A sample of crusty Italian bread dipped in rosemary infused olive oil? I’d love one! Fresh blueberries at 2 for 1 pound? What a deal! Anyone who says the English don’t know good food has never experienced London’s Borough Market. From the moment I first entered the market, I was head over heels and my love struck senses could not take in all the sights, smells and tastes fast enough. I was mesmerized by the mounds of soft pink meringues surrounded by pastel coloured cupcakes, oozing cheese sandwiches sizzling on a hot grill and sauerkraut being piled high on fresh bratwurst… Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is.
Tucked away in South East London, under the railway viaducts between the river Thames and Borough High Street, the Borough Market is teeming with people filling their baskets and their bellies with some of the best food London has to offer. The market’s reputation for being a food lover’s paradise has been building for a little over 10 years and it most definitely lives up to it. Open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, this bustling culinary centre has something for everyone with 130 plus vendors showcasing everything from ostrich fillets to “drunken cheese” that has soaked in local wine for 6 months to falafel made with hemp seeds. Professional chefs and amateur foodies alike will find themselves wiping the drool from their chins as they wander the maze of walkways that reveal new delicacies at every turn.
But don’t think all this gourmet food has to come at an expensive price or the market only caters to those looking to impress at their next dinner party. No matter what your budget, you can enjoy the magic of the Borough Market. To be sure, you will find stalls whose goods can only be considered an indulgence but half the fun of exploring the market is to discover the rare and exotic. That bottle of white truffle oil might be a little out of your price range, but help yourself to a free sample. Or two, why not? The free samples are a great way to experience a range of delicious food at no cost to you. As you savour the rich flavour, the vendor will be thrilled to tell you all about the differences between black and white truffles and will no doubt invite you to sample the black truffle oil too. Be sure to go hungry, you can easily fill up on samples alone.
I always leave the Borough Market instilled with a sense of wonder; there is just so much good food, so many knowledgeable vendors with a passion for their products and so many people thirsting to experience the vibrant community of the market. Whether you seek out the market with a grocery list or a growling tummy you will leave in awe of the unique atmosphere, fully satisfied and thinking about those crackers with homemade mango chutney you didn’t get to try because your bags and stomach were just too full. Don’t worry though, you’ll be back.