So I was on the way to pick up a hammock, not actually to have tea and cakes at Yumchaa Tea Shop in Camden Lock.
But it’s almost impossible to stroll along Camden Lock’s infamous market, and then into West Yard with its mish mash of exotic food stalls, and not feel your belly rumbling. There’s just so much to munch on – churros, falafel, fajitas, vegetarian – ad yumyum.
I’d barely navigated my pushchair into the yard when I was offered a taste of chicken on a toothpick from Mama’s Jerk Station. Succulent, spicy, hit the spot.
Since we’d already had lunch, I couldn’t justify stopping for a full plate. However, the sight of dumplings being cooked from scratch at a neighbouring stall proved too mouthwatering to resist. I picked up a Dim Sum the size of my fist for only £2.50 and sat down on a block of stone to share it with the babes.
It was a gorgeously sunny Monday by the canal, not as heaving as it gets at the weekend, perfect for snacking and people-watching. West Yard is a wonderful place to stop for a baby-friendly bite, with open-air seating, informal vibe and popular restaurants like Yumchaa whose balconies overlook the market square.
As we munched away, the market seller beside us teased us with her wares. ‘What is that exactly?’ I wondered. She explained it’s a traditional Dutch pastry, sort of a mini doughnut, and she demonstrated how it’s made in front of a wide-eyed and growing audience.
Although reasonably priced, sadly neither my wallet nor my hips could afford another treat. However, I had to promise the babes that we’d be back soon for some Dutch Dunkers.
I’m sure they’d go down nicely with a cup of Yumchaa tea.
Check out the Black Market (next Aug 25), a monthly event celebrating the diverse food, music and cultures of the African continent in Camden Lock Market, 11am-10pm
West Yard is at Camden Lock Place, NW1 (Camden Town tube). Camden Lock Market is open 10am-6pm (sometimes later), Mon-Sun.