Fruit and Veg

What's on the menu this Christmas at New Covent Garden Market?

Written by Tom Moggach
December 19, 2013

For most of us, the Christmas break is all about food – and lots of it. So we asked some Market regulars what they will be eating when they finally put their feet up:

Richard Harris from I A Harris & Sons

"I have eaten the café's Christmas dinner every day in the Market since they started serving it. Unfortunately then my actual Christmas dinner doesn't taste as good because I have had 24 of them already. I have a race with Paul Bishop [P&I fruits Ltd], but I won this year because he had two days off. I always have to have pigs in blankets."

Richard Harris from I A Harris & Sons

Maureen Peck, trader on Portobello Road

"For a starter, I'll have shellfish – lobster, crab, a whole mixture. Then turkey, roast potatoes and Brussel sprouts. I buy all the chocolates. My favourite is Lindt Lindor – the red ones. I've tried the other flavours but like them the best."

Maureen Peck, trader on Portobello Road

Angelo Da Silva at Covent Garden Supply

"Instead of turkey we have a pig. I like the head and the ears – they are chewy but crunchy. You cook it just like a turkey. It's got to be a little bit spicy. My girlfriend thinks turkey's a bit too dry. I get all the veg and fruit from the market."

Angelo Da Silva at Covent Garden Supply

Paul Grimshaw at DDP

"I love Quality Street – the purple ones. The rest go in the bin or are wrapped up for next year's presents. For breakfast I have scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and Guinness – that's the highlight. That calms me down before Christmas presents or gets me excited depending on how many Guinesses I have had. I also love Savoy cabbage – that's the best."

Paul Grimshaw at DDP 

Adrian Conway, agent at Covent Garden Busyers

"I get a lot of buzz out of the market. It's a way of life. I like turkey and roast potatoes. And Medjool dates and a glass of port."

Adrian Conway, agent at Covent Garden Buyers

Joe Pearmain, Christmas Tree Seller at Rogers Fencing

"I don't have no gravy – I'm a dry eater. You couldn't give me gravy for love nor money. I'll have rib of Aberdeen beef, hung 21 days, and a nice free-range turkey, with parsnips, swedes cauliflowers, broccoli and Brussel tops. I like plain food. Although a bit of pepper breaks the wind. Later, about 9pm, I'll come down and carve the dark underside of the turkey and eat the parson's nose. I like Turkish delight, Lings preferably - a very established firm since 1846. And a 48 or 42 orange, a big Spanish navel, a few Cox's apples and I'll crack a few nuts."

Joe Pearmain, Christmas Tree Seller at Rogers Fencing

Andrew Thorogood at S Thorogood & Sons

"I like nice creamy desserts – pretty much anything with cream in it. There's a ginger and apricot dessert I particularly like. We have a family Christmas dinner, with wine even some port - the full works. I very rarely drink but always at Christmas I crack open a good brandy at the end of a meal. It's moreish for me."

Andrew Thorogood at S Thorogood & Sons

Osman Erdal at Pavilion Café

"Most of it is spent sleeping. Last year I didn't even have a Christmas dinner. I had an M&S turkey breast and put that in the oven with roast potatoes and pigs in blankets. My guilty pleasure is sutlu borek – it's pastry with a milky creamy filling with syrup on top."

Osman Erdal at Pavilion Café

"In North Cyprus, they celebrate New Year. They call Christmas Noel, but it's not a national holiday but they still have decorations. They do a turkey at New Year's."

Akan Diren at Pavilion Café

The Lay brothers, catering suppliers at Lays of Chelsea

"I hear that the Christmas Dinner sandwich at The Market Café is spectacular. One customer has to take them home to his kids. Our meal is a 7 or 8-hour ceremony – the whole day. We start with a buck's fizz early. Our starter is smoked salmon on a little pancake with some caviar to make it look nice."

The Lay brothers, catering suppliers at Nicholas Lay

 Luke Winter, Wild Harvest

"I'm heading up the brigade for three separate Christmas dinners this year. With a bit of luck I'll burn as many calories as I'll consume. I'm going to eat a free range Bronze turkey from Essex. If we haven't sold out I'll be inserting some Perigord truffles under the skin before roasting. My colleague Mathieu's family eat crosnes aka Japanese artichokes cooked in the turkey's juices. This idea is well worth stealing from our friends across the channel."

Luke Winter at Wild Harvest

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