The stars are shining, the decorations are up, and it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas at The English Market, Cork. Just like every year, Cork’s iconic market has its annual festive makeover – halls are decked, seasonal produce is carefully displayed, and the magic atmosphere comes to life even more. But as this year is like no other, the Traders of the English Market have been working harder than ever, adapting their businesses, implementing safety procedures and setting up convenient online home delivery and click and collect services, to help make shopping local even easier and safer for their customers this Christmas.
Tim Mulcahy, owner of The Chicken Inn in the English Market said, “This year really has been like noother, many of us as traditional Traders have truly transformed our businesses in such a short spaceof time. Just a couple of months ago, we could not have dreamed we would have an e-commerceplatform and website set up. To be sending parcels and packages of food all over Cork now throughour new delivery service is an incredible achievement for us, and we are delighted that we can serve so many of our customers this way. We hope to encourage people to continue to enjoy calling intothe market to support local businesses and producers this festive season, but also know that many of us can also deliver to your home, if needed.”
Another business transformation includes The Farmgate Cafe, which has adapted to the recent Level5 restrictions by opening a new pop up takeaway stall on the Princes Street side of the market. Atthis stall you will find a range of restaurant quality prepared meals, including weekend and midweek‘Supper for two’, lunch and dessert options – all made in-house with fresh local ingredients, many of which are sourced within the market.
In addition, many of the butchers within the market have their Christmas order books open and are taking deposits across a full range of festive favourite and speciality meats including Tom Durcan’sTraditional Spiced Beef; O’ Sullivan’s local Free-Range Turkey; The Meat Centre’s Ham; Best Meat’sFree Range Geese; Tim O’Sullivan’s Stirfrys; Shannovale’s Chicken; Kathleen Noonan’s Pork.Bresnan’s Lamb; Coughlan’s Corned Beef; Stephen’s Bacon; O’ Reilly’s Tripe and Drisheen; O’FlynnsGourmet Sausages and for something unique, O’Mahony’s Butchers also have limited stock of theirrenowned Spiced Buffalo available. All butchers have a full range of festive options available to orderas well as their regular produce.
A visit to the market is not complete without a visit to the seafood section, where K O’Connells Fishmongers, Hederman’s Smoked Fish and Ballycotton Seafood have brought the very best locallycaught fresh fish, smoked fish, seafood and prepared options to the market. Smoked salmon, kingprawns, oysters, crab, lobster, sea bass, monkfish and more – all available to create a seafood banquet this season.
For those who do not eat meat, My Goodness Food have developed an incredibly special – ‘Vegan Christmas
Survival Kit’ which contains items such as Stuffed Almond Walnut Shitake loaf, Mushroom Walnut pate, Smokey Sun-dried Tomato, Spiced apple and Ginger Kombucha and more – perfect to keep vegan guests and family members happy.
To add the finishing touches and to enhance any meal, Mr Bell’s Global Spice Emporium, The Good Food Shop, Superfruit and the Farmer have all the local seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, condiments, preserves and spices you could dream of.
What also makes this year extra special, is the vast array of festive food hampers available – perfect for home entertaining or unique gift ideas.
The Chocolate Shop, Hassetts Bakery, Heaven’s Cakes and the Alternative Bread Company showcase a variety of handmade chocolates, sweet treats, mince pies and delicious baked goods that make adelightful gift for a family member with a sweet tooth or as a thanks you to a colleague or friend.
The Roughty Fruit King has a special ‘Pure Cork Hamper’ containing a selection of the finestlocal Cork made ingredients, including their very own Strawberry and Champagne and Lemon Curd preserves.
Tom Durcan Meats have compiled a specially curated ‘Tastes of the English Market’ hamper, that is a true celebration of the absolute best of Irish food – containing a variety of carefully chosen items from around the market.For the cheese-lovers and festive entertaining, On the Pigs Back have an amazing range of gift boxesand specially made to order hampers, from Cheeseboard and Knife sets to Irish Farmhouse Cheese, pâté and foie gras – they have something to suit all tastes.
As always, the team at Toonsbridge Dairy and The Real Olive Company have everything needed toserve an impressive festive spread, from antipasti and tapas, meats, figs, nuts and olives to their very own authentic local Cork-made range of Toonsbridge Dairy cheese boxes.
Not forgetting the incredible selection of around the world wines from Bubble Brothers Wine Merchants to top it all off. This season the team at Bubble Brothers recommend festive favourites; in reds Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rioja and anything made from Pinot Noir and in white, Sancerre, Chablis and Albariño – and there will be brisk business with champagne, cava, prosecco too of course!’
For household goods, you are sure to find everything you need at Pots N’ Pans. Find festive and novelty t-shirts at Rave Cave and Harrington Garment Repairs offer a range of services from key cutting to clothing alterations and more! Refresh and re-energise from Christmas shopping with a fresh juice or smoothie from Jump Juice, takeaway coffee or tea from Coffee Central, Mulled Special from Café Marius, tasty toastie from The Sandwich Stall or treat yourself to a festive Spiced Beef Hand Roll at Maki Sushi.
There is everything you need and more at the English Market, Cork this festive season, all available under one roof. The English Market is open Monday to Saturday, 8am-6pm, with extended opening hours to be announced in the coming weeks on social media.The English Market is following all Covid-19 safety and security measures and encourages shoppers to consider quieter midweek shopping times to help protect elderly and more vulnerable customers.For further information and to see the full list of Traders offering click and collect and delivery services please visit http://www.corkcity.ie/en/english-market/.