Howth Market, Co Dublin

 

You can’t beat the setting. Spectacular views, jangling boats, crisp air, the occasional sociable seal breaking the surface – Howth Harbour is the place to shake out the cobwebs any morning. The market on the West Pier has been a Sunday fixture since 2005, undergoing a revamp and a minor relocation last autumn.

The range of produce, consequently, is not huge, but it is temptingly displayed. For Paula and Gerard Coyne, whose colourful bun stall attracts attention, business has been so good that they’ve recruited their twin daughters to decorate the batches of delicacies (€9 for six) that have proved popular at events from Electric Picnic to Trinny and Susanna’s Dublin show.

Opposite their stall, the big meat, cheese and salad sandwiches sold at Paddy Jack’s (all ingredients home-produced and organic) are a Sunday meal in themselves, while at Gourmet Hog Roast Company, there’s a suckling pig roasting on a spit. Elsewhere, among the stalls for organic vegetables and fruit, fancy breads, cheeses, chutneys and takeaway falafels, there is a sprinkling of handmade jewellery and crafts available. The market as a whole is now well-integrated with the surrounding attractions (pubs, fishmongers, restaurants, shops, takeaways, playgrounds). But if you want to stay with the full wholesome experience, leave the car at home. Instead, get the Dart or bus to Howth, or even better, when the tide’s out, get off at Sutton and walk the length of the breathtaking Burrow beach.

SHOPPING LIST

Organic potatoes: €4 per kg

Organic sweet potatoes: €5.50 per kg

Organic eating apples: €3.50 per kg

Organic carrots: €2.50 per kg

Chunky free-range chicken: €10

Sausages: €3.99 per lb (pork leek, beef,

and others)

Farmhouse brie: €25 per kg

Semi-dried tomatoes: €2.80 per 100g

Jar of plum jam: €4

Best available bread: €2.50 (dairy-free pear and walnut bread: €5). Focaccia: €4 or 2 for €7

Rhubarb crumble: €6

Howth Market – Sundays, 10am-4pm