We’ve just got back from an early morning visit to the award-winning Stroud Farmers’ Market. Stroud’s is a particularly great market as the majority of stallholders are local – rather than travelling miles and miles to shift their wares, and therefore defeating the object of the whole thing anyway. Despite the early hour we tried some excellent English wine from Bow-in-the-Cloud vineyard near Malmesbury, a hot mulled wine, some beautifully creamy blue cheese by Simon Weaver (01451 831 753) from near the archetypal Cotswold village that is Upper Slaughter, an outrageously dense gluten-free chocolate cake by Peccadillo Puddings (07957 434 651), delicious soup by Bristol-based company About Soup (07980 710 246) and milk like we remembered from my childhoods by the clever cows at Jess’s Ladies. The market was packed with people shopping and tasting, and generally just milling around enjoying the atmosphere, all with their recycled plastic bags or cotton carriers stuffed into their pockets, preparing to stock up on local cider, muddy potatoes, in-season apples and crusty loaves. With kids and dogs wandering amongst the crowds, it felt like a proper English country day out.