There are many things in London, Ontario, that are named after the original in the UK; one of which is “Covent Garden”:http://www.coventmarket.com. There has been a market in downtown London since 1835. The newest building was opened in 1999. I sometimes attend the Thursday or Saturday outdoor Farmers Market, but the indoor shops and restaurants are open all week.
The outdoor Farmer’s Market is open from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm on Thursday (free samples usually from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm along with a recipe sheet to take home) and until 1:00 pm on Saturday. Also on Saturday, there are usually free cooking demonstrations upstairs from 11:00 until noon. Often there is also free musical entertainment outside. Last week there was a free corn roast. Many of the vendors are certified organic.
At the indoor market there is all manner of fresh produce, baking, hot and cold meals, butchers, cheese, spices, fishmongers, flowers and giftware. One of my favourites is “The Piping Kettle Soup Company”:http://www.pksoup.com where I had some delicious potato, leek and bacon soup ($2.80 for a small) when I stopped by for the Canada Day celebrations earlier this summer. Another is “Petit Paris Creperie and Patisserie”:http://www.petit-paris.ca/ where I had a yummy pecan butter tart and a mini birdseed bar ($4.70). It will take me a while to work my way through all the pastries. And it isn’t the only vendor with tempting pastries! I also picked up a small decaf latte from the Little Red Roaster to wash the pastries down. There are also restaurants if you want to sit and be served.
Upstairs (there is an elevator if you do not want to walk up) there is additional seating, the washrooms, a bird’s eye view of the market, shops and children’s theatres.
The indoor Market is open from 8:00 am – 7:00 pm from Monday to Saturday and from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm on Sunday. There is a half hour of free parking (with validation) on the weekend and two hours on the weekend. In addition to parking on the streets surrounding the market, there is underground parking.