Frome Independent Market is a bustling pop up market on the first Sunday of the month between April and December. It is an incredible example of what happens when a community comes together to reclaim the high street. The whole of the town centre is closed off to cars and filled with stalls and music. There is a really friendly vibe, and it is so refreshing to be able to just amble the streets without being disturbed by traffic.
Expect wonderful local produce, hugely talented makers and vintage finds against a backdrop of live bands and delicious smells wafting around this Somerset market town. I would highly recommend going with a big appetite and lots of shopping bags because it is impossible to come away empty-handed!
I started at the flea market in the old Market Yard, where you can buy everything from antique Singer sewing machines, cutlery, milk churns, maps and trunks, to upcycled furniture and deck chairs. I met the lovely Gail from Bygone & Era (pictured above), fresh from a vintage photo shoot, selling her gorgeous handmade 50s Rockabilly dolly bow headbands and vintage clothing.
The wonderful thing about this market is that you never know what you may find – I met this gorgeous owl and found some bright pink snakeskin cowgirl boots! There are a handful of food stalls in the Market Yard (definitely try the traditional lemonade – it is delicious) and the Vintage Mobile Disco give a retro soundtrack to this part of the market.
From here I headed to Market Place, the main hub of Frome Independent Market. You can buy beautiful yarn, handmade jewellery, ceramics, cards, t-shirts, bags, candles and knitwear, cosy British blankets, carved wooden dragonflies, locally forged kitchenware. I love that a lot of the stallholders are working on their next project while they chat with the shoppers. The acoustic bands on the stage all add to the atmosphere.
This is the place to stock up your larder and your fridge. The stalls are heaving with locally-made cheese, proper Somerset cider and apple juice, cakes, fresh bread of every size, shape and flavour imaginable, a mind boggling array of scotch eggs, organic vegetables, seafood, tea and of course, locally-brewed artisan ales. You are bound to find something to suit your taste and diet – even if you are looking for a raw, gluten-free, soya free, dairy-free, vegan, refined-sugar free treat, as these delicious tortes from Elspeth’s Kitchen demonstrate!
Appetite firmly whetted, I made my way to Scott Road for lunch. The smell of barbecued food is hard to resist! As well as rare breed sausages from Penleigh Farm, you’ll find poffertifes (traditional little dutch pancakes), Snowdrop Cottage pies and quiches (pictured at the top of the page), falafel wraps, Devon-made cured game and sausages, posh kebabs, Texas brisket and dim sum, with handmade lemonade, craft beer from Frome-based Milk Street brewery and speciality coffee to wash it down.
Don’t miss Cheap Street, just off the Market Place. There are a few stalls here where today you could pick up gourmet popcorn, handmade bags, tea and these incredible book gardens. Running right down the centre is a leat carrying the stream from the spring beneath St. John’s Church, and either side are gorgeous independent shops.
Finally head up Stony Street for more artisan food; exquisite cakes, desserts, handmade chocolates, jams, chutneys charcuterie and cheese. Then further up to Catherine Hill for the Suitcase Sale, where micro businesses and wonderful makers sell their wares in vintage suitcases, prams and more! You might find these cute Boo to a Moose robots, foraged preserves, stunning flower headbands and clips, pencil cases and prints of Bath.
For more photos, please see our album on Google + >
Practical details about Frome Independent Market
Getting here: there are two Park and Ride sites (Frome Medical Practice BA11 2FH or Selwood Academy BA11 2EF) and the train station is just a 10 minute walk from the market. More details >