Slow Food Market & Brunch in Holborn
Nostalgia is so delicious: all it takes sometimes is a smell, a sound, a taste and then suddenly you’re immersed in another time and place. Exploring the ‘Slow Food & Living Market’ in the Rosewood London is a sensational experience, rich with the little markers that transport you from Holborn to somewhere completely different, and yet so familiar. The oak stalls and hay bales that make up the market are set up in the grand inner courtyard of Rosewood London, and are full of merchants selling intimately, ethically produced items of exceptional quality.
Slow Food refers to regional, fresh, in-season produce which has been thoughtfully harvested, using responsible growing practices taking into consideration people and planet.
Slow Food & Living Market
The market is open every Sunday from 10am to 3:30pm, and is the only London market to be endorsed by Slow Food UK. The philosophy behind the Slow Food and Living ethos means that weekly market is full of vendors who have history and an individual story, which in turn lends a sense of community and an almost unique local shopping experience.
With a selection of up to 30 traders every week, the produce ranges from fresh fruit and vegetables, meats and charcuterie, cheeses, baked items, artisan chocolates, handspun clothing and soft furnishings. The buzz and vibrancy of the marketplace spills onto the street with it raffia stalls and bountiful produce, and all you have to remember is to bring some change.
Food stallholders include Hansen & Lydersen Fish, Bath Soft Cheese, Chegworth Valley Vegetables, Wine Scouts, Hiver Honey Beer, Wine Scouts, 58 Gin and Slow Coffee.
There are also stalls selling homeware, cottons, knitwear, cravats, and services include wood carving and leather watch embossing among many others. Vendors include Doe Leather, Monsieur London, Eight Hour Studio, Wool & the Gang, K.Birdy, Waffle Design and Belma.
Amandine Chaignot, The new Executive Chef for Rosewood London, is the custodian of the marketplace and walks through it regularly to hand pick the produce that will then go on to be used in the Rosewood London’s restaurants, including Holborn Dining Room, Scarfes Bar and the Mirror Room. Amandine was awarded the coveted Slow Food Chef of the Year Award 2015 by Considerate Hoteliers, for her efforts in developing the Slow Food & Living Market, which is currently the only market of its kind in London.
A particular favourite stall at the market belongs to The London Cloth Company, established in October 2011 as the first micro-mill to open in London. At the stall today there is a carefully restored shuttle loom, dating from the 1870s, which uses the same techniques that have been used for decades to create bespoke scarfes. Each scarf takes around half an hour to make, and you can watch at the loom criss crosses the individual strands of wool to make up the garment. It’s a gorgeous piece of history to be a part of, and fits in so well to the ethos of the market.
Slow Food Brunch in The Mirror Room
As well as eyeing up the plump cherry tomatoes from the The Tomato Stall and the Barolo crusted cheeses from Hooke and Son, I’m also here to check out the Sunday Slow Brunch in the Mirror Room, which features a variety of produce from the buzzing market outside, plated up on feasting tables in the elegant Mirror Room of Rosewood London.
Now, I don’t give out full marks often, but the combination of experiencing the gorgeous Slow Food Market in the outer courtyard before moving indoors to the Slow Food brunch is exquisite, and provides an unbeatable combination.
The concept of the Slow Brunch is thus; the first course consists of grazing leisurely through the various buffet stations laid out with produce from the marketplace, ranging from cured salmon and mackerel, charcuterie, cheese, fruit salads, muesli, and the option of also ordering eggs to be made fresh in any way you like, waffles and pancakes.
The second course consists of a choice between two main meals which are prepared fresh to order. On the day we visit we try a length of beautifully seared salmon with buttery mash, and beef short rib, cooked so fondly and closely that the flesh falls apart with a hard stare alone.
The dessert table includes one of the best cheesecake specimens that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting – raisins dot the wobbly, tender, baked flesh of the cake.
There is also an excellent chocolate fountain with bowls of strawberries and marshmallows laying ready to be skewered, as well as berry and vanilla mousses, crumbly tarts, almond cakes, flapjacks and chocolate brownies.
The Slow Food Brunch costs £60 pp. The combination of the marketplace with the Slow Food brunch is entirely delicious, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it as a fabulous way to while away a Sunday morning and afternoon.
Address: Rosewood London, High Holborn, WC1V 7EN
Tel: 020 3747 8633
I was invited to review