I don’t know about you, but I just love markets. When I travel, it is always something I look for and love browsing through. There is something exciting about seeing non-mass-produced items that more often than not are in a pretty raw state or are at least a very personal choice of the seller.
I once visited the huge Chatuchak market in Bangkok; football fields upon football fields of items, each section dedicated to its own niche. You would find everything from clothes, souvenirs, ceramic wares, garden plants, art, antiques, vegetables, edible critters (which were mound of things like fried cockroaches, dried worms or grilled grasshoppers), antiques, food, pets (a very sad section) and so much more.
The markets in Ennis may not be as exotic as in Bangkok, but they are interesting non-the-same and will give you a view of life in Clare beyond the standard shops, also interests and hobbies people nurture in their own homes. The markets are on every week and you can’t help to buy something, anything, when you see the sellers brave all kinds of weather. Rain or shine, the markets will be on.
Ennis Farmers Market
On Fridays on the edge of town you will find the Ennis Farmers Market from morning to about 2-3 pm. These are locals that sell their own produce, most of it organic. You will find home baked goods, both sweet and savoury. There is often a stand with gluten-free foods and baked desserts and bread.
Today when I visited the market and got some lovely readymade salads from Quinoa & Kale, which I had for lunch. I also got a selection of some home baked mini-muffins from the Sunflower Bakery, these were a welcome gift for the holiday home guests that arrived this afternoon at Casa Ceoil.
The market also has foods, plants and today a stand with very tasty homemade pates from the Knockara Pates. Later in spring there will be plants, flowers and vegetable seedlings. As a curious gardener, I try to stay away, but if my Seed Frenzy can get out of hand I do try my best to curb my seedling cravings.
Ennis Town Market
On Saturdays, there are two markets in the town centre. The normal Ennis market, in Lower Market Street, is on from morning until mid-afternoon. Here you can get a good bit of basic veg from local farms, they sell cabbage, carrots, onions and such. There are a few garden plant stands and clothes, but there is one stall I never miss.
The Real Olive company is a Mediterranean food specialist that supplies to markets in the west and Dublin. They have a good selection of olives, hummus, pickled vegetables, cheeses and so much more. My girls’ love our Saturday evening tapas night, which is literally a selection of everything from The Real Olive stand, plus bread.
Chapel Lane Market
The last market I need to mention is the Chapel Lane Market, also on Saturdays. This is a craft market with some regular sellers, but also new talent that showcase their homemade goods. You will find home baked cakes, homemade soaps, but also craft candles, bags, hand knitted items and a good few surprises as well.
This is the perfect market for unique gifts. The handmade soaps and other beauty products from Athenry Soaps smell wonderful and you will be able to find a perfect match for yourself or a friend. For something that is a bigger statement, have a look at the Atlantic Artiques craft candles, some with such intricate decorations you will not want to light them or others with colourful patterns. A new seller last week was Onnagh Herbert, with beautiful handmade flowers using recycled plastic bottles, Secret Life of Plastic.
The lovely thing with markets, is that you never know what you will find. You may visit them every week and there will always be a small surprise waiting for you.
More markets in Clare
- Castle Courtyard Market – Clare Castle, Tue-Sat, 9.30 am-4pm
- Clarecastle Village Market – 2nd Sunday of every month, 10am-2pm
- Kilrush Farmers Market – Thursday, 9am-2pm
- Tulla Village Market – Thursday, 9am-1pm
- Tulla Country Market – first Saturday ov every month, 10am-4pm
- East Clare Community Co-op Market, Scarrif – Friday, 11am-4pm
- Milltown Malbay Farmers Market – May-Oct, Fridays 10am-3pm
- Shannon Farmers Market – Sky Court parking lot, Fridays 12.30-6pm
- Ballyvaughan Farmers Market – Village hall car park, 10am-2pm
- Ennistymon Farmers market – Saturdays 10am-2pm
- Mountshannon Artisan Market – Flea Market the first Saturday of every month, 11am-3pm
- Clonlara Country Market – 2nd Sunday of every month, 10am-12.30pm
- Kilkee Farmers Market – May-Sep, Sundays 10am-2pm
- Killaloe Farmers Market – Sundays 11am-3pm
- Mountshannon Craft Market – Sundays 12-5pm
- Newmarket on Fergus Craft Market – in the Community centre, Sundays 11am-3pm