A no-nonsense English bistro, near Camden Town tube; a friendly sort of place, it offers plain cooking – in a style which, until recently, might have been called ‘domestic’ – at reasonable prices.

First, in the early ’90s, we had what we now call gastropubs. By the late-’90s, a retro-style of English cooking was beginning to evolve (or, more accurately, be rediscovered), which might be described – for want of any better term – as gastropub-style cooking. Then, by the mid-00s, people were beginning to figure out that there wasn’t any necessary affinity between gastropub-style cooking and former public houses.

Recent times have seen the creation of establishments such as 32 Great Queen Street, which – being asssociated with the famous Anchor & Hope – has all the style of a gastropub, but no pub. In a different way, the smart modernist Canteen chain has also made quite a success by disassociating gastropub-style cooking from the gastropub-style environment.

And so things go full circle, and we now see establishments such as Market, which is for all the world like a classic no-nonsense Gallic bistro (or café, as the French might call it), except for the fact that everything about it is resolutely English. Mackerel pâte ‘n’ toast, pollack ‘n’ chips, fruit crumble ‘n’ custard – that’s the sort of fare you find done here. And all – on the basis of our lunch for three – consistently done very well here.

Look out for more establishments like this – we hope they’re all done as well.

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