Borough Market

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Borough Market, Southwark, Central London.

I love Borough Market. ** love**  I lived in London ten years ago while I was in drama school and our workshop was under one of the arches at London Bridge, so on Fridays and Saturdays we used to tromp down to the market for lunch. I’m sure at the time the market was only there on Fridays and Saturdays, although now some part of it seems to be open almost every day.

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A busy Saturday at Borough Market.

I dragged Dario back there on Saturday. (And it was absolutely worth it, despite my hatred of crowds.) I drag him to Borough Market at least once every time I visit London. It’s London’s oldest fruit and veg market, and this year they have a big banner up saying the market is celebrating “1000 years in Southwark”. Yes, that’s 1000 years, not 100. There has been a market in the area since the 11th century, and on that specific site since the 13th century.

It's kind of like stepping back in time...

It’s kind of like stepping back in time…

For most of the 20th century, Borough Market sold produce wholesale to greengrocers. Today, however, it sells a wide variety of largely specialty food items. There are more than 100 stalls, with vendors hawking fruits, veg, meats, breads, pastries, juices, wines, oils, cheeses (ALL of the cheeses, my god), chutneys, sauces, sausages, pies, as well as hot food stalls where you can pick up lunch or snacks while you browse.

Most of the vendors grow or make their own products, and the market has systems in place to regularly check on the quality and provenance of the goods being sold. It’s not exactly cheap, but damn it’s tasty.

And you can’t beat the atmosphere. Part of the market is tucked under the stone arches of a railway bridge (trains still rumble by overhead at regular intervals), and the rest of it is covered by Victorian wrought iron and glass. And if you look hard enough, you can still find game for sale, trussed up by its feet.

The market is open for lunch Monday and Tuesday from 10am-5pm. The full market is open Wednesday and Thursday from 10am-5pm, Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 8am-5pm. The closest tube stop is London Bridge. Check the Borough Market website for further details.

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