One of the best days so far during my first month in England happened a couple weeks ago, spent with Andrew’s mum & dad at Borough Market in London. Mr. and Mrs. D know the way to my happy heart – food and lots of it.
Borough Market began at London Bridge as far back at the year 1014 (!) and is one of the oldest and largest food markets in London. In 1755, Parliament closed Borough Market due to the severe traffic congestion surrounding it. Londoners would not let their precious fresh food market close so easily, so a group of Southward residents raised enough money to purchase a parcel of land and reopened the market there in 1756. It is currently located at Southward Street & Borough High Street, near the Southwark Cathedral on the South Bank of the Thames in Central London.
Stallholders come to Borough Market from all over the country, and even from parts of Europe to trade their goods; many of whom are the actual producers. We saw everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, to cheeses, meats & fish, baked goods, teas, cider, sweets, dishware. This time of year, you can even buy your Christmas tree at the market! Not to mention lots of fantastic edible gifts for your loved ones. Each person working at the market is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable about their offerings, whether they are the actual producer or not.
Since the four of us arrived just around lunch time, the pungent smell of food coming from all the lunch stalls in the Greeen Market area made us salivate. We took a lap around to see what our options were, and each selected our meals carefully. Keith & Sue each opted for a meat & cheese filled pie from Pieminister, and both gave their pies rave reviews. Andrew went for ((not surprisingly)) a hot sausage sandwich from Mountains Boston Sausage Co. Well, it was more like a ketchup sandwich that just happened to have some sausage in it. I made a beeline for a stall with Indian food, and committed a cardinal sin of blogging. I can’t figure out what the name of my dish was, nor the name of the vendor. I did, however get photos of my food and nobody elses, so I suppose that is the trade off. Now I’ve learned to get photos of the names of both the place and the dish as well as the actual food. My lunch was a soft thin potato meal crepe with a fried potato mixture folded into it, next to a warm chickpea salad topped with a dollop of yogurt and herbs. So fresh and colorful, and the flavors equally as pleasing.
You never know who you may run into at this hip food market. How about Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine? I told Andrew “THAT IS HER, I KNOW IT!!” no less than nine times as I discreetly ((at least I think I was)) followed her around to get a few good looks to confirm what I already knew. Can you imagine how proud I was when Andrew snapped the below photo of her? If I didn’t stand there and clap for him, I was doing it in my mind. ((And rest assured I came home and Googled images of her verifying the tattoo I saw on one of her fingers and even found an image of her with this jacket on. Stalker status??))
The rest of the afternoon at Borough Market, we wandered through Jubilee Place and Three Crown Square, admiring the offerings and samples of various stalls. I tried cheeses, chocolates, olives, olive oils, fruit. The market was so appealing to all senses. Quite popular on a Friday, and you may have to fight your way through certain narrow parts. But well worth it, without a doubt. I’m keeping it on my London to do list even though it already has one checkmark by it! I highly recommend grabbing lunch at Borough Market if you are in London any day of the week apart from Sunday ((normal operating hours are lunch Monday and Tuesdays; full market Wednesday through Saturday)). Or you can do some food shopping there to prepare your friends a magnificent market meal! They even have extended hours and are open every day including Sundays now through Christmas Eve and between Boxing Day & New Years.
What is your favorite market to visit in London or elsewhere?