Borough Market for the Global Cuisine
I climbed the stairs to step out of London Bridge’s tube station. A cold draught blew in and I zipped my jacket. It indicated I was getting closer to the murky waters of River Thames. A thirty minute ride in the Jubilee Line from Wembley, would deport me to Central London. From there on it would be a seven minute walk traversing through the concordant and organized Borough Market in Southwark Street. This was my daily regime to reach office for the last one month. It was the time of the day when the Borough Market traders would clean their stalls, arrange their products and throw open the doors to the world.
Borough Market is London’s heritage site that has stood the test of time. This market whose origin dates back to the thirteenth century is a haven for the food connoisseurs who are open to exploring and delving into an array of cuisines from across the world. It is the one stop shop for anything and everything related to food. Farm fresh vegetables, fruits, juices, flowers, best cheese in town, bread, meat, fish, oil, coffee, drinks and a melee of international culinary, the list is endless.
The vibrant market which is brimming with life especially in the second half of the week is a colourful extravaganza of the well laid out food. Friendly traders most of whom are producers as well, help you sample their products for free. Every corner and stall you turn to, you find the urge to dig and experiment. The New Year resolution of managing the flab goes out of the window. If you are into some serious shopping to refresh your stock of vegetables, fruits, meat this market with its wholesale rates helps you as it doesn’t pinch your pennies. If you want to kill time or feed a group of growling stomachs this is the destination.
There are the colourful Turkish delights which once savoured you would return for a second helping, wide range of olives and the traditional Ottoman style coffee. A plethora of bakers and confectionaries that help you devour handmade classic pastries, cakes, pretzels, pies, tarts, scones, sponges, brownies, sandwiches and chocolates. The delicacies keep you drooling and wanting for more. You can have them in various styles be it the traditional English or the French Patisserie. The list is endless and doesn’t seem to stop. Someone stated the chocolate mousse here is heaven in a spoon. How very true? One of my personal favourites is Portena who state Born in Buenos Aires Baked in Borough Market. I kept going back to them for their Spinach and Ricotta Empanadas with a dash of the traditional Argentinian sauce during my stint in London. I introduced my friends as well to this delicacy and today they are a regular at this outlet.
As the Borough Market site states Borough is home to Butchery at its best. Lamb in a wrap with spiced rice, beef stew, steak sandwiches and burgers are a few to name for lunch. Fresh seasonal cuts, sausages, air dried hams and bacons and exotic meat like ostrich, kangaroo, zebra, impala, crocodile and ostrich eggs are available for the experimental types. Oysters from Essex, shells from the Devon coast, shrimps and other marine varieties are found in this market for the sea food aficionados.
There are numerous coffee shops in the Market. When I would need a break from the daily grind I would head to the Monmouth Coffee Company for its quirky interiors and heavenly coffee. If you are in a laid back mood then this is the place where you could catch up with friends or just laze around with a book and a steaming hot cuppa. Tea sourced from across the world be it Darjeeling, China, Japan, Korea finds a place in the stands. Fresh smoothies, ciders from Burley, variety of beers and wines from across the globe dot the market. You can sample sparkling and still wines with meat and cheese at Wine Pantry.
Borough Market is a melting pot of diverse and unique food that leads us into the culinary trail of taste and aroma discovery. It has acquired a cult status and is a popular destination for film shoots, events and promotions. On Fridays, the walks are blocked with people standing on the streets with a mug of beer or glass of wine soaking in the alfresco set up with a bunch of friends. By evening four it is difficult to drive through the path.
Borough Market is a riot of laughter, flavors and colors. I would call it a festival of textures, aromas and taste to pepper one’s palate and life. Get off the grid, be there to experience it.
Many tour operators conduct London Walks that do include Borough Market as a prime destination.
Borough Market Opening Times –
- Monday to Thursday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Fridays – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Saturday – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Getting to Borough Market–
The closest tube station is London Bridge. Buses stop at Borough High Street or Southwark Street and London Bridge.
Borough Market Address –
8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL