Borough Market in Southwark is my next photostop, as my way lies through it every time I go to my gym at Canary Wharf. So today I got off at London Bridge and in I went!
The market is only fully open four days a week, while the rest of the time it’s either partially open or closed altogether. Today is Saturday, which means that not only is the market fully open, but is also completely crammed with people.
It is actually London’s oldest food market, having existed for about 1,000 years! Today it sells different kinds of speciality food and even non-food products, such as flowers.
The cheese stalls can be easily found by the smell. Not that I don’t like cheese, but there definitely exists a certain critical mass of it, beyond which my nose is not happy anymore.
One thing to mention – if you’re relatively new to London and all your grocery shopping experience to day is limited by your local Tesco store, then the prices you are going to see here might leave you in slight disappointment. However, you do get value for your money – the food here is of high quality indeed, mostly artisan and organic.
A little street adjacent to the market building has quite a few nice restaurants.
But back to the market itself! Basically, most of the food stalls here offer locally-sourced products, but there is also food from abroad. This Turkish deli has an impressive selection of Turkish delight, as well as other sweet and savoury snacks.
There is also a French stall, selling mostly cheese and called Une Normande à Londres.
A little spice shop right next to it is a curry-lover’s heaven!
Quite a few stalls sell street-food type ready meals and some even have a small sitting area, like the one in the first photo below.
Most of the fruit & vegetable stalls offer freshly-made juices and smoothies and also little fruit pots to eat on the go.
I know that London has specialised fish markets and I would think the selection there would be way broader and more impressive. But even here, the fish stalls have so much more variety than any supermarket!
Fruits and veggies are literally everywhere, but the best ‘shop’ (I’m not sure if I can actually call it a shop, but it’s definitely more than a stall!) for them in terms of variety is Turnips. Look at how many mushroom sorts they have, most of which I hadn’t even seen in my life before I first came here!
To-may-to, to-mah-to… Tomatoes here come in different sizes, shapes and colours. I’ve never bought any here, so I’m not quite sure whether they taste any good.
There are all sorts of berries as well, and even though most of them are exactly in season right now, they still seem to be ridiculously pricey – from $4 to £7 per pack.
And finally, there are lots of exotic fruits, even feijoa, which I had never come across anywhere else in the UK. I even bought one some time ago – it was three times bigger than a typical feijoa fruit back home, but tasted exactly the same.
This is a butcher’s stall, which doesn’t look particularly appetising to me, even though I know it’s good-quality meat.
What does look and smell appetising, though, is the freshly-baked bread.
While the section of the market which I have been talking about so far is a mixed one in terms of hosting stalls for raw food, stalls for cooked street food and stalls for both, there is also another section, which sells only ready meals, processed foods and baked goods.
The smells of freshly-baked bread, biscuits and cakes is just heavenly!
Those cakes, berliners and brownies look so tempting, don’t they?
On my way back I decided to walk across the London Bridge and take the tube at Bank/Monument.
It was raining and sunny at the same time. Walking across the bridge, I couldn’t help taking a few pictures of the iconic view over the Tower Bridge.
Once on the North Bank side, I turned back to take a picture of the Shard as well.
Then I continued my walk towards the Bank/Monument station. This is the City of London area, which gets extremely busy on weekdays, but much less so on weekends.
And here is the Monument to the Great Fire of London of 1666, after which the tube station is called.