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Crowds flock to ‘best’ continental market in Ilkley
5:45pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
Sights and sounds of Ilkley’s continental market drew in the crowds tempted by foreign flavours – and sunshine.
Traders set up stalls along The Grove from Friday morning turning the shopping street into a traffic-free zone giving visitors plenty of freedom to roam until the Sunday.
Tantalising treats were irresistable for many who gave in to piles of paella, indulged in goat curry and jerk chicken – while others went for a wild boar burger or opted for Welsh hog roast, Caribbean dumplings or oodles of noodles.
Fresh Whitby crabs and lobsters were on sale in the car park at the back of The Grove and kippers from Lancashire were being smoked, next to potted brown shrimps from Morecambe Bay.
Stalls with 13 different types of salami from hazelnut to green pepper and cheeses from fiery dragon to sticky toffee were every picknicker’s dream to go with the French bread, English chutneys and Gloucester Old Spot pig pies.
Not forgetting the possibilities for dessert – Italian nougat and rich slabs of chocolate, laces of rainbow coloured liquorise, pistachio-covered Turkish delight and lemon tarts.
The street market was not just about food – there was a Polish beer bar, coffee stands and alternative craft wares from handmade jewellery to soaps, bags, scarves, reindeer antlers and thick jumpers and cosy slippers from Finland.
Live music rocked from the bandstand on all three days adding to the festival atmosphere which Ilkley Summer festival director Ann Hawkesworth said was “absolutely fantastic”.
She added: “The summer festival began on Yorkshire Day but this market is an occasion where we bring people in from all over – from Harrogate, Lancashire – everywhere. People come maybe for the first time and like it so much they keep coming back. It’s great for our town and our traders.”
Henri Nijboer has been coming from Holland with his iced waffles and cheese for four years: “It’s one of the best markets I do and I do lots from March to December! I look forward to coming back,” he said.
From closer to home it was Geoff Woodward’s first visit to the market with his Posh Pork Pie company based across the broder in Lancashire: “It’s a great little high street, it’s got loads of character and a brilliant atmosphere.”
Sue Piper and friend Julie Fox, of Ilkley, bought two carloads of Dutch plants. Mrs Piper said: “I do this every year. It’s great because lots of the traders are like seeing old friends, back in the same spot.”
Harry Bennett, visiting with family from Knaresborough, said all the food was working up his appetite: “Everything looks fabulous and I’m sure it tastes it as well. I just want to have a try of everything.”
The next big event in The Grove is the Dolce Vita cabaret this Saturday. Call (01943) 602319 for more details.
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