Rare brands market

I enjoyed the Rare Brands Market at Brighton Dome but I didn’t have any cash on me, otherwise I could quite easily have spunked a lot of money on meat pies and manuka-style honey. I went with some friends and while walking round the market two of us admitted to having started blogging. I can’t read a word of what my friend says on her blog Need and Love because it’s all in Danish, but it’s well worth visiting if only for the gorgeous pictures. My favourite things at the market had to be textile designer Gabrielle Vary’s beautiful hand-knitted cushions and throws (above), but I also found plenty of noteworthy foody stuff as well…

After my post earlier this week about La Vida Portuguesa, I was pleased to find Brighton-based catering company and food merchant Micarmo Gourmet, who import Portuguese delicacies to the UK. Of course, there is more to Portuguese cuisine than tinned fish, but my eye was immediately drawn to the lovely ladies on these sardines. The guy on the left is filled with tuna, but not just any tuna, a whole steak of ‘the best tinned tuna money can buy’.

I learnt quite a lot from the guys at Oliveology, who let us taste their range of raw honey produced on an idyllic-sounding family-run organic smallholding in the Peloponnese penninsula in Greece. Manuka honey is prized as a superfood for its antibacterial properties which are measured on a ‘unique manuka factor’ scale, but apparently all honey in its raw form contains a degree of similarly health-boosting agents. The Oliveology honey that we tasted was dense, spicy and richly flavoursome, particularly the ‘wild thyme’ variety, which has won a Great Taste Gold medal, but I was disappointed to hear that the goodness is all but lost when you dissolve it in a hot toddy. To get the most from its antiseptic properties, raw honey should be eaten off a spoon like a virtous Calpol, which takes the fun out of things, but it wouldn’t hurt to drizzle it on your cereal. Other Oliveology goods include olive-leaf tea, which is like a light green tea without the dryness of tannin, olive oils, and of course, olives. It is a lovely range of products with honest origins, and you can tell that these guys are regulars at London’s Borough Market, because they certainly know how to talk the talk.

Other finds included Stratta sweet and savoury fruit vinegars, infused oils, preserves and dressings, which are made in Eastbourne. Like many of the goods on sale here, some of the Stratta products, including their lovely raspberry vinegar, have been awarded Great Taste medals. They will be at the Lewes Farmer’s Market for the next two sundays, so I may head down there and pick up a bottle. And finally, I couldn’t walk past Dee’s Pies without snaffling up a generous free-sample of their steak and ale. Based in South London – home of the famous Manze’s – Dee’s Pies have won Great Taste medals for their pies three years in a row. In my humble opinion, Dee’s Pies certainly do taste like the hearty, homemade, proper pies that they claim to be. They’re certainly more filling – and have more filling – than the Manze’s variety, and it was nice to see two tall, fairly burly-looking blokes behind a stall in a tarty Christmas market like this. Wish I had come with some cash.

The Rare Brand Market is open again today until 5pm, you can get two-for-one entry here.

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2 comments on “Rare brands market

  1. December 11, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Hi Chloe,

    Thank you so much for your lovely blog on our event last weekend. Just to let you know, we have re-shared this on our Twitter and Facebook.


    We are glad you had a lovely time, if you are in the area, please feel free to pop in to our Chichester event which is taking place in the Assembly Rooms, North Street and make yourself known.

    Thanks again,

    The Rare Brand Market Team

    • December 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Hi Harriet, No problem, I enjoyed it! Thank you for getting in touch and for sharing, I only started this blog six weeks ago so it’s great to have some link love. All the best, Chloe x

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