Sunday, 24 April 2011

Borough Market; a city treat

With food in London, especially to one who's working in the City, there's only one place to start: Borough Market. Borough Market is just off the south side of London Bridge and every Thursday through Saturday it serves up a variety of the best food London has to offer.

You get everything from towers of cheese;

To amazing meringuesAll served from stalls
And most of it cooked right in front of you...

So what is there to know?

Firstly, Borough Market is home to the best brownies in England. Bar none. I'm currently in the process of negotiating international shipping of these brownies just in case I ever have to move anywhere. Surrounded in a perfectly crumbly but firm crust, these brownies toe the line between cake and mousse

Now onto the real recommendations, and I'll give you a guide, coming in from my usual entrance of the stairs in the North East corner by the Cathedral

First thing I ever had there was the Paella, as seen above. It's a welcome sight coming down from the city proper into the depths of the market (have I mentioned that it's half covered by a railway track? Well more accurately, it's covered half by a railway track, and the other half is covered by a proper roof) and the smells of smokey Chorizo, the bright colours of the paella and the sound of people enjoying their food assaults you, while the Paella does not disappoint.

Passing this, you get to some good, if not amazing stalls with cakes, Pimms and a variety of sausage wraps (I recommend the Bratwurst, with extra Sauerkraut). After which comes the start of the free samples.

Now I recommend that anyone who likes a free day out not even take a wallet, you can have a very good meal on the free samples of cheese (the Compte from the stall who specialises in it is a must), sweets, meats, tea and other such glorious products.

There's also first flush tea which is completely without the tannic tang of the usual cuppa, a variety of fresh fish, including freshly cooked scallops in the half shell, more fresh fruit and veg than you could ever need (but will always want) and cakes galore. Just thinking about what is there makes me hungry

The key goal, however, should be the Mozzarella and Parma Ham salads. On first sight these seem plain and not worth a minute of your over-excited and slightly addled mind. However, the Parma Ham is some of the best I have ever had the fortune of eating, and the Mozzarella is without a doubt unmatched. Paired with a simple Rocket salad, salt, pepper and a fig perched on top, this is the ideal meal for a summers day.

That's not to say there is nothing for the colder days. Pieminister, the Fresh Pasta company and the variety of hot curries and sandwiches play their part too, and all must be tried to fully appreciate the range and beauty of Borough. However, little matches the feeling of sitting in the sun with friends having a glorious salad beneath Southwark Cathedral. Or stopping by Fish! after being lured in by their window of pickled treats

The best way to understand the fun of the market is to head on over one week and just absorb it all. Definitely one of the best places in London, and one of my favourite places to eat in the world.

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