Category: Market Reviews

bushy park market

MARKET REVIEW – BUSHY PARK MARKET, DUBLIN

bushy park market sign

Where

Bushy Park is in between Terenure and Templeogue Villages (Dublin 6W) on Templeogue Road. The market is in the Northern corner of the park near the Rathdown Ave entrance.

When

The village market is on every Saturday from 10am – 4pm from March to October.

The Market

They have around 30 stalls each week, many of which are there every week though around 25% of the stalls changes quite regularly. There are great food choices to be had, with options available for vegans and carnivores with everything in-between. Our personal favourites are the bushy park market food stallschips from the Surf ‘n’ Fries stall. I don’t know what they do to them but these are by far the best chips we have ever tasted.

There are also fresh organic food fruit and veg stalls if you’re on a health kick health and plenty of cakes, doughnuts and all things sweet to tempt you if you’re not.

The arts and crafts stalls change a good bit but will always have a good variety of unique handmade gifts and crafts to choose from.  The craft stalls generally have unique and personalised gifts for new baby, new home, wedding and engagements, birthdays or even just to treat yourself! We have often seen some of our Market Street sellers there such as.bushy park market craft stalls

We’ve also seen picture framers selling prints and photographs (and really cool old maps of Dublin), a Polish potter with lovely flatware and tea sets, some very cool up-cycled furniture and a range of other gifts and decorative handcrafts.

As there are only a handful of craft stalls selling unique and quirky handcrafts that is one of the things we would like to see more of.

Market Events

They have occasional family fun days through the summer with games and activities for children, as well as small petting farms with rabbits and sheep. They run an international food day once a year with dozens and dozens of food stalls with food cuisines from all around the world. There is an Easter market where the Easter bunny will make a visit, and usually a popular kiddy favourite on family fun day. This summer Paw Patrol’s Chase and Marshall  made an appearance. We found the best way to keep up to date is to follow their Facebook page which is well run and regularly updated with upcoming events.

Facilities

There are a few picnic benches set out next to the market. There is also a basket full of picnic blankets for you sit on the grass and feast, and a big bottle of sun cream tied to a tree for you to use if you forgot yours (which is a nice touch). If you need a toilet, there are two on site (portacabin style but clean) with hand sanitiser for afterwards.

Away from the market, Bushy Park is one of the better Dublin City parks. It has a really nice, recently renovated playground with something for kids of all ages and a lovely duck pond to walk (or jog) around. You will also find a nice wooded area with streams, brooks and bridges to explore as well as plenty of green space and pitches. There’s a fenced off skateboard park right next to the recently refurbished tennis and padel club, which is beside Sportworld Running Club clubhouse.

Bushy Park bandstand

With summer outdoor yoga and bootcamp classes held next to the recently done up bandstand, there really is something for everyone in Bushy Park. We go there with the kids at least once a month and have a fun day out every time!

Our Rating

We really love this market but feel the number of craft stalls could be increased. Apart from that it has everything else you want from a local park market.

Market Street rating: 4 out of 5 stars

love markets local market support small irish businesses

WHAT MAKES A GREAT MARKET

What makes a good (farmers) market?

Traditionally farmers markets were places where farmers would gather to sell their produce directly to customers, and there are still many farmers markets in Ireland still doing exactly that.  

However, in recent years, the term ‘farmers market’ has taken on a broader sense, especially in large towns and cities. In these instances, farmers markets usually include interesting homemade street food vendors, locally produced baked goods and sweets, great coffee and tea and finally an interesting selection of hand-made gifts, textiles, antiques and artworks.  Things you won’t find easily in the shops or online (apart from on MarketStreet.ie of course!). There are no hard and fast rules for what you might find at a farmers market but generally, everything you buy was made locally and nothing is mass-produced.

The number of farmers markets in Ireland has exploded in recent years with there being over 50 regular farmers/craft market in Dublin alone.

So what makes a good farmers market?  Here are our thoughts…

Good choice of food and drinks

Variety is key, we like to see choices for everyone, a good farmers market should have something to suit vegans and carnivores.  We like to see unusual cuisine represented alongside the more standard fare of burgers and falafel (we love both of these).  Cakes, treats and handmade ice-cream never go a-miss either. Finally coffee, a bugbear of ours are big markets with only one coffee vendor and massive queues.

Interesting and unique gifts and handcrafts

If we travel to a market we usually want to be able to spend an hour or two there at least, and we don’t want to spend the whole time eating otherwise we’ll need an entirely new wardrobe of larger clothes!  So it’s important for us to be able to potter around looking at unique and interesting crafts. Again, variety is key, we like to see original artwork, personalised frames and gifts, textiles and accessories, homemade soaps and candles, unique wooden toys etc. It’s exciting to be able to support small Irish businesses and buy unique and handmade things at the same time!

Entertainment

Rather the exception than the norm, having some kind of entertainment really can be the icing on the cake when it comes to a great market. By entertainment, we mean anything at the market that you can’t buy to eat/take home with you.  For example, music – maybe a guy with a guitar or a small band, games for kids, face painting, petting zoos, street artists (e.g. jugglers).  This really can make a difference and make us want to return. Some of the markets we go to have entertainment some weeks for special ‘occasions’, but not others, so it can be worth doing some research before choosing where to head for the day.

Organisation

The layout of a farmers market is important. There needs to be space for people to stop and look at things and have a chat with the makers at the stall without causing a traffic jam.  The food stalls at most markets we go to get more of the footfall so it’s good to have them at both ends of the market as this pulls people across the stalls of the makers giving them a better chance to market their wares. Access to parking is also important, no one wants to spend ages looking for a space on-street and pay and display can be a real turnoff if expensive or you don’t have any change on you, so for us parking can’t be too much of a faff.

Facilities

You can split the facilities that make a good farmers market into two groups, firstly the facilities specifically set up to service the market, those being places to sit, to eat drink and chat, toilets for after eating and drinking, and perhaps somewhere to shelter if it rains.  But if you’re driving somewhere to spend a few hours or even half a day at the weekend you probably need a bit more than that. These broader facilities could include a good playground for the kids to play in, a wide-open area for you to take your dog for a walk, other activities to engage in while you are there (e.g. yoga classes or boot camps).

All of these added together, we think, makes a good market a great one.

Market Reviews

With this in mind, we intend to write up some reviews of local markets we have attended based on the above criteria.  Starting with a favourite of ours – Bushy Park Market, Dublin 6W.

 

What makes a great market for you?  Have we missed anything here? What are a few of your favourite markets you think we should review?
We’d love to hear from you.