Food markets – Borough Market, London
A 10 minutes walk from the Globe Theatre. You can’t be wrong. But if you get lost in the web of surrounding narrow streets, just look up in the sky and search for a green roof. Here beneath you’ll find the beating heart of London’s oldest food market. With more than 1000 years of history, Borough Market can be considered an historical institution as much as the nearest theatre -a home for William Shakespeare and its playing company. It is not unlikely, in fact, that the Bard could be seen strolling around the food stalls at the Borough Market with a wicker basket in his hands, side by side with spice merchants and food artisans. Today, tourists with huge cameras hanging from their neck and local ladies with purple lipstick and polka dots bags pacifically co-exist in the crowd of visitors that the market welcomes from Monday to Saturday. Far from being a stale, stiff historical site, Borough Market is a vibrant and dynamic space where food is discussed, shaped, and consumed. Stalls, shops, food trucks and restaurants are all source of genuinely exceptional produce, celebrating traditional British food and craftsmanship alongside goodies from around the world -in line with the global spirit of the city of London. So Pimm’s is sold alongside Parmigiano Reggiano; street food varies from Croatian to Singalese, serving the less stereotyped and common dishes of very country. Of course, the same kind of attention to details and quality is reflected in every other shop included in the market, whether they’re selling flowers or shaving beards -yes, there’s also a barber available for gentlemen visiting. The uniqueness of Borough Market stands in its great diversity. From basic foodstuffs to the finest specialities like oysters and aged ham, a huge variety of products is declined according to every request that a consumer might have according to dietary restrictions and preferences, environmental awareness or simply pickiness. Biodynamic and organic products are also available in vegan, kosher, or lactose-free options in an infinite series of combinations. It is nearly impossible to let someone’s palate down.
Borough market offers a great opportunity to know more about the food you’re buying or eating: many of the stallholders are themselves producers. Who better than the baker of Bread Ahead could tell you how that sourdough baguette is made, and what’s the best way to store it? Who can give you the best recipe for that marvellous piece of tenderloin, if not the butcher himself? The on-site presence of producers, alongside with traders who carefully picked the best small-scale artisan products, encourages an open dialogue on food that leads to curiosity, sincerity and transparency on the broader food system. Which is also why stalls and food trucks are animated by a great number of events all year long, ranging from cookery demonstrations, debates, educational programmes and workshops. The market itself becomes a place for human connection, exchange and human engagement, in a spirit that is proper to communal spaces.
8 Southwark St, London
Monday – Thursday 10:00-17:00 (limited market on Monday and Tuesday) Friday 10:00-18:00 Saturday 8:00-17:00 Sunday closed