In terms of markets, I think Kirkstall Deli Market definitely trumps the others on location. Right in the middle of the cloisters, the market stalls line the walls on all four sides. And in the middle, you can sit, eat the delightful food you have just bought and listen to the entertainment (oh, and watch cute sausage dog puppies going by).
Yesterday was prefect for our first ever visit to this event. After the seemingly endless blizzards of last week, the sun finally made an appearance and it really felt like Spring.
The first stall that caught my eye was That Old Chestnut, selling vegan cakes and sweet treats. They had these gorgeous little tiffin bars wrapped in baking paper and tied with twine. I could have bought so many things from here, but I opted for the cardamom and pistachio cake. More on that later!
Next up (although I didn’t get a photo) was Stickey’s Honey stall. All the honey is made by bees in hives around Yorkshire. Now, I have a strange relationship with honey. I want to like it, really I do. I would prefer to have honey rather than refined sugar, but I just have never liked the taste. However, I’m determined to wean myself on to it! Especially when it is made so close to home, so we bagged a pot of honey with added pollen and we shall see if it converts me!
I was really looking forward to visiting the stall of the Sunshine Bakery. I desperately want to try their cupcakes. We drove past the bakery in Chapel Allerton once, but couldn’t stop. That’s as close as we have come and it’s a bit depressing. So imagine my delight when we realised they would be at the market! No cupcakes on sale, unfortunately, but the most humongous sausage rolls I’ve ever seen. One look at them, and their accompanying sign saying “Pork Belly and Apple” and I was sold. Probably the most delicious sausage roll I’ve ever tasted due to the generous hunk of moist sausage meat and the wonderful flaky pastry. The kids wolfed it down!
A few more purchases later (raspberry sauce from The Seasonal Larder for drizzling on my breakfast yoghurt! A pack of black pudding from The Blue Pig Company) and we left the cloister to visit El Kantina’s sizzling hot plates for a taste of their Pulled Pork Slider. Spicy succulent pork, countered by creamy coleslaw and with a squirt of BBQ sauce.
My husband washed his down with a pint of Farmers Brown Cow ale from the Hop Box – a horse box converted into a bar serving local craft ales. At this point, my phone died so I couldn’t grab a photo. Here’s one from their website so you can have a peep at their quirky horse box! How great would this be parked up in my back garden for a summer party!!
We took our pulled pork sliders and ale out into the Abbey grounds and took in a bit of sunshine as the kids clambered around the ruined walls. Such a lovely location for this event – and definitely one we’ll be returning to at the end of April when it is next on.
Finally, we headed back to the car and ate the cardamom and pistachio cake there. Not as glamorous as enjoying it in the historic Abbey setting, but that’s the pay-off when you have sleepy children on your hands!