I was only meant to have one day in London on my whirlwind visit to England to see a load of friends and relatives, so I asked twitter and Facebook how I should spend it. Thanks to all those who replied – many of you said I must go to Borough Market, which was heartening as it was also the #1 place on my list to visit!
An even bigger thanks to my lovely friend Andy who took me there and patiently followed me around while I took a few gazillion photos – yes Andy, I KNOW you were rolling your eyes! But I did warn you…
The Borough Market is a bit of a London institution. Established in 1851, it is one of the oldest markets, now frequented by chefs, other food professionals, food obsessives and enthusiasts and tourists. The food sold ranges from the freshest of local fruit and veg to meats, breads, preserves and imported goodies, including to my delight, camel and kangaroo imported from Australia. No, I didn’t buy those.
And then there are the cheeses. OMG. I was in cheese heaven. The only problem was that I was leaving the next day, so, theoretically, couldn’t really buy all that much.
So many soft cheeses. This Bath Soft Cheese was my fave. Their blue was pretty good too.
And then there was the Blue Brain. While I adore blue cheese and don’t have a problem with a little mould, I did look twice at this. OK, maybe three times. The cheese itself is a fairly mild creamy white cheese, covered in a mould. A LOT of mould. Yes, I tried it. It didn’t make me want to eat the chemistry experiments that can appear in my fridge.
Two of the more interesting cheeses I tried were the “drunken cheeses”, made by ageing the cheese in wine. There was a red and white, the red was sublime. The white was a little overpowering. Which was the opposite to what I expected.
And bread! You can’t buy cheese without buying bread. We chose a small walnut sourdough that went perfectly with our cheese selection.
However my pick of the market was the mushroom pate. A fellow food blogger (totally forget who – sorry! Please identify yourself!) told me if I only tried one food at the Borough Markets it had to be the mushroom pate. Let me just say it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Anywhere. And luckily the wonderful US Customs man didn’t make the chuck it out when I entered the US. Because I just couldn’t leave that one behind!
My market visit was a Friday which meant all the stall holders regularly in the market were there. My advice is to arrive early, as the crowds swell from about 11.30am with many local office workers frequenting the markets looking for a tasty lunch.
There were loads of great lunch options, but I was unable to pass up a Melton Mowbray Pork Pie. Much of my childhood, adolescence and life in general includes memories of dad raving about the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie, and how he had to have one every time he visited England. Of course I had to try one. Even if it ended up being part of dinner instead of lunch!
And then there were the jellied eels. Not much to say here really! Apparently they are very popular. I can say the English are weird as I’m related to many English people. Ugh.
Give me small goods any day instead!
Have you been to London? And did you visit the Borough Market? What did you buy?? I could have bought soooo much… Next time my market visit won’t be the day before I fly out of the country!
8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL
Open for lunch Mon-Tue 10am-5pm
Full market open Wed-Thur 10am-5pm, Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 8am-5pm, closed Sun.