London Market Hop : Borough Market

 

My all time favorite, the markets. 

During the trip to London this year, my parents had asked us where we wanted to go so that we can plan to cover all the places together. While my siblings chose Harry Potter Studio, I chose the palaces and markets in London. There was a shortlist of them such as Camden Market, Alfie’s Antique Market, Portobello Market but we only managed to visit one in the end, and that was the Borough Market.

London has plenty of markets and it would take weeks or more to explore them. The diversity and uniqueness of these markets attracts people from all over Britain and the world even. Borough Market is also known as the food market where we found local cheese, juices, truffles and other produce. Going through each of the stall in the market was like a treasure hunt where every corner lies something special for us to try.

So here’s what we saw in Borough Market.

1. Flavored salt. 

My mum saw these first and were intrigued with the mix of flavor and herbs into the salt that she stopped to try a few of them. I joined here and scooped a pinch of salt to my finger, tasting the spicy and salty flavor all at once. It was indeed different, yet delicious. In Cambodia, the salt are blended with pounded cili and eaten with fruits. Here, these flavored salt can be used to compliment any type of cooking. There’s wild mushroom, garlic, sea salt and many other flavors to choose from. I think my mum bought a bottle (or was it 2?) to bring home in the end.

Spicy salt anyone?

Spicy salt anyone?

 

#2 Olives by the barrels. 

Seriously the olives were placed in small barrels, waiting for customers to select them. I’m not a fan of olives but didn’t mind taking a look at this one. A young man was busy scooping up the olives and letting customers try a few flavors while others were busy reading through the description tags on the barrels, before deciding on the ones to purchase.

Scoop some olives from this stall.

Scoop some olives from this stall.

 

#3 Black Truffle slices.

Try searching for a truffle in Malaysia and you’ll discover how difficult it can be as well as pricey. In Borough Market, this one particular stall had stacks of black truffles arranged on the shelf. I’ve only watched an episode on truffle hunting on television where pigs and dogs were used to sniff them out from the underground. They are called the truffle hogs or truffle dogs for their keen sense of smell. The truffle is known as the diamond of the kitchen and can be used as oil or butter. The ones sold at the market were going for £9.50 for a small jar.

Sniff a truffle at the Borough Market.

Sniff a truffle at the Borough Market.

 

#4 Fresh blended juices. 

We came upon a stall selling colorful drinks which turned out to be freshly squeezed fruit juices. These healthy and refreshing options cost £3 a cup, not that cheap considering the size of the cups were small. Customers including us were looking at the various fruits and vegetables used for the juices. We chose orange and carrot juice (for my mum) before continuing our exploration. I

Healthy juice options for breakfast.

Healthy juice options for breakfast.

 

#5 Fresh seafood. 

Besides the herbs, spices and dairy product is the wet market area where we found a few stalls selling a variety of seafood items. Kept on ice to maintain the freshness, these cuttle fish, salmon are larger than life (so to speak). The sellers were shouting out the prices to customers who walked by, picking up one or two item for show.

Fancy a giant cuttlefish anyone?

Fancy a giant cuttlefish anyone?

 

#6 Organic wheatgrass on the go. 

I thought the stall was selling special grass when we waled by it. Well technically it was grass, the organic wheatgrass kind. I didn’t know people are still drinking this as I assumed it was just a health phase. There are in fact plenty of health conscious people in London and the wheatgrass juice seem to have a fair share of customers on this day. It’s good for detoxing the body as well as gives you a shot of energy for the day. This healthy juice bar serves other types of juices too but the wheatgrass seem to be the popular one.

Need an organic wheatgrass boost?

Need an organic wheatgrass boost?

 

#7 Vegetables and fruits. 

I don’t know what it is about the fruits and vegetables here in Europe that makes it look so inviting. They’re often in many colors and looks super fresh, just like this one from Ted’s Veg stall. Fruits on one side, vegetables on the other and juices at the back is like walking into a mini grocery store in the middle of the Borough Market.

Plenty of colorful fruits to choose from.

Plenty of colorful fruits to choose from.

 

#8 Hot burgers.

Sizzling noises can be heard by the men who were running this particular burger stall. Thick meat were placed on the grill while another table had stacks of bun prepped with all sorts of vegetables. This is way better than fast food. A long queue waited patiently for the burgers to be ready while onlookers stopped to watch the busy preparation like a live show.

Hot delicious waffle for the cold tummy.

Hot delicious burgers for the cold tummy.

 

#9 Cheese and more cheese. 

There’s nothing like the smell of cheese to wake you up in the morning. Especially if it’s as big as the picture below. I’m not a fan of goat and blue cheese because of the strong smell. My dad liked it though and tried a few including the cheddar. These were freshly made and displayed for purchase. Most of the European countries eat cheese on a platter along with bread and wine. I would most probably use it a lot for pasta!

That is one giant piece of cheese!

That is one giant piece of cheese!

 

#10 Bread sticks.

My sister decided to try one of these cheese and olive sticks made of French bread for breakfast. It was quite a lot to eat for one person so we shared them. It was slightly salty from the cheese but nevertheless good for a quick fill in the tummy while we continued the walk around Borough market. This section had such a nice fresh baked bread smell to it that made us feel hungry in an instant. It’s part of the market that I love.

That's a tall order of bread sticks.

That’s a tall order of bread sticks.

 

Getting there was easy. 

A Borough food market in the Borough market.

A Borough food market in the Borough market.

My sister was navigating us throughout the trip and planned all the routes beforehand. The Borough Market is located under the railway lines and a few walks from the London Bridge Station. To get there, we searched for the Jubilee Line. However, when we reached the station, the Jubilee Line was closed for maintenance and because of this we had to make another train to the Northern Line and circle back to the London Bridge Station. The 7-days Oyster pass was a real money saver for us since we had to take the long way there.

The best time to go there was in the morning, right after the stalls are set up. There’s plenty of things to see and smell as we made our way around the market. The cool weather encouraged us to warm up to hot breads and aromatic coffee. I imagined myself living here and going to the market for these fresh produce. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

If you want to discover the heart of London food, I would highly recommend the Borough Market where you would be able to not indulge in the good scent of these food but also taste them along the way. Oh bring a shopping bag with you in case you feel like bringing a few items home.

Address: 8 Southwark Street, London | Call: +44 20 7407  1002 | Opening Hours: 10am-5pm (Wed-Fri), 8am-5pm (Sat) | URL: Borough Market

 

About Yafieda Jamil

A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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