market basket

A basket is an elegant, traditional solution for frequent, local grocery shopping. Only in recent history has it been somewhat overlooked in favour of the plastic bag and the superstore, and thankfully, cloth bags, shopping trolleys, and the chic basket are experiencing a revival. If you’re lucky enough to live where you can buy food from little markets and farm shops, like we are here in the village, the shopping basket is essential. I’m tremendously pleased to have found a beautiful Moroccan basket, so popular in France, at a fair in London this past weekend.

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The one I’ve chosen has both long and short leather handles, is sturdily built, and can hold quite an astonishing amount. Look for a strong weave, firmly attached handles, and fair trade. If it gets misshapen, simply spray lightly with water, reshape, and air dry immediately.

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Naturally I tested the basket at the fair. One is obliged, of course. It held my handbag, a few crockery finds: long wished for pitcher, sugar bowl, and platter, from various vintage stalls. A nightdress made from a Victorian pattern, from the wonderful British traditionals shop Twice. A handmade wooden spatula from British & European woods by Croglin. I almost lost my head for many more things at the market, and could have fit them all in easily. Perhaps not the vintage sideboard. (Speaking of finds, being our first spring in our cottage, we keep discovering flowers! The bouquet pictured was plucked from an unexpected drift, hidden away behind the garden shed.) Traveling home to Sussex was a breeze, the market basket sits so effortlessly on my shoulder. I’m very impressed. We’re off to fill it with food from the farm, time to make some cream cheese and yogurt and begin to prepare for exciting visits from dear old friends and family. I’m wishing for beautiful April days to take the basket on picnics and adventures.

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