New independent market comes to Bath

A new market will open in Bath for the first time later this month.

The Independent Bath Market has been created by Silvana and John-Paul de Soissons, owners of The Foodie Bugle – an independent shop and tearoom in the city’s Abbey Green – along with an army of “voluntary enthusiasts”.

The market, which will also be located in Abbey Green, will open its doors for the first time on 21 May.

It will be held eight times a year, from March to October, on the third Sunday of the month, and run from 10:00 until 16:00.

Abbey Green is situated next to Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths.

Abbey Green and Abbey Street – the site of the new Independent Bath Market

Love Somerset Online spoke to Silvana, and asked her why she wanted to launch a new community-based street market in Bath.

Silvana: “There is no market on the third Sunday of the month in central Bath – visitors coming from Bath Spa station, the coach and bus station, or Manvers Street Car Park will be really delighted to chance upon this event. It will bring extra footfall to the city and all of the streets leading out from here will benefit. There will be 20 to 25 small, independent family businesses, traders, makers, growers, crafters, artisans, and producers from Bath or Somerset.”

All the products on sale at the market will be come from 12 categories:

  • Ceramics
  • Woodwork
  • Textiles
  • Iron work
  • Fresh produce, flowers and plants
  • Preserves and pickles
  • Baked goods for taking home
  • Charcuterie and cheeses
  • Glassware
  • Clothes and fashion accessories
  • Homeware and gardenware
  • Paper goods, books and stationery

The Independent Bath Market is a not-for-profit venture, with all the pitch fees going to finance the event – this includes the hire fees for Abbey Green and Abbey Street, planning permission and street closure, street trading consent, and flyers. 

Silvana: “There is no other market like it in the centre of Bath! The market pitches are specially selected for their local provenance, and Abbey Green is a pedestrianised, cobbled square, so it is perfect for launching a market. The aim is to create a lively, buzzing central Bath market that features local artisans, wares and produce, for the locals, tourists and visitors to enjoy. We have had a lot of help, and there is a strong team behind Visit Bath, and various local organisations that have been very supportive of this new community venture.”

Silvana de Soissons outside her shop, The Foodie Bugle – picture copyright: Jason Ingram

Silvana and John-Paul opened their online shop in 2013. Their first “bricks and mortar shop” in Margaret’s Buildings followed in December 2014, with the couple moving to their current address in October 2016. But why Bath?

Silvana: “As a UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site, the city of Bath offers visitors and tourists beautiful architecture, parks, nearby countryside, independent shops and restaurants – it is a little jewel in the crown of Somerset, attracting millions of visitors every year, from all over the globe.”

Silvana’s love for Bath and its independent vibe is obvious, but why does she love Somerset?

Silvana: “Somerset has everything – beautiful coastline, woodland, countryside, farms, villages, towns, cities. From Bath to Bristol, Wells, Frome, Bruton, Taunton and the Quantocks, Exmoor and the Mendip Hills, you can have such a wonderful time exploring the natural world and the man-made world. Somerset is green pastures, fresh ice-cream, historic towns, cathedral cities, friendly pubs, artisan crafters, cave aged cheddar and handmade cider – you could base your entire holiday in this region!”