saturday of the month NR18 0AD
Find out more about our month-long Norfolk Food & Drink Festival - something for everyone, and a great time to visit Norfolk.