Forgive my absence in the last week, I’ve been very VERY tired and drunk.
Actually, I’ve been meaning to post this offering for a while. For a brief moment, a few weeks ago, there was sunshine so I set about town with my camera to capture some charming snaps of Canterbury life.
Long story short, I’m not allowed in the library anymore and I eventually ended up at The Goods Shed. This is a picture heavy post, so brace yourself and your relatives.
Now that spring is springing, it seems like a good time to bombard you with photos of all things fresh and Kentish. There are also cocktails, so you have to go right to the end of this post to learn more.
I don’t need to tell you why you should visit The Goods Shed, because you probably already know; it has been a favourite of national food writers, visitor guides and anyone with a brain and a mouth since it opened in 2002.
For those who don’t know, it is a daily farmers’ market, restaurant, and food hall in one, housed in a former railway shed next to Canterbury West train station. The market opens from 9am to 7pm Tues to Sat and 10am to 4pm Sun, while last orders for the restaurant are 9.30pm (all closed Mondays). You can roll off a train and head straight to breakfast, lunch, dinner or liquor.
At the centre of the hall lies the fruit and veg market offering locally grown, seasonal produce. Don’t kid yourself that you’re paying a premium for British goods here – you’ll fork out more for lower quality exports at the supermarket, I kid you not.
Oh don’t believe me about the prices do you?!
Then what do you think of THIS???
Oh CHRIST, sorry that’s a picture of my nephew dressed as The Gruffalo.
Hang on….hang on….Ah HA!
YEAH. You’re probably feeling pretty bad about yourself now, aren’t you? Yes, the market keeps close track of how its produce shapes up against store prices, and you can’t argue with the figures. Or the pictures.
Fresh veg aside, the hall also features a butchers, a fishmongers, cheese maker, charcuterie, Italian bakery, sandwich counter, mini-café with take-away dishes, general store, a wine merchant and a beer shop (oh the beers, I tell you…).
Pop-up traders also make an appearance every now and then, selling everything from cupcakes to crockery, and the regular stall holders often host evening and seasonal events.
The restaurant overlooks the market floor and turns out exceptional food using produce straight from the stalls below. Tables and chairs are also dotted around the market floor and outside so customers (and traders) can sit with a coffee, cake, beer, sandwich or cabbage (I frequently have all five at once) and shoot the breeze. It’s very much a community.
There is no good reason not to come to The Goods Shed and support the local traders. You will eat and drink well, whatever you buy.
But there was talk of cocktails, I hear you mutter.
Well, another reason for my post is to tell you about a new addition to The Goods Shed, in the form of the lovely cocktail and snack bar Wild Goose
(open until 9pm Tues to Sat, and 4pm on Sun).
Owner Lucy, originally from Deal, trained and worked as a chef in London but snapped up the vacant spot at The Goods Shed when it recently became available. You’ll see from the menu that she offers breakfast, little dishes, coffee and – most importantly – cocktails.
The mixes are unique to Wild Goose and therefore go unnamed. I opted for the caraway vodka, dark rum, pineapple puree, black pepper and cardamom syrup with lime and bay leaf. It was satisfyingly aromatic and not overly sweet, which I like, and was refreshing in taste and also in concept – an individual mix rather than a laboured favourite churned out en mass.
While there, I also tried their chicken liver pate, and received a generous jar of silken delight accompanied by a peppery green salad and toasted farmhouse bread. I look forward to sampling their breakfasts one morning.
Wild Goose is a lovely addition to The Goods Shed and adds to my list of excuses to come here more often. I shall be bringing visiting friends hot off the train here, while grabbing all the other essentials for a good weekend.
Well…I say weekend. Generally everything I buy from The Goods Shed has been consumed the instant I get home and into loose trousers.