For those of you that don’t already know Borough Market but who, like me, love food and the hustle and bustle of everyday life around you; this is a jewel of a place not to be missed!
Situated on the south Bank of the Thames; London Bridge right next to Southwark Cathedral “lives” a market that has been at the heart of London for likely over 1,000 years and on the current site since 1755. The existing market buildings are however relatively modern having been erected in 1851 and appended to in 1860 in the Victorian Gothic revival tradition. An Art Deco entrance was later added in 1932. Indeed a Blue Plaque marks it as “London’s Oldest Fruit & Veg Market”.
It’s a place where people from all walks of life and social classes rub shoulders among over 100 stalls selling a vast array of foods from traditional fruit & veg and butchery through to artisan produces; cheeses, breads, sweetmeats and charcuterie to name but a few.
The place is alive with the heady mixed smells of street food cooking, the chatter of the crowds and the vibrant colours of the displays that play out before your eyes.
Many of the traders here make, grow or rear their own produce and the quality to be found here, in my book, is up there with Harrods’s Food Hall but a lot more accessible and down to earth. After saying that; it’s not a cheap place to shop for your dinner but as a place to come and forage for occasional treats and items to impress your guests, it’s a goldmine. Apparently the market association is so proud of what it has to offer that there is an elected food panel that constantly ensures the authenticity and sheer scrumminess of the food on offer here.
During the week it attracts many local office workers who come to seek out a quick and delicious midday repast and they are not to be disappointed as there is a host of quick meals on offer: Gourmet burgers, paellas, oriental foods and if you are a fan and feeling a little flush; fresh oysters.
If you fancy a sit down meal there are several good restaurants integrated into the external fabric of the building including a fish one and a steak one. The market is also well served by a number of good pubs, the closest and most vibrant being the “Market Porter”, which sports a glorious display of hanging baskets during the warmer months providing a colourful vista for the customers who pour out into the street to be closer to the buzz of the market immediately adjacent. However as a “West Country Lad” I'm usually well happy with a pint of dry cider from the New ForestCider Co. within the market itself.
So as summer slowly creeps up on us why not take yourself down to Borough Market on a lazy Saturday afternoon; soak up the atmosphere, grab a spot of lunch on the hoof and take a prize find home to be relished for supper? ENJOY!
All images and text copyright Andrew Hill 2013
More and larger Images may be found on the Revealing Light website.