Borough Market is somewhere I have heard about for years and yet never visited. "You must go, you'll love it." "A food lover's heaven". But whenever I've been in the area all I've ever seen is an empty space to the side of Southwark Cathedral.
Wednesday last week and I finally had a chance to see Borough Market at its thriving bustling best. Transformed into a food lovers heaven, food stalls of small producers and those specialising in a particular area such as fish, meat, cheese, fruit, tea and oil came alive with noise, colour and aromas.
The Golden Milk shot
Literally busting with goodness, my first discovery was a steaming cup of coconut milk, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. This short drink, packed with ingredients known for their healing properties at Greenfield Farm Organic Life cost £1.50 and it's warming flavours with it's inviting liquid gold colour also had a bit of a kick.
The Free From chocolate torte
It was the raspberry and pistachio topping that had made me stop at this stall, a green and pink topped cake made with rose water looked fabulous. But when I was asked what I'd like to eat I chose a slice of the chocolate, chestnut and rum torte (that I didn't take a picture of) instead. Expecting the torte to be rather rich I carried it home and shared it the next day with my lady friends. The verdict was that you could taste the rum and that it tasted very rich, smooth and not at all bitter even though it was dark chocolate.
The Christmas Pudding stall
I'm not a fan of Christmas puddings, but for a Christmas post this had to be included and I'm sure the brandy and Guinness puds at Mclaren's would be very tempting if I did like them.
The wreath that'll start trending
Made in Turkey of myrtle leaves, this compact little wreath costs £12 and isn't she beautiful. I'm in love with this wreath. What's not to love? Find her at the Gated Garden.
The cheeses to please us
Little mouse sized mouthfuls of cheese lay invitingly on a board for passers by to try. The Sussex gold medal winner Mayfield was very tasty. Next door I tried more cheeses and the Wyfe of Bath from the Bath Soft Cheese Company had me hooked with her mellow creaminess. At the same stand the lady told me about their scamorza, which is like mozzarella but less wet and makes a fabulous cheese on toast.
The lull-you-into-a-warm-happiness mulled wine
The sign read "Best mulled wine in town". Said mulled wine was located at the edge of the wine stall for Borough Wines. To my reckoning wine merchants are likely to be a safe bet for a good mulled wine. Did I want it super-sized with a medicinal glug of rum? I was asked. Yes, of course, I said. Simply divine. After a little chatting with the man in the stall it turned out that Time Out London are fans of this mulled wine too and have made a video of the mulled wine being made. £4 for the wine, £5 with added rum.
The Sea Urchins I didn't try
Just beside the cheese and wine was a stall with a big sign saying Cornish fish where Furness Fish and Game sell sea urchins for £3. Apparently, they'll cut one open and to eat it you just slip it into your mouth. I didn't feel this was my moment for trying this delicacy. Instead, I took a photo of the lads larking about with a blow fish. What a crazy looking fish.
The Argentinian Empanadas that I did try
OMG. Go for an empanada big time when you are near Portena's. I tried the meat one and it was slurp-serious hot, meaty and filling. Despite all of the other great offerings I'd have to say this was the best of all. Apart from that, I want to return so that I can also try their yerba mate, a South American infusion drunk from a gourd through a filtered straw called a bombilla; and their alfajores, homemade biscuits filled with a sweet and gooey dulce de leche.
What did I miss?
Kappacasein Dairy, apparently, he has large queues for his £6 Raclette and toasted cheese round the block.
My day out at Borough Market had left me feeling that I wanted to go back for more. I think for a perfect day out, a sense that you want to return is the best way to judge that you've had an excellent day out and Borough Market had that in spades.
Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TL
Every Thursday and Friday 12:30 - 2:00 pm they have recipe demonstrations from top chefs using fresh market ingredients. Join them in the Market Hall for tips, tastings and inspiration from Demo Kitchen.
They also have a Cookbook Club, free to join, members meet up over drinks and share dishes cooked from a chosen cook book. The theme of the next event in January is How to Eat by Nigella Lawson. Find out more at the cookbookclub.
Blogger, Modern Bric a Brac
To find out about the best places to eat in Brighton and London plus beautiful places to visit, click here to Follow my blog with Bloglovin