Day Out: Borough Market

Saturday 21 February 2015 by

Established in the 13th Century, Borough Market has long been the mecca for food lovers in London. From selling grain, fish, vegetables and livestock, it has grown to accommodate street food, international produce, wine and beer and even flowers.

Borough Market, London, Food, Turkish Delight, Meringues, Valentine's Day

 

Nestled under the trundling trains of London Bridge, it’s a mere few seconds from the station, and is super busy from Monday to Saturday, only closing on a Sunday. So for Valentine’s Day, I met up with Rebecca from Boop Fashionista to explore this little culinary haven, braving the rain and crowds.

Borough Market, London, Food, Juice

The first part of the market hosts the street vendors. You can take your pick from goat, burgers, hotdogs, Egyptian food, the best cheese toastie in town and some rather delicious pad thai fresh from the wok. For the healthier options, you can grab juices or smoothies in a rainbow of flavours. Because it was Valentine’s, many of the stalls boasted heart shaped treats, and this part of the market was stacked high with meringues, macarons, pastries, and entire stalls dedicated to Turkish delight, liquorice and honey.

Borough Market, London, Food, Flowers, Bees, Honey

Once you move your way to the back, you enter Borough market “proper”, with fruit and veg stalls offering eighteen kinds of tomato, produce so fresh it still has dirt on it, shelves upon shelves of cheeses, charcuterie, wines (with free Prosecco tasting), ice-laden slabs with fish, and even specialist stalls offering a unique array of spices, mustards, and oils and vinegars.

Borough Market, London, Food, Pad Thai, Salte caramel, Ice cream

Rebecca and I easily spent two hours circling and circling the market, discovering a new stall each time, and only stopping to taste. The queues might be big, but the food is worth waiting for. Rebecca picked up a cheese toastie (pickles optional), whilst I opted for gluten free chicken pad thai from Khanom Krok. The best place to eat your goodies is under the looming presence of the church, slightly away from the crowds. The pad thai was one of the best I’ve eaten, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

Borough Market, London, Food, Macarons

It seems criminal now to say that I have never been to Borough market before. How could I have missed such mouth-watering delights – I was so taken with it, I even treated myself and my housemates to a selection of macarons (raspberry, pistachio, salted caramel, chocolate, white chocolate and thyme, butterscotch and, my personal favourite, earl grey tea), and picked up a scoop of salted caramel ice cream whilst I was at it.

For the allergy sufferer, I would have to say that the market sellers were more clued up than half the restaurants I have ever been to. All produce is made from scratch, sometimes even then and there in front of you, so they know each ingredient, and are savvy about separating the gluten from the non-gluten (for nut allergy sufferers you may have to be more cautious as they are open stalls and some nut products aren’t sealed).

Borough Market, London, Food, Gourmet Goat

Whether you spend 10 minutes grabbing a Gourmet Goat pita or an hour perusing the stacks of food, Borough market is a delight to all. No wonder it’s so busy! There are also restaurants above the market, and are worth checking out if you have spare time (although they can get pretty packed too, so make sure you’re prepared to wait for a table). But if you have a whole day, I do really recommend exploring the nooks and crannies of the market. No matter how popular it is, it always feels like a unique discovery.

And thanks to Rebecca for joining me, and braving the rain!

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