Exterior of Hylands House on a sunny day with people shopping at the farmers' market
The monthly farmers’ market is now held just outside the house

Hylands Estate is gearing up for its first event following this year’s lockdown: a farmers’ market in front of its iconic white villa on Sunday 18 April.

The monthly market for food and crafts will host 26 stall holders selling locally produced food – from Essex honey and homemade jams to spirits and sourdough.

The Sugar Boutique will be selling cakes, brownies and cookies

New stallholders in April

Established local traders like the Chelmsford Beekeepers will be joined by some new additions, including The Essex Allotment – a farm in Roxwell producing organic seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Founder Alex Horne set up this market garden business in 2018. He hopes the Hylands markets will introduce his organic vegetable boxes to an even bigger local audience.

“We’ll be selling a selection of the vegetables we produce at the market and shoppers will also have a chance to sign up to our weekly veg boxes. We grow everything just up the road from here – so the footprint is a fraction of food you might buy elsewhere, and we do everything through intensive small-scale farming, without chemicals and pesticides.”

Alex Horne, founder and owner of The Essex Allotment
Seasonal veg boxes on show from The Essex Allotment

Tasty take aways

There’ll be plenty of freshly cooked food from the area on the day too – from pizza courtesy of Piperoni and burgers from New Barn Farm. Hylands Estate regulars The Steaming Mug will be on site serving coffee, tea and pastries from their distinctive vintage Citroën van.

Owner Charlene Oliver says it’s a relief that regular events like farmers’ markets are starting up again.

“We’ve been here at farmers’ markets when they’ve been allowed and within the main park over the last few months, and we’ve built up a quite a following with visitors. We were also running the cafe in Debenhams in Chelmsford, but it just hasn’t been viable to get that going again. It’s great that events like the Hylands market are coming back so we can keep serving our customers and keep our business growing.”

Charlene Oliver, the owner of The Steaming Mug
Coffee, tea and pastries will be on sale from The Steaming Mug

New estate tours starting

Although the monthly open house isn’t able to start up again just yet, there will be new opportunities to find out more about the history of the estate.

Hawthorn Heavy Horses will, for the first time, be running hour-long guided tours of Hylands Park for groups of up to six people.

If you’d like to book a carriage drawn by their Suffolk Punch or Shire horses around the estate, visit the Hawthorn Heavy Horses website to find out more.

New traders welcome

If you’re local, grow, brew, pickle, bake or craft your own goods, and you’d like to join the monthly farmers’ market, get in touch with the Hylands Estate team using the link below.

If your interest is in eating, drinking and buying when the markets return, take a look at the Hylands Estate website for more information about dates and times.

By Julie Weight

Julie writes stories and creates videos for Chelmsford City Council. Contact her at julie.weight@chelmsford.gov.uk or on 01245 606984.

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