19 July 2010

Borough Market

I recently took the Eurostar up to London to spend the weekend with my friend Mei-i (of Displaced Cook fame), who was there on a business trip. We had a fabulous foodie weekend, hitting up spots like Amaya, Wahaca, The Providores and Tapa Room and even Nando’s (a must whenever I’m in the UK, East/Southern Africa and now even Washington DC!). For me though, the highlight was undoubtedly our Saturday morning visit to the amazing Borough Market, which is an absolute heaven for epicureans like ourselves! Right at the exit of the London Bridge tube stop, the market has been around in one form or another since 1755 and is open on Thursday and Friday afternoons and all day on Saturdays. According to the Borough Market website...

Since its renaissance as a retail market just over a decade ago, it has become a haven for anybody who cares about the quality and provenance of the food they eat - chefs, restaurateurs, passionate amateur cooks and people who just happen to love eating and drinking. But it’s not just the sheer quality of the food on offer that makes Borough Market special – it is also about the people and the place. The market is populated by a community of remarkable individuals from all over the UK, Europe and the rest of the world, all of whom care deeply about the food and drink on offer. Many of our stallholders are themselves producers – people who grow, rear or bake the food that they sell. Others are importers with intimate knowledge of whichever corner of the globe they source their products from. As a result, the market has become a vast repository of culinary knowledge and understanding. It’s a place to explore, to ask questions, to discover new flavours and to savour a unique atmosphere.

I started my day at the market with a glass of elderflower water and then a glass of sangria (it was 5pm somewhere in the world right?), while Mei-i opted for a daunting egg and steak sandwich. We then ooohed and ahhhed over gorgeous seasonal produce, fresh flowers, spicy curries, Iberian cheeses and hams, juicy Greek olives, pungent heaps of spices from around the world, luscious truffles, freshly-baked quiches and breads…all as far as the eye could see! Sampling bits and nibbles of almost everything we saw, our tummies were in gastronomic bliss. But needless to say, that didn’t stop us from really eating either! I went for an “ultimate veggie burger” over a salad of quinoa, sunflower seeds, curried potatoes, fresh spinach and other fresh, organic goodies from The Veggie Table. Mei-i and I also shared a potato, rosemary and English cheddar tart from Artisan Traders and a raclette, a wonderful French/Swiss gooey cheese concoction served over boiled potatoes, gherkins/cornichons and picked onions. Yes, so sue me, I was eating French food in England! But it was sooo good!

Beyond stuffing ourselves, we didn’t go home empty-handed either. Among the great things that I picked up included some yummy Indian pestos and chutneys from Angela Malik, mole poblano paste and dried guajillo chillies from The Cool Chile Co. and some great English stilton cheese. As you can imagine, I just couldn't wait to get home to show all of my finds to Luis and of course to cook! Without a doubt, the Borough Market is now a destination that I will hit up every time that I'm in London!!


  1. i absolutely love love borough market..now that i have kinda visited and tasted what every other stall is selling, im less frequent there, but its definitely touristy:)

  2. I can't wait to go back during my next London visit!