Coming to Raby Castle on Sunday 19th July

In the merry, merry month…

Whilst finger-walking shelves of the culinary library one morning, I stumbled upon a long overdue title, ‘Roast Chicken and Other Stories’. The book fell open on a well-read chapter by Simon Hopkinson with a recipe I know only too well; roast leg of lamb with anchovy, garlic and rosemary. Removing the small pool of water collecting from the side of my mouth, I reminisced on smells this dish perfumes the air when you slice into the lamb releasing wafting clouds of garlic and rosemary. I once courted a girl named Rosemary it started off in Durham but ended up in tears. I digress once again.

One of May’s treats also has to be asparagus, usually available from Blue Bell Organics at the farmers’ market. It has a fine delicate flavor, one we enjoy with boiled eggs (defensive cuts on government spending), I’ll avoid politics and turn to poultry, always top of our menu (thinking chicken salad with tzatziki dip).

Once during a family camping trip, I cut myself shaving while washing my face in the morning dew on the first day of May. Those searching for eternal youth, however will find more benefit eating well, avoiding processed foods. Green foods in particular are alkalising helping to encourage good skin.

Back to the plot. Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market during the merry month is a hands-on celebration of all things good, with market stalls selling fresh produce and crafts. The food calendar is also preparing for a busy month with dozens of food festivals springing up throughout the UK. Are we not a nation of food lovers?…I believe so, and the farmers’ market in Barnard Castle is testimony to the large crowds of visitors who arrive each month searching for the very best in food and drink, not forgetting a host of independent traders in our fine market town.

You’ll find us on the cobbles from 9.30-3.00 with our beautiful complexions and plethora of all things good.



Easter Farmers’ Market on the Cobbles

A BIG thank you to everyone who visited the market inside the Witham last month. We enjoyed a successful busy day accompanied by some great acoustic folk music and song. This month we’re back on the cobbles on Saturday 4th April. Plus, we’ll be holding our annual Easter Treasure Hunt with the chance to win a luxury farmers’ market hamper. Definitely not to be missed!

March in the Witham

Writing on a cold, wet day in February and just a sleep from the third month of the year, already I’m feeling comforted by the prospect of a second farmers’ market held inside the Witham. This morning (while evacuating the bantams to forage free in the garden), the wind was cold enough to burn your face. Holding a mug of black tea, I watched rain turn to sleet and quickly decided shorts and wellingtons would not be appropriate on this day.

Back in the kitchen, eggs boiled, soldiers buttered, the children who booked fully inclusive, enjoyed the simple pleasures of a Sunday morning breakfast.

My style of cooking will always please more than impress. Based on simple, home cooked fare with few ingredients, sourced from local, quality produces including those found at the farmers’ market and independent traders on the high street, I seek the finer things by way of taste.

For example, take the leg of lamb purchased from Westholme Farm in Marwood, at last month’s market. Westholme Farm produce quality, locally reared beef and lamb. The end pleasure of such simple delicious roasts always include squashing second helpings of potatoes into congealing lamb fat and gravy. With the leftovers we enjoyed a light evening supper by way of tagine of lamb and apricots. Yes I am 15 stone.

Good food also has a strong way of shaping memories. Just like treading old paths they’re able to reduce complexities of life adding calm and peace.

So even if it doesn’t feel like it, spring is almost here bringing fresh flavours and the promise of new produce on our plates. Visit Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market this Saturday 7 March inside the Witham on the high street and prepare your larder.

It would be amiss of me not to mention the unit of a man who balances the fulcrum of the market at the top of the high street, to that of  I further downhill. Just William’s Seville Orange Marmalade received Gold at the World Marmalade Awards at Dalemain, Cumbria. His new bling gold labels and posh certificate will be on show in the Witham during the market. Go and give him a big Paddington Bear hug from me!


Just a quick note to say the Facebook page for Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market was suspended over the Chritsmas period for no apparent reason. We have sent a letterhead proving we are who we say we are, but still haven’t received a reply. This is directly affecting the sales and lively hood of our 34 stall holders.  If you have a Facebook page we would appreciate comments on your own page regarding this issue to support our cause.


Farmers Market inside the Witham Hall

The first farmers’ market of the year takes place Saturday 7 February inside the newly refurbished Witham Hall, Barnard Castle. Relax in the comfortable  Dispensary Café Bar for lunch or afternoon tea, as we tempt you with some of the finest, locally produced food and drink from across the region. It promises to be a wonderful day and a real feast for food lovers.


First farmers’ market in 2015

Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market  will be held inside the Witham during February and March, first Saturday of the month, normal time of 9.30-3pm. 

Merry Christmas

Stall holders and volunteers from Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market wish all our customers a very happy Christmas and prosperous New Year. We look forward to seeing you all again indoors in February. Also please note our Facebook page is down, so please visit the website for news and information.

Christmas Mini Markets at Raby Castle

Taste of Teesdale Christmas Market at Raby Castle


Don’t miss Taste of Teesdale’s Christmas Market at Raby Castle, Sunday 30th November. Held in the magnificent grounds of Raby Castle, Taste of Teesdale offers the very best food, drink and craft ideas from around the region.