Along The Way: The Saint Helier Central Market

In Saint Helier, the capital of Jersey, you'll find a remarkable indoor farmers' market in the middle of town. For starters, it's enclosed in a striking Victorian cast-iron hall, opened in 1882, that features a large, ornamental fountain in the center. The market offers not only fruits, vegetables, meats, and flowers, but chocolate, wine, baked goods, and a wide variety of gifts.

From the Island's official website:

Here, you will surely be able to find those traditional, if strange-sounding, dietary desires of islanders—des mèrvelles—Jersey Wonders, (small rich cakes); de nièr beurre—Black Butter, (a traditional apple preserve, a legacy of the cider-making industry); and a bag of mixed, dried beans with which to cook pais au fou—beans in the oven, or Bean-Jar—a warming winter dish, in which the essential ingredient is a pig’s trotter, to make the rich gravy. You can still buy the ideal accompaniment —a traditional ‘cabbage loaf’ —bread baked wrapped in cabbage leaves. The dairy provides the products of the famous Jersey cow —milk, cream, butter and yoghourt —or you might like to try the flavours of the delicious ice cream.

There's even a post office and a second-hand book store. If you're not stocking the pantry, you can still sit down and have a bite to eat at one of several cafés and sandwich shops. It's the perfect place to spend a few hours and soak up the local atmosphere. Great fun.