20 Mar 2015


London, UK

Borough Market is arguably the most famous food market in London, with people from all over town flocking there on Saturdays, to an area of the city they otherwise might not visit much. It is not a live fashion show like Broadway Market, as the crowd is more touristic or family oriented. It's usually crowded and a bit stressful, so I wouldn't go for the atmosphere, only for the food. For the early birds, there is a wholesale market from 2am to 8am on Saturdays, which I hear is cheap and good, but I've yet to get up that early to check it out. Instead, I've arrived around lunch hour, when the market is packed and the queue for the cash machine stretches far. I would not only advice to get cash in advance, but to get quite a lot of it. It's not a cheap market, and the costs start to add up if you want to have a drink, a few lunches, ice cream, and some snacks to take home. As with all markets, the best strategy is to share so you can try as many things as possible. There is also an array of free tasters to grab on the way, like paella and turkish delights.

One of my favourite meals at Borough isn't technically a market stall, but a temporary BBQ grill set up outside of Applebee's fishmongers. They serve grilled garlic prawn wraps from noon onwards, perfect for a late Saturday breakfast. The prawns are served with only a bit of lettuce, garlic and dressing, and taste absolutely amazing in the wrap. This is a must, and great warm up for two to share before heading into the main market area.  Amongst the most popular stands is Northfield Farm, which always has a long line. When I saw the sign for their Wangus Burger, a mixture of wagyu beef and angus beef. With this, I decided I had to join the queue and try it. I got served after around 10 minutes, and once I dug in I was disappointed with the very first bite. The meat was chewy and kind of springy in consistency, and it seemed like no thought had been put into the garnishes; a bit of rocket and onion just doesn't cut it. When I checked their website now, it seems that the item has been taken off the menu, so perhaps I wasn't the only one who didn't like it. However, the salt beef sandwich from the same place is spectacular, an example of English bread and meat at their best. Clearly, Northfield has good quality ingredients, they just have to put effort into serving it in the right way. Once I've tried a few mains, I usually walk around and look for produce to take home. There's a great selection of juices, chocolates, vegetables and bread to set you up for the rest of the weekend.