Noah’s Ark along the banks of the Thames

Photo: M. Axelrod.

Your Correspondent has provided many a coveted recommendation to clarify the somewhat byzantine London bar and restaurant scene and bring your attention to the crème de la crème.  Your Correspondent might provide one or two more reviews for you but, really, what’s the point? He may have more suggestions than you have time in London.

So it’s time to provide you, dear reader, with the means to fish and catch your own fish, as it were, with the best of the London food scene like a champion alongside your Correspondent, die-hard foodies, the well-informed and curious, and the professional chefs or purveyors to the finest establishments in the United Kingdom.

Behold the Borough Market, the sourcing Mecca for anyone who wants the freshest local or authentically purveyed ingredients to any kitchen – whether professional or amateur.

Gershwin provided the sentiment in song for the traveler a bit bewildered by London sung famously by Sinatra, Holiday, Fitzgerald, and Bublé…. “A Foggy Day”:

I was a stranger in the city

Out of town were the people I knew

I had that feeling of self-pity

What to do? What to do? What to do?

The outlook was decidedly blue

But as I walked through the foggy streets alone

It turned out to be the luckiest day I’ve known

Perhaps Gershwin made his way to the Borough Market in Southwark by London Bridge in SE1.  As far back as the early 1000s, Londoners came to this area to trade meats, grains, fruits and vegetables and today it rivals the best farmers markets in the world.

Divided mainly into the Jubilee and Green Markets, the Borough Market is a wonderful place to spend an early Saturday morning. The early bird in London usually catches the worm, and the Market proves the rule. You will have the run of the ~150 or so farmer market stalls selling beautiful and select cuts of “standard” stock such as beef, juice, oysters, sausages, vegetables, and fruits as well as more exotic and still fresh stock such as English game (pheasant, grouse, quail, boar, etc.), game from further away such as ostrich meat as well as white and black truffles, potted game, and on and on and on. It’s like Noah’s Ark crashed along the banks of the Thames, all for your benefit.

Many vendors offer value added options in addition to the raw goods, with yummy dish items like mulled wine, paella, duck sandwiches, sausage sandwiches, pasta, and the world’s best grilled cheese offered alongside the raw goods.

When your exploring of the stalls and offerings is exhausted, there are specialty shops and restaurants surrounding the Market to explore, such as Neal’s Yard Dairy Cheesemongers and Monmouth Coffee.

Arriving at the Market by 9am will allow one to depart by 11am after a full exploration and then, perhaps, if the day has turned sunny, a walk along the Thames back to one’s hotel might to offset a morning spent in food and drink.

The Market is open only to professional chefs most of the week, so Saturday is your day.

For a finishing tipple when leaving the Market, stop by Vinopolis to select a fine vintage of wine or whiskeys to accompany your gains.

Borough Market in SE1
London, UK
ph: +44 (0) 20 7407 1002

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Correspondent:Jack Bradford

Originally from the East Coast, Jack travels extensively for his personal and professional projects. No matter which city, town or village, whether on business or vacation, Jack looks for establishments which are the ones he’d revisit with his best friends or clients. To him, these places accommodate and create an excellent and memorable experience – regardless of busy schedules. Jack is currently based in London.

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