Borough Market – London
Nearly all ‘Jesstours – London in a day’ began at Borough Market, which coincidently happens to be my all time favourite London Market. Originally a fresh fruit and vegetable market (the market and its trade dates back to the 13th century – making it London’s oldest market), Borough Market is now home to a variety of fresh, seasonal food stalls. That’s right Borough Market offers nothing but food, glorious food. Now that’s my kind of market! If you’re a food lover like me, then you’re going to be in complete and utter foodie heaven.
Borough Market serves up the best quality of British market fare and produce in town, with artisan foods and delectable goodies, such as mushroom pâté, wild boar baguettes and devilishly good brownies, just to name a few. For those with a sweet tooth you can not go past the high stack of brownies from Bread Ahead as well as any of the pastries, tarts and other sweet treats that line the table of Artisan Foods. I can’t resist a slice of Artisan Foods dark chocolate and raspberry cake, which is so dense and rich that it is pure indulgence.
If savoury is what you’re after then head straight to the area of the market called ‘Three Crown Square’, where there is a plentiful supply of breads (yes please!) dips, pâté’s, olives, cured meats, cheeses and oils. I love The Tomato Stall (so aptly named that it needs no further introduction), which sells perfectly ripe tomatoes, sun drenched tomatoes, tomato relish and other tomato-based products so fresh and bursting with flavour.
Not only is there an abundance of scrumptious food but also copious amounts of drink. In the summer months you can expect to find lines for freshly squeezed juices as well as Pimms with lemonade while in the winter people adorned with their winter woollies queue for mulled wine and hot chocolate.
My number one tip is to get there early to avoid the hungry crowd of tourists at lunch. Getting there around 9am means that you can taste test your way around the market before deciding what you want to eat later. Believe me, you will need this time, as you will be overwhelmed by choice. After a few visits though you’ll soon have your favourite stalls and like most locals will make a beeline for that treat that keeps you coming back for more.
One such treat that is extremely popular with locals and tourists alike, is the Swiss raclette from the cheese stall Kappacasein, which provides its customers with a generous helping of melted cheese poured over potatoes, baby gherkins and pickled onions. Even if you don’t go to this stall you’ll certainly smell it. The heady aroma from the melting cheese fills the air, so much so you can smell it as you enter the market from Borough High Street, a distance of 30 metres or so.
Once you have your food in hand grab a table or a spot of grass in the courtyard of the Southwark Cathedral and happily munch away on your delectable delights.
There is something particularly lovely and ‘London-y’ about visiting Borough Market, with the trains overhead pulling into London Bridge Station, The Shard towering above, Southwark Cathedral and the River Thames nearby. Personally I think it is an incredible start to the perfect London weekend!
Ps. If you’re a Bridget Jones fan you might be interested to know that Borough Market is home to the loveable Bridget herself. The Globe Tavern that sits on the edge of the market was used for the exterior shots of her cute little flat.
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