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Borough Market – London’s Vibrant Food Market

Located just south of London Bridge in Southwark Street and Borough High Street just south of Southwark Cathedral on the southern end of London Bridge, central London, Borough Market occupies a vast open space under a Victorian-style warehouse roof. This foodie heaven is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It is a wholesale and retail food market and is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London being busiest after 11am on Saturdays. A large variety of foods from all over the world is available at this market.

This area of London has been known as a food market for around 1000 years. Stallholders, just as they did then make, grow or rear the produce they sell as most customers want to know where their food comes from. For a long time, the market was wholesale but about a decade back the retail market gathered momentum as food-loving locals boosted the popularity of the traders.

Tourists and residents who are out on a sightseeing mission to the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge can also go across to Borough Market when they feel hungry as they can get something original for lunch. It presents a completely different world of food. Set under the overground railway line, it is a wonderful and vibrant food market that can easily be classified as one of the best in London and also in the world. There is a plethora of gourmet food stalls where you can find the traders eager to share their produce with the visitors. The market offers a wide variety of delectable food items ranging from fresh Pecorino cheese straight from Tuscany to chocolaty crumbly fudge where the sugar is ethically sourced from West Kenya. It is difficult for any person with a sweet tooth to just walk past these culinary delights without succumbing to the temptation of tasting them, especially the fudge. Every type of food and drinks items is available but one of the best is the stall that sells the finest English fruit juices with no additives.

The traders now include bakers and butchers, as well as the fruit and vegetable sellers. The food variety extends to delicious cheeses and chutneys, olives and diverse international food. The produce sold in the market is excellent and as such it is consumed by some of the best restaurants and eating places in London such as in Harrods and Harvey Nichols where you can get the best Italian pasta handmade by expert pasta chefs who make it conforming to traditional Italian recipes with the finest sourced ingredients. One of the best is the Ion Patisseries stall in the market that offers incredible caramalised apple cheese cake chocolate and vanilla puzzle cake along with flourless baked chocolate truffles that are a favourite of many people. A Dairy on the side of the market sells cheese that is kept in the right climate with a gentle spray of fine water mist. It has a never ending queue of customers but the wait is worthwhile.

The Borough Market has so many stalls that it is difficult to count them but it takes about 3 hours to go round all of them. Samples are given out by many stallholders with the result that by simply tasting the samples at a number of stalls before choosing for lunch or to take home, you can fill half your appetite.

The stallholders at Borough Market come from different parts of the UK for their trading activities. The market also receives traditional European products from other countries for being sold at the stalls. The main produce that is sold includes fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, game and freshly baked bread and pastries. A large variety of street food is also sold, especially at lunchtime. Borough Market is a charitable trust administered by a board of volunteer trustees, who are required to live in the area. A high standard of produce is maintained by the market as it employs a food quality panel of impartial experts who ensure that the taste, provenance and quality of foods sold are all regularly measured and maintained. These standards are also expected from small traders who are encouraged to do so.

Of late, Borough Market has become a chic and fashionable place where food is sold, having been promoted by British television chefs. It has also featured in many notable films by using it as a film set. Many scenes filmed in the streets around the market can be found in Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), Lock, Stock and Two Smoking barrels (1998) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004). The market has also featured in the Savage Garden music video forHold Me and in an event entitled The Wedding Project, commissioned by Tate Modern. The market can now be taken on hire for private events. A new Market hall, facing onto Borough High Street, has been opened acting as a kind of greenhouse for growing plants (including hops), as well as hosting workshops, tastings and foodie demonstrations.

Borough Market is located right next to London Bridge Station which is served by the Jubilee and Northern Lines on the Underground and by overground trains from all over London and the south of England. The market can easily be found after exiting the station and crossing Borough High Street. People visiting the Barbican centre and The Monument can easily reach the market for some delectable food.

Apart from the high quality food available in the market, it is also an ideal place for private events such as a private dinner, celebration of a special occasion or a team building play. It is an iconic venue space in the heart of London with varied architecture ranging from the Victorian, to Art Deco, to the present day.

This post was written by

Fergus Brandon – who has written posts on All Here.


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