food shopping at borough market
i've been dying to go food shopping at borough market ever since i arrived in london. but somehow there was one thing or the other that took precedence on saturday mornings until this weekend and the weather hadn't been terribly cooperative either. but yesterday morning i was determined to make my way to the market no matter what.
i took the circle line train from high street kensington and changed at westminister. then i took the jubilee line to london bridge. as soon as i emerged from the underground, i could tell that i was in foodie heaven. the smell of fried onions and garlic was wafting in the air. there were food shops and restaurants all closely packed next to eachother and each one seemed to be doing brisk business. a long queue had formed outside brindisa, a spanish tapas restaurant near the entrance to the market. i was so overwhelmed by all the choice and eager to soak it all in that i was clueless where to begin. the burly owner at the italian cheese shop was kind enough to direct me to the entrance. as i walked in, i was reminded of the spice market in istanbul which has a similar grand entrance. all the old world markets must have been designed in this way. and like the spice bazaar in istanbul, the inside of borough market was like a maze. i'm sure that it's going to take a lot of trips before i begin to figure out where my favourite vendors are located within the market.
the first stall i came across was desgustibus which was selling all sorts of artisinal breads. i couldn't resist the smell of freshly baked bread - i bought a loaf of ciabata immediately. as i made my way through the market, my senses were delighted in amazingly different ways and my eyes got progressively wider in total wonder. before i knew it, i had bought basil and rocket, vine tomatoes, blood orange marmalade from portugal, fresh mozzarella and all sorts of vegetables including baby onions and purple garlic.
this was more fascinating and wonderous than any food market i have ever visited. green market in union square comes in second but it's hardly a patch on borough market which has the most diverse choice of foods on display from fresh vegetables and fruits to exotic cheeses. there are plenty of fresh food stalls that cook up crowd pleasers like ostrich burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.
one of my favourite stops was at neil's yard, supposed to be the best cheese shop in the world. it was so fun to wait in line for your turn and then spend as much time as you like tasting different cheeses before you bought some. i was served by an american from philadelphia who was gaining experience here before going back to the states to start his own cheese shop. how fun!
my only regret was that i didn't go to the borough market earlier in the day otherwise i might have caught a glimpse of my favourite chef, jamie oliver, who comes to borough every saturday morning with his daughters daisy and poppy while his wife, gets some time on her own.
borough market has inspired me to go food shopping every saturday. the most recent issue of time out london has a great feature on london's best markets. next up: brixton. stay tuned!
check out my photo album which has a few more photos from my trip to borough:
my flickr album on food shopping at borough market