Though there were several spots Keith and I both wanted to drop by during our short stay in London — Liberty, the National Gallery, Selfridges, the Tower — the one place I really wanted to swing by for a visit was a food market. While there were so many to choose from — Broadway, Cabbages and Frocks, Blackheath, etc. — we decided on Borough Market, the oldest at 250 years.
Unlike so many of the other markets in and around London, Borough is open three days a week (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays) as opposed to the usual Sunday or Saturday. It was also incredibly easy for us to get to, since both the market and our hotel were on the Northern Line of the Underground. Once we emerged from the tube at the London Bridge stop, we barely had to walk any distance before catching sight of the huge painted finger pointing through a narrow passageway beneath what I believe was the London Overground. Then, like a magical creature emerging from the mists, the market was in front of us and we stood there speechless, jaws agape.
(All right, so I know that’s terribly cheesy, but what can I say? I love markets. The only thing that could make a market better would be a market in which you could befriend a unicorn or get a free puppy whilst picking out a bouquet of cauliflower, broccoli, rhubarb and kale. Like they say: a girl can dream, can’t she?)
What makes Borough Market so interesting is its history: it’s been standing in the same location in one form or another for over twenty decades. Imagine the sights the market has seen, the people who have passed through as both seller and buyer, the produce… Honestly, the produce. The wares here range from freshly killed pheasant to freshly picked fennel, with some toffees, coffees, wines, whiskys and wheatgrass juices thrown in for good measure. Also easy to find are cookies, fudge, fish and flowers — with more than one hundred vendors, cafés, kiosks, restaurants, shops and stands open for business, it’s easier to think of what you can find instead of what you can’t.
Click on the picture for a short market-themed slideshow.
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