This past Saturday we were invited by a darling from Darling to go and have a look at the food market at The Palms in Woodstock, Cape Town. It is a joint venture between The Palms and Isabella Niehaus (former fashion editor of SARIE). With the weather being rather wet this weekend in the Mother City we were hesitant to go, but with waterproof boots and raincoats in hand we were off.
The Palms itself is a majestic building that reminded me of the house which was used in the 1998 film Great Expectations. You look at it and your heart tells your mind to be quiet so that you can absorb every inch of its wonderful architecture. The building itself was once one of Cape Town’s first bakeries. The space is now used as offices, interior decorating stores and a chocolaterie.
The market offers only fresh home-made and home-grown produce from the West Coast and surrounds. The stalls are neatly set up in two parallel rows, stretching over 30m. The market is all indoors and covered by a beautiful glass dome, so the raincoat could have stayed at home. In the background Gert Loubser brings music to your ears on a shiny, black grand piano.
My husband was in his happy space from the get-go, two of his favourite things were present: Darling Brew beer and Creation Wines from the Hemel and Aarde Valley in Walker Bay. Each had a stand at the market, surely this speaks volumes for the quality on offer.
Best value buys for the day:
- Ready-made hot meals from Geelbek Restaurant in the West Coast National Park, where you get 3 times more than at Woolies for only R35, with rice and sambals.
- At the Cape Malay table everything was a bargain and ever so tasty. For R4 a samoosa and R3 per Malay-style koeksister you cannot go wrong.
- Lelieblom had fresh organic farm-raised chickens at the perfect weight of 2.5kg’s for between R81-R94 each. These chickens can serve a family of seven with leftovers for sarmies.
- Rococoa had a special on a large muffin with a filter coffee for R10, so even my student friends can afford to pay a visit.
- Darling Gourmet Mushrooms – they cultivate their own mushrooms including white and pink oyster mushrooms. You can either buy a pack of four skewers with five different types of mushrooms on each for the braai, or packs of flavoured couscous.
- At the greengrocer’s stand they had a very strange looking type of broccoli which is as yet unidentified (if you know what it is called please let us know in the comments), as well as waterblommetjies, which always makes me appreciate the fact that I love living in Cape Town.
- There was also a lady named Sonja who introduced me to dried Persimmons. I can still not wrap my mind around this strange looking fruit or decide how I would like to use it someday, but man it makes a nice chip.
What do we like about this market:
- On arrival we had no problem finding secure, free parking. To me this is already a bonus when compared to the other market just up the road in Salt River.
- The building has ample space, so no pushing or shoving required to get around.
- There were also enough tables and chairs for those attending to take a seat and enjoy the goods on offer.
So, we are sold. Market of choice is definitely Market at the Palms!