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Of the Oldest Market in London

November 28, 2012

Oh my… I’ve been away a while. My apologies for that. It’s been quite a busy few autumn months that included a long trip to Malaysia, a busy new job, new home, a lot of new starts. And one of the best of these new starts – a new kitchen.

But I’m back with bang and in full gear, just before Christmas.

And so onwards…

In a kind of celebration of all that has happened since I last posted, a trip to some culinary hot-spot was in order. London has many food markets – Billingsgate, Brixton, Leadenhall to name a handful. But my favourite of all is Borough Market. Open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and brimming full of produce fresh, home made, home grown, organic, hot, cold, spiced, pickled and well matured. Well kept, well presented cheeses from friendly fromageries offering nibbles to taste accompanied by smoked sausages, artisan breads, patés. If you’re mouth is not watering enough yet, I have not even started on all the fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. Everything – I really do mean everything is on offer. Heirloom tomatoes and salad leaves from the heart of England sit just a table length away from the more exotic rambutan, kumquats, turmeric roots and chillis.

Wondering around, you can meet Tom of The Market Quarter who specialises in fine french food and who was happy to share what he knew about foie gras. From him we bought a a fantastic duck fois gras lobe, and at his further suggestion a kilner jar of truffle salt. He is the kind of market seller that is happy to spend time with you discussing their produce and offering a lesson or two in taste.

Then when you’re done with the browsing and taste testing, it’s time for something more substantial to eat. There are hundreds of fantastic restaurants and cafés to pick from in the streets around the market. The glass building that houses Fish! under the railway bridge is a lovely place for lunch or dinner. The Wright Brothers Oyster and Porter House is always busy (and booking is highly advisable) but if you like oysters then it is a must. But if you want to stay immersed in the spirit of the market bustle there many market stalls that offer hot food from giant pans of paella, fishmongers’ seafood bisques, salt beef sandwiches, spicy sausages. I had roast rib of beef with rocket and nose-clearing fresh horseradish sauce from Roast! a fantastic restaurant that sits above the market that also offers hot meaty sandwiches to-go from the market floor.

And then all washed down with a cup of mulled wine.

So if you’re in London some time, Borough Market is one of the top five places I suggest you visit. If you live to eat, like me, you will not be disappointed. ~

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