Sponsored: Fancy a daycation? Visit Ely Markets
Want to travel the world without leaving Cambridgeshire? Just head to Ely Markets, as Velvet reports
Picture the scene. You’re wandering through a marketplace filled with stalls selling everything from arts, crafts and antiques to bread, bakes, fruit, veg and flowers. You’ve got a freshly-brewed coffee and still-warm pastry in hand. If you’re really lucky, the sun is shining and the sky is blue. You could easily be en vacances en France; in fact, you’re at Ely Markets.
“If you’re planning on visiting Ely this summer, make sure you come on a market day. You’ll see the city at its very best - full of life, colour and character,” says markets boss Julia Davis.
“Visitors are always amazed by the variety and quality of our stalls – including local produce, crafts, antiques and authentic street food from around the world,” she adds. “It’s like being on holiday, without leaving Cambridgeshire!”
Happily for visitors, almost every day is Ely Markets day this summer. Billed as a chance to browse and buy “beautiful locally-made crafts and quirky vintage – plus delicious cakes and street food”, on Saturdays it’s the ever-popular Craft, Food & Vintage Market.
Now in its 21st year, the twice-monthly Farmers’ Market also takes place on Saturday (second and fourth weekend). Promising “something for everyone”, it’s known for top quality local fruit and vegetables, cakes and macarons, vegan food, flowers, plants, shrubs and herbs, plus a fantastic mix of meat, cakes, pies, pastries and preserves.
Described as “laid-back. . . the perfect place to relax and unwind”, the Sunday Market is a chance to see and shop an eclectic range of stalls - ranging from food, plants and gifts through to vintage collectables and vinyl - while enjoying some delicious street food. There’s always something fun for children too, from sweet treats to a traditional fairground ride.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, though there’s no main market, the marketplace remains a delicious destination thanks to Silver Oak Coffee and Silver Oak Bagels (with outdoor seating), Lemon Tree Deli (with outdoor seating) and an ice cream van.
Thursday is the “traditional but full of surprises” Charter Market, which combines the expected (a great mix of fresh fruit and veg, street food, crafts and flowers) with the unexpected (a new and ever-changing calendar of craft and food pop-ups), meaning there’s always something new to discover.
Friday is the turn of the Mini Market, where Silver Oak, Lemon Tree Deli and the ice cream seller are joined by the likes of Starwing Brewery, plus plant and flower stalls.
Along with all the regular market-goers’ favourites - including Oriolo, the jewellery stall which sells antique and preloved pieces alongside fab contemporary silver; Blended Monkey, which sells gorgeous handmade pottery; Buster & Lou, go-to for dog collars and animal-lover gifts; Molly May Clothing, with its 'quirky and comfortable' clothing, scarves and accessories; and Made in Provence, known for we-could-be-in-France specialities - Ely has recently welcomed a list of new stalls.
Part of the Papworth Trust charity, which provides work and training for local people with disabilities, OWL Bikes sells refurbished cycles and does repairs (Thursdays). Duck Egg Blue Designs is the stall to visit for homeware, cards and prints, all designed “to spark joy” (Saturdays). An authentic pizza kitchen on wheels - it’s housed in a converted horsebox - Gino’s is fast winning fans for its freshly-baked, Neapolitan-style pizza (select Thursdays and Sundays, check social media). And Cherry Tree Preserves offers a delicious selection of jams, chutneys and curds (Thursdays).
The cherry on top of the Ely Markets cake? Bank Holiday Monday, August 30, is the cue for a market including “all of the fun of a Sunday and more”. Summer activities for little visitors are also being lined up - keep an eye on Ely Markets’ social media for updates.
See elymarkets.co.uk and follow @elymarkets
Thursday Charter Market: 8.30am-3.30pm
Friday Mini Market: 8.30am-3.30pm
Saturday Craft, Food & Vintage Market: 8.30am-3.30pm
Sunday Market: 10am-4pm
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More by this authorAlice Ryan