Visiting Borough Food Market in London
I had the huge pleasure last week to spend the weekend in London with a group of very good friends. We caught a musical (a Bollywood extravaganza in which the audience was just as spectacular as the show!), we rummaged through the stalls at Spitalfields Market, we ate at incredible restaurants (more about those another time), and we walked and walked until our feet ached and we had to collapse in chairs at various cafés along the way to rejuvenate ourselves with caffeine shots. I used to live in London years ago. I’m always amazed that there is so much going on there that there are still places I didn’t see back then, even though I thought I’d explored the city throughly. I discovered one of these this weekend when we walked around the Borough Market.
Find any food or ingredient you’ve ever wanted
Borough Market, on the South side of the river near the Tate Modern, is entirely dedicated to food. Stall after stall of high-quality ingredients and ready-made food from the U.K and all over the world greet you when you walk through the glass and iron pavillion that soars far over your head. As soon as I saw the market I knew I’d made a huge mistake by only bringing hand-luggage on the plane. This is the kind of place where you can probably find any spice or vegetable you need for any recipe you’ve ever wanted to try. I had to content myself with wandering around and tasting everything instead.
So difficult to choose where to eat lunch!
Borough Market was heaving with people at lunchtime on the Saturday we went. In fact, the six of us got separated very quickly as, one by one, we stopped to admire stalls, try foods or take photos. Thank goodness for the age of mobile phones! The Ethiopian and Indian stands had huge queues snaking along beside them. I was too hungry to wait after being bombarded with all these delicious smells coming from everywhere, so I contented myself with a freshly made lamb and mint burger (since the queue was smaller). It was incredibly tender and tasty, so I had no regrets. 🙂
Fill up on the samples
The market has a big French section, so if you’re looking for good cheeses or truffles, you’ll find them there. I nibbled my cheese-y way around the stalls there. Yes, I know I can eat the same cheeses back at home in France, but they’re good and they had them out for the free tasting, so why not?!
I think the giant meringues in the photo below must be the fashion right now, as I saw them all over London during the weekend (you can tell I spent a lot of time frequenting cafés and bakeries while I was there!). Unfortunately, by the time I got to the bakery part of Borough Market, I was so full of all the samples I’d grabbed, that I couldn’t eat another bite. Next time, I’ll go earlier so I can eat my way through the entire place! There will definitely be a next time. In spite of the crowds, the market was incredible! I saw that they also have a very cool-looking cooking school on the side of the building for learning to make bread and pastry.
Wash all that food down with a Spritzer
After we all found each other again, we wiped the smears of food from around the world off our chins, patted our bulging stomachs, and as a last hurrah, refreshed ourselves with a prosecco spritzer before stumbling out of the market in a food-haze. Next time I go to London, I’ll be going again and taking an extra empty bag to fill up with goodies from the market!
If you want to go, check out the hours first, as they’re not open every day. It’s absolutely worth visiting if you are even remotely interested in food (which I imagine you are if you’re reading this blog!). Watch this space! I managed to recreate the spritzer at home. I feel it in my bones: it’s going to become THE drink of Summer 2015!
By Lisa Watson