We walked in through the carpark from Lorne Street and there was a nice big sign and a couple of stalls. We could hear the music from the live band and within about 30 seconds we were absorbed into the crowd. It's a pretty small space, but though it was snug at times trying to squeeze through gaps to get to the next stall I thought it was laid out pretty well. There were some stalls outside the store, in the little thoroughfare through to College Street - most of these were selling food (that's the Ruth Pretty catering stall on the right above, madly trying to keep up with the hungry Wellington bellies).
As well as the vendors outside, there were stalls a-plenty inside the store. This was great as you were able to pay for everything at the counter, so there was much less fumbling about - definitely a plus when there are so many people. The Floradita's crew were busily cutting squillions of samples of their nanaimo bar, lemon lime slice, and chocolate caramel slice (all delicious, I know cos I tried them all and I really wanted to take advantage of their great deal but Mr Cake dragged me away - how mean is he?). There were also friendly Moore Wilson's staff circulating with samples - this lovely lady offered us little pots of fresh salad/slaw - it was yummy (and surely that counteracts the nanaimo bar, right?).
The Boomrock people were sizzling up venison sausages in one corner, and we tried little nibbles of this with their fabulous Maharaja sauce, and couldn't resist buying a $15 pack including both items. The sausages are now biding their time in our freezer... I know they're not going to last much longer, though!
The Kingsmeade cheeses were all scrummy - and the cheesemaker kindly obliged to being photographed, too. This is the truly awesome part of this event - this is the cheesemaker himself. I visit markets often, and obviously in that situation you are often buying directly from the maker of the product - but for most of us, most of the time, it's just cheese or jam or sausage - it is pretty cool to get a bit of the background information behind the product and the brand.
|Blessed are the cheesemakers...|
Pandoro were there racing against the crowd to keep the sample plates stocked. We tried the caramelised onion and sage focaccia and were impressed, so got some for dinner to go with our soup. Note the very well-stocked bread cabinets - I've never seen them looking quite so full, but it was flying off the shelves so just as well.
Bohemien chocolates had a table with their delicious little treats on it - I admit, I couldn't resist these, either. Their special price made the chocolates only $1 each, and for such delicious choccies that seemed too good to pass up!
When we were done fighting the crowds inside we went back to the outdoors vendors to get our lunch. Mr Cake got the yummy Angus beef burger, and I had a haloumi baguette. Oh, how I love haloumi - this stuff was from Zany Zeus, and they had giant, drool-worthy packets of it. It was perfectly crispy, soft, and the bread was fresh and crusty and perfect. The Angus burger was nicely cooked - see that perfect shade of pink there? - and came in a soft bap. Good, simple food at its best! Once we had wolfed down our sandwiches we indulged in a pottle of passionfruit yoghurt, also from the Zany Zeus folk - to give us strength for our next adventure, which I'll tell you all about tomorrow. Just know this: it involves chocolate, and lots of it. How's that for a teaser? ;-)