A day at London’s Borough Market, is a day well spent. I knew that even when I had never been before. Growing up, I never used to like markets and souqs in any shape or form, be it for food, clothes or whatever retailers could convince you to part with your hard earned money on.
It wasn’t until I started craving a more real experience with food and travel activities that I realised, enjoying your time isn’t always about the glitz and glamour of malls and high end restaurants (as could be the case in the UAE and Qatar). I’ve been to london many times for various reasons, many of which were not so exciting, but that was my fault. I always stuck to the same places, same streets and same options. This time around, I vowed to shift away from being common and explore more of what this diverse city has to offer.
Having finished my 3 day food bloggers connect weekend, it left me with an even more curious appetite to explore London the way I’ve never seen it before. My first stop on a crisp cold Wednesday, was to the bountiful Borough Market with my sister Iman which was not hard to find as we exited the London bridge tube station and found it right behind us.
We walked in to the indoor part of the market greeted by flower shops, colorful produce stalls and artisanal products. I was as ecstatic as a child in a chocolate store. Although the wafting aromas of cheese, fresh coffee, and fresh everything was enough to get you stepping into their respective stalls, the vendors where just as inviting on a whole new level, offering free samples and spoonfuls to taste. It was truly an experience that engaged all senses. What I found exciting the most, was the educational part of a trip to the market. You could strike up conversations with knowledgeable vendors and ask them about their products, farming techniques, a recipe using their product and even the best coffee place around the area. My sister and I looked like toursists, so the tips came flowing from everyone even when we didn’t have to ask!! British hospitality at its best.
I made my way to the second part of the market, which was uncovered from the top. The cold breeze and light showers made the experience even more Londony (if that makes sense). Everywhere you look, there’s something more intriguing from one stall to another, and my oh my, do I need to get started on the food stalls! From the east to the west, if you think it was all about British food, you are much mistaken. I think, I may have sampled the best international food under one roof, and for that, I strongly advise going on an empty stomach and a full pocket. If like me, you feel the need to sample everything, you will truly enjoy Borough market‘s ethnic eats from every part of the continent. It is best to go with a friend or two so you can share and have room for more food sampling, because in such cases, it’s allowed to be a hog. I often found myself tasting something and then looking for my sister who got lost somewhere on the other end to grab her back and try it for herself. It went both ways!
Oh, need I say, regardless of your diet restrictions, whether by preference or religion, there is something for everyone. Vegans, Vegetarians, Gluten free, Halal, etc etc. The kids will particularly love the fudge, cookies and sweet stalls. Something to silence them while you enjoy a jamaican hot jerk chicken wrap, or some fiery Aloo Gobi Masala from India before transporting yourself to the moon with deliciously sweet and coconutty Kanom Kroks from Thailand. Make sure to also try the salt beef bagels and sourdough burgers, but and with a big fat BUT, try those sitting down for the love of God. They are very messy, but ofcourse, that’s half f the fun 😉
The market is open for
Lunch from Mondays – Tuesday (10 am to 5pm)
Full Market operations from Wednesday – Thursday (10 am to 5pm), Fridays (10 am to 6pm) and Saturdays (8 am to 5pm).
Wishing you lots of love & yum