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I asked podcaster Lucy Dearlove about her favourite stalls and products at South East London’s Telegraph Hill Market

Hi Lucy, tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi! I’m Lucy. I live in South East London with my husband. My two great loves are audio and food; I’ve worked as an audio producer for around 10 years and now mostly make factual and documentary podcasts on a freelance basis. As a side project I host and produce a food podcast called Lecker. It’s centred around personal narratives, relationships with food and how our lives are shaped by what we eat and what we cook. It won Podcast of the Year at the 2019 Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards which was an incredibly proud moment!

woman in red coat standing in front of a lake and green grass

What is your favourite market and what is your connection to it?

The market I visit most often is Telegraph Hill Market, which is a small weekly farmers market in the neighbourhood I live in. I’ve lived here about 6 years but only started going to the market regularly during the pandemic. Before that, my food shopping was a combination of veg box deliveries, occasional butcher visits and supermarket trips, but in lockdown going to the supermarket felt very stressful and I started looking for ways to avoid it as much as possible. I’ve also started caring a lot more about the origins of my food, and where I can afford to, looking to support more ethical suppliers where growers and producers can get a fairer deal. Now I go to the market every Saturday morning and it’s a real highlight of my week.

a green table filled with eggs, jams and cheese

Why do you think the Telegraph Hill Market is special and worth a visit?

It’s a small market – maybe 20 stalls at its busiest and often far fewer. But everything is great quality, it’s a lovely setting in a park on top of a big hill, so there’s great views right across London (the Telegraph in Telegraph Hill comes from a historic semaphore signalling system at the top of the hill dating back to 1795). It’s not the most affordable option for buying food, that’s for sure, but the regular sellers there have built up great relationships with the community and it’s such a nice experience shopping there. Probably not entirely worth a visit if you’re not local, but if you are then I couldn’t recommend shopping there more highly!

What are your top 3 favourite things you can buy at the Telegraph Hill Market?

The fish stall (Potter Street Fishmongers) has smoked salmon trimmings which make a great breakfast, we had them on Christmas day. The butcher, Morgans, is actually Welsh and drives over to London every other weekend to sell here. We had a beautiful rack of lamb from him and some top home made sausages too. He also has a ‘bone honesty box’ where you can pick up bones at 50p each. And every weekend I try and get a Pear Danish from The Old Post Office Bakery stall, which is genuinely one of the nicest pastries I’ve ever had. I was too late this weekend and they’d sold out so I had to get an almond croissant instead which was nice but not the same.

What is your favourite stall/small business at the Telegraph Hill Market?

Tough call but probably the butcher because of the variety of things he sells – lots of interesting slow-cook cuts. And he sells milk and juice in returnable glass bottles which is great. And he’s also just a really funny character and will always share a friendly word and a joke with you.

Tell us about a memorable encounter you had at Telegraph Hill Market!

Quite a few of my friends live in the area and I sometimes run into people there which is really nice. I bumped into my friend Isabelle recently and we discussed whether the butcher’s bone honesty box was for stock or pets (I think it’s fine for both!)

Why do you think it’s important for people to visit markets in general?

I think markets are really important as they bring us closer to the food producers and growers that provide us with what we eat. Shopping only in supermarkets it’s very easy to feel disconnected from where our food comes from, and for many people in the UK that’s the only accessible and affordable way to buy food. It’s tricky, though, as markets like this are lovely but definitely not the most affordable option to buy food and so aren’t accessible to everyone. There are other markets around in the area (like Lewisham Market) that are a lot more affordable, which is great, but the quality of the produce isn’t necessarily as high. So while I love Telegraph Hill Market I’m also very aware that I’m very fortunate to be able to shop there, and wish it could be a bit more accessible.

Click here for the market page of Telegraph Hill Market

Market ambassador: Lucy Dearlove, audio producer and food writer; creator and host of award-winning food podcast Lecker

Subscribe to Lecker here!

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