Since its opening last December Dee’s Bakery has enjoyed a strong, regular trade. Every Saturday their bread flies off the shelves – one recent visit for a cup of tea saw several customers being told to come back shortly while they were baking their umpteenth batch. The array is impressive; multi seed, brioche, focaccia, plus the old favourite white and wholemeal. Carbaphobes, look away now. Dee’s team work hard throughout the week to ensure everything is ready for 7am when the bakery opens As you can see, their efforts haven’t gone to waste. (Above: what is to be our next conquest. Why oh why didn’t we purchase a slice?!) We indulged in their sweet treats at the weekend. Cheesecake brownies, banana and walnut bread – deliciously moist with an occasional hit of chunky walnut, lemon cake, muffins, plus they have wheat-free options too which still satisfy a sweet tooth without feeling like you’re missing out on any of the fun stuff. Pay around £2.50 for a generous slice of cake.
There’s nothing more dangerous for your wallet or your waistline than a farmers’ market, but hey, it’s worth it. Besides, there’s so much healthy, fresh produce in gigantic proportions (did you SEE the size of those garlic bulbs? Enormous!) that the satisfaction levels are much higher than just sticking to your weekly shop in your local supermarket.
*Wild Country Organics – (Chestnut Grove School & Hildreth Street) who knew that so many types of edible leaf existed? We purchased sorrel leaf, which had a light, citrusy flavour; indeed the stall holder used to find them in fields as a child and call them ‘yummy leaves’.
*Artisan Foods – (Chestnut Grove) small savoury tarts full of bite, plus cakes baked in loaf tins served by the slice; our favourite so far was lemon and poppy seed – the perfect, light flavour for this weather.
*Seafayre – (Chestnut Grove) huge chunks of upmarket restaurant-worthy fish from the Kent coast at incredible value (6 scallops for £5.50, anyone)? Plus ask and you’ll get recipe suggestions with your purchase.
*Little Jack Horner’s -(CG) buy a pie, keep the dish, or return it next time for a small refund. Foolproof dinner party fayre.
*Bread-Ahead Bakery – (CG) a decent variety of bread (soda, rock salt, walnut) at very reasonable prices. We picked up a wholemeal pain for £2.50. Keep it plain; a smear of butter is all this loaf needs.
* Comptoir Gourmand – (HS) a beautiful patisserie selling doorstep brownies and the biggest meringues we’ve ever seen.
*Kath’s Cakes – so, so pretty, almost too good to eat (but it’d be rude not to). The chocolate and beetroot cupcakes are ones to look out for (that’s healthy, right?). Next time we’ll be trying their vanilla and blackcurrant flavour.