I've just come back from Rennes in Brittany, France, where they have several covered market halls in what is claimed to be the biggest produce market in Northern France. It was great fun shopping there. But if you live in the UK Southeast, are visiting London or want to pop through the Channel Tunnel from northern France, you don't really have to go all the way to the Brittany Coast for your fresh meat and fish, raw milk and fresh farm produce.
The Goods Shed, right next to Canterbury train station has all that, plus a restaurant and a food hall with prepared goodies. We like the sound of the homemade ice creams at The Larder - honeycomb, vanilla, chocolate, marmalade and whiskey, violet, apple, pear sorbet and lemon yogurt. They'll fill your own jars with freshly made jams, preserves and pickles and make you a hot lunch for a fiver to eat while you check out the rest of the market.
Insider Tip: If you are coming down from London, think of this as a foodie day out rather than a grocery shopping expedition. The cheapest, off-peak, advance-purchase return fare (by train) from London cost £27.90 in 2010.
Also at the Goods Shed:
- fresh, slow proved bread
- farm cider
- fruit and veg from named organic farms and vegetable co-ops
- Tom's Cheese for the best of British cheeses
- Simon the Fish for sustainable, ethically caught fish from local boats
- Patrick's Kitchen for prepared food
- And handmade chocolates, cakes and more
The Goods Shed Visitor Essentials
- Where: Station Road West, Canterbury, Kent CT2 8AN
- Telephone: +44 (0)1227 459 153
- Open: Tuesday to Saturday 9a.m. to 7p.m., Sunday 10a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Getting There: The market is next to Canterbury West train station. Fast trains leave St. Pancras station in London hourly and cost under £30 return. Check National Rail Enquiries to book a train to Canterbury.