Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Splendours of the Borough Market

One of the highlights of our trip has been grocery shopping at London's Borough Market.

Find it on the south side of the Thames, beside Southwark Cathedral, in the shadow of The Shard, not far from the Millenium Bridge, the Tate Modern and the new Globe Theatre.

Last week we arranged to meet Elaine, an old friend of Bill's whom he hadn't seen for 40 years, who shops there regularly.
She told us it is one of London's oldest markets and was once outside the city itself, in a borough, hence the name. She took us on a tour of her favourite stalls and introduced us to some of the vendors.
This Turkish stall has some of her favourite olives. The pink ones are the most exquisite.
This is really a picture of the name-- Elephant Garlic Snapes. In this country you fall in love with the language all over again.
Expect fresh produce here, and lots of it.
Tomatoes to break your heart!
A fairy ring of mushrooms -- all different kinds.
More mushrooms...
Here's what the Pied Blue mushrooms look like close up.
Elaine suggested that Bill buy a little pot of nutmeg jelly from this lady. The jelly was delicious and delicate -- unlike anything we'd tasted before.
We gravitated to this fishmonger's stall.

At the Borough they like to do memorable displays.

Prosaic and evocative at the same time -- Manx Kippers. Elaine couldn't resist getting one.
Smoked eels
Elaine particularly wanted us to meet the proprietor of Spice Mountain.
Every kind of spice, including rare, imported salts. We bought packets of Himalayan and Persian Blue Salt.
Local cheeses are one of the strengths of this market. Can you read the label? "A raw goat's milk cheese made by Mr and Mrs Mellay in Cosne sur Loire, Centre".
The Ballad of Peckam Rye -- "A sourdough made with organic dark rye flour, white flour and sea salt at Brick house bakery, East Dulwich".
The highlight of our tour was this branch of Neal's Yard Dairy.
Samples can be had for the asking.
Like this Berkswell, a hard cheese, not unlike a Parmesan. "Made by the Fletcher family at Ram Hall, near Coventry, West Midlands".
Childwickbury (pronounce it "CHID-iks-brie") -- "Made by Oliver Hudson at Oakapple Farm in Bedfordshire". We bought ourselves a half of one and plan to buy a whole round when we visit again tomorrow. Scrumptious!
Meat pies -- wild boar, chicken and ham and wild game (venison, wild boar, guinea fowl and duck).
Wild boar duck Scotch Egg
Now to break the heart for another reason -- wild Lakeland hare.
Lakeland pheasants and wild woodland pigeons.
Sausages -- seche, chorizo and Jesus.
Like charcuterie?
Bill and I loaded up on these British strawberries. There is no better way to appreciate a country than by eating its produce. So say we!
Exhausted, we caught our breath at the Market Porter's pub and drank a toast to friendships old and new. Thank you, Elaine, for the unforgettable tour!



  1. Wow that looks like a fabulous destination indeed. Mouth-watering photos.
    So glad Bill could meet his long-time friend again.

  2. By the way those garlic shoots are called scapes in our Ontario farmer markets, not snapes as above. Maybe snapes is the older word? Off to try to look it up.

  3. It is lovely market; thank you for sharing. I will try to follow suit with next visit or this year's visit to a farmer's market. I volunteer on day when my town has one; I can't walk fast enough to make it there as yet. No matter, more oomph to you folks.

  4. Thanks for commenting, Lisa and seule!