There’s nowhere quite like it.
Cork’s iconic English Market has had its annual festive makeover and the halls are decked and stuffed with goodies for Christmas.
This year, the traders of the English Market have adapted quickly, implemented Covid-19 safety procedures and set up online, home delivery and click and collect services to help make shopping local even easier and safer for their customers.
It’s been a heck of an effort. Now they’re counting on local shoppers to support local and help keep the jewel in Cork’s shopping crown alive and kicking into 2021.
“Just a couple of months ago, we couldn’t have dreamed we would have an e-commerce platform and website set up,” said Tim Mulcahy, owner of The Chicken Inn.
“To be sending parcels and packages of food all over Cork now through our new delivery service is an incredible achievement for us and we are delighted that we can serve so many of our customers this way. We hope to encourage people to continue to enjoy calling into the market to support local businesses and producers this festive season, but also know that many of us can also deliver to your home if needed.”
Here’s a list of what’s happening in each of the English Market’s many stalls this Christmas:
The Roughty Fruit King
This gorgeous stall has a very special ‘Pure Cork Hamper’ containing a selection of the finest local Cork made ingredients, including their very own Strawberry and Champagne and Lemon Curd preserves.
On the Pig’s Back
For the cheese-lovers and festive entertaining, On The Pigs Back have an amazing range of gift boxes and specially made to order hampers, from cheeseboard and knife sets to Irish Farmhouse Cheese, pâté and foie gras.
The team at Toonsbridge Dairy and The Real Olive Company have everything necessary to serve an impressive festive spread, from antipasti and tapas, meats, figs, nuts and olives to their very own authentic local Cork-made range of cheeses such as Smoked Scamorza, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Cannoli and more – available in the market or online for delivery nationwide.
For the sweet-toothed
The Chocolate Shop, Hassett’s Bakery, Heaven’s Cakes and the Alternative Bread Company have a variety of handmade chocolates, sweet treats, mince pies and delicious baked goods that make a delightful gift or a thank you to a colleague or friend.
This season the Bubble Brothers recommend festive favourites are; in reds Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rioja and anything made from Pinot Noir and in white; Sancerre, Chablis and Albariño.
“There’ll be brisk business with Champagne, cava, prosecco too of course!” they told us.
For those who don’t eat meat, My Goodness Food has developed a ‘Vegan Christmas Survival Kit’ which contains items such as Stuffed Almond Walnut Shitake Loaf, Mushroom Walnut Pate, Smokey Sun-dried Tomato, Spiced Apple and Ginger Kombucha and raw vegan ‘Snickers’ bars to keep vegan guests and family members happy.
The Christmas order books are open and are English Market butchers are now taking deposits across a full range of festive favourites and speciality meats including; Tom Durcan’s Traditional Spiced Beef; O’ Sullivan’s local Free Range Turkey; The Meat Centre’s Ham; Best Meat’s Free Range Geese; Kathleen Noonan’s Pork; Bresnan’s Lamb; Coughlan’s Corned Beef; Stephen’s Bacon; O’Reilly’s Tripe and Drisheen and O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausages.
For something unique, O’Mahony’s Butchers also have spectacular 42 day Dry Aged Côte de Boeuf. All butchers have a full range of festive options available to order as well as their regular produce.
Tom Durcan Meats have a specially curated ‘Tastes of the English Market’ hamper available for delivery nationwide – ideal for ensuring they get the proper Spiced Beef up in Dublin this year.
K O’Connells Fishmongers, Hederman’s Smoked Fish and Ballycotton Seafood have brought the very best locally caught fresh fish, smoked fish, seafood and prepared options to the market. Smoked salmon, king prawns, oysters, crab, lobster, sea bass and monkfish are all available if you’re planning a seafood banquet this season.
Ingredients for every recipe
To add the finishing touches and to enhance any meal, Mr Bell’s Global Spice Emporium, The Good Food Shop, Superfruit and the Farmer have all of the local seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, condiments, preserves and spices you could dream of for every Christmas recipe.
Food hampers are also available.
Takeaway at The Farmgate
The Farmgate Cafe has opened a new pop up takeaway stall on the Princes Street side of the market. Restaurant-quality pre-prepared meals, including a weekend and midweek ‘Supper for two’, lunch and dessert options are all made in-house with fresh local ingredients, many of which are sourced within the market.
Need a coffee while browsing?
Refresh from Christmas shopping with a takeaway coffee or tea from Coffee Central and Café Marius or treat yourself to a healthy Poke Bowl at Maki Sushi.
The English Market is open Monday to Saturday, 8am-6pm (although some traders may operate different opening hours), for further information and to see the full list of Traders offering click and collect and delivery services, visit the website.