Markets are a tricky thing. First, there’s the whole overwhelming of the senses; colourful fresh produce, smoky sizzling lunches, cat calls from the stall owners, and the hustle and bustle of everyone trying to get the best deal.
I’ve always been a little intimidated by markets, no matter how often I go and how much I love their spirit. Shyly standing at the edge of a stall motioning to a bowlful of bananas never catches a seller’s eye, despite how good I am at doing just that!
Borough Market is a little different to my usual food markets. Yes, the food is organic, and yes the prices are steep. Let’s not beat around the bush! It’s a posh market, where the etiquette gets even more blurry – can I stand and shout for a punnet of berries? Do I queue? What about trying before I buy?
Last weekend was my first visit, and while I did struggle to really get into the game, I have to say that it was an overall enjoyable experience, and I loved the food I did pick up. Open for a very reasonable amount of time on a Saturday (8am to 5pm), I headed there around lunch with the intention of trying the most delectable foods I could find. It’s perhaps not the best strategy if you’re looking to stock your larder, but for lunch it’s a treat!
I first headed into the greengrocers section, and was delighted to be met with a Slow Food London award sign – something I’m quite passionate about. I didn’t pick anything up this time round – prices are quite high, but of course you are paying for quality of food, freshness, locality, etc. – but will do in the future.
I then walked past a juice bar or two, and grabbed a cheeky watermelon juice. A real sugary treat, with little bits floating through it – perfect for the hot weather. And then I found my heaven: fresh pasta.
When it comes to Italian food, I am a queen eater. Isn’t everyone? Pasta has to be my favourite food, but to step up the healthy aspect of it I usually go for plant-based alternatives. Think courgetti, or gnocchi, which is what I got alongside lots of pesto (my favourite!)
The pictures don’t really do justice to the sheer size of Borough Market – hidden under the railway arches, there are stalls, shops, coffee and juice bars, florists, a Monmouth Coffee, and a cacao restaurant called Rabot 1745 which I have bookmarked for a visit another day (eep!)
If you’re ever in the area, I’d recommend a quick walk through at least – you can pick up some weird and wonderful items there, whatever your diet choices.