Sunday, 1 December 2013

The New Moor Market, Sheffield

Last weekend was the grand opening of the much anticipated Indoor Moor Market in Sheffield. This 18 million pound project takes the place of the old famous Castle Market which, after 54 years of trading, had become a bit rundown. Despite that, I used to love popping into the Castle Market in my lunch hour and picking up a bit of fruit and veg for dinner, where else could you get 8 nectarines for £1. I’m going to miss doing this, but agree the building itself had certainly seen better days.

Yesterday I decided to go and investigate the new Moor Market, placed down the far end of the Moor (what a surprise) to see the improvements for myself. As you get closer a large glass fronted building comes into view, with a sweeping curved wooden entrance that reminded my strongly of Sheffield’s Winter Gardens entrance. I liked that this was in keeping with the current architecture designs within the city.
The building was certainly impressive from the outside and stretched quite a long way down, making it seem very large, and yet it didn’t look out of place. Just very sleek.

Once inside it opens up into a very high roofed space, dotted with a wide variety of stalls arranged rather haphazardly in diagonal lines. I wasn’t too sure what the large yellow pipes were for, or why they had drawn your attention to them by painting them yellow. I suppose they were meant to be part of the architecture, but they reminded my strongly of those tunnel slides you used to get at swimming pools.

The stalls themselves were a wide variety of new and past traders from Castle Market. Wandering around I encountered shoes, fruit & veg, butchers, bakers, a nail salon and a book store. There were also some new highlights for me – all foodie things of course – were:

Make or Bake: A cake decorating shop – something previously missing from Sheffield to my knowledge.

CakeLicious: A fancy pastry counter serving delicious looking French tarts and desserts. I loved the choux swans, but my eyes were drawn to the caramel and pear mousse dessert. Sadly nothing gluten free, but it was nice to look.

The big thing I was/am most excited about is near the main entrance where they have made a little square for pop-up producers. The idea is each week 2-3 local businesses can have the stall to show their wares, then the following week it will be someone new. I think this is a brilliant idea as not only will it give local producers a chance to make us aware of who they are and what they make, but it will keep people coming back to see what that weeks special pop-up stand is. When I visited yesterday there was a Brazilian stall (I think) selling flavoured honeys and little pastries and #Brownies, who I have vaguely heard of.
Their stall looked so tempting with a delicious array of brownies and layers cakes. I had a chat to the friendly guy manning the stall who said their brownies were flourless but he couldn’t call them gluten free as they did use flour in other cakes and bakes. The brownies all sounded amazing, chili & lime, snickers, Turkish delight and cherry & bourbon.

Set across one wall was a little café area with a variety of tables and 5 or 6 little serving stations selling teas, coffee, cakes and a similar assortment of jacket potatoes etc. It would have been nice to see a deli or something selling gourmet salads, something a bit different/more interesting and healthy than the usual café food, but its only week one after opening so one may turn up.

My only criticism of the market is that the stalls didn’t seem to be arranged in any sort of order, it was more luck than planning what you stumbled across next. Some of stalls were down quite narrow lanes, which meant it got a bit crowded with so many people milling around, not that it being popular is a bad thing.

Overall I think the new market is very impressive and with the new addition of a few different stalls and the local producers pop up section it should persuade more people to visit. If this encourages more people to start buying local produce and supporting local businesses then I’m all for it!

1 comment:

Steve Does Sheffield said...

I think the bright yellow pipes under the ceiling are part of the heating system. They're actually inflatable tubes full of warm air that they circulate by some means around the inside of the building.