Friday, 16 December 2016

ms-havachat explores the Borough Markets

A few weeks ago, I spent the best part of the day with friends exploring the incredibly interesting and famous foodie haunt of the Borough Market. It was my third or 4th time there, but the first with an experience guide, so was rather excited to see what we would learn.

Ed from Secret Food Tours London was our guide for the morning. With a background in cooking (including a stint in posh foodie heaven of Wolloomloo Bay in Sydney, an old haunt of mine) Ed shared the history of the markets, as well as interesting information about the stallholders businesses, and the food tastings he'd organised for us as well as highlighting the odd streetscape where movies like Bridget Jones was filmed.

Our lovely guide, Ed at the beginning of our tour.
Sadly no vodka or gin, but the bottles of water
he gave us were appreciated.

We met across the road from London Bridge tube station and walked across London Bridge (didn't realise we were crossing the famous bridge until Ed told us cos it' doesn't look like a bridge these days). We paused for a few minutes and listened to the history of the markets (and if you click here, you'll be able to read all about it as there were so much to remember!) before walking down a flight of stairs into the Borough Markets.

Our first food stop was Scotchtails for Scotch Eggs. Having absolutely nothing to do with Scotland, the first Scotch egg was created by Fortum and Mason in 1738 as a healthy snack to eat on the way home after work. They are just as popular today, tho the flavours of Scotcheggs has changed over the years and you can try some really posh ones at the Markets.

(Frustratingly I have lost several photos from the tour - we had incredible fish and chips, donuts, pork sausage rolls on the tour. Ed is happy to personalise the tour based on dietary requirements, allergies or personal likes/dislikes, so don't be shy when asking)

Look for the blue and white sign towards the back of the Markets.
See the huge round loaf in the front row?
Best rye bread!
Bread Ahead is famous for, you guessed it, bread
AND their baking courses!
We stopped and watched a group kneading their dough
while salivating at the international selection of bread in the window.
Check out the website for details on their baking courses. 
What a butcher!
The choice was amazing, and the counter
for take away cooked food was incredible.
Perfect for dinner parties.
You want to know anything about olives, ask these people.
From oils, to pate, to tea, to creams it's all here.
Check out their website here 
The seafood!!
Fresh! Delicious!
The hot fish'n'chips out of paper were scrumptious!
Mrs D's favourite cheese is found here, at the
Drunk Cheese stall. You simply tell him how much to cut and
he expertly slices it off the round. YUM!
Just look at the date!!!!!!!!!!

We finished our Tour here, at the MUG HOUSE, under the
last surviving original arch of London Bridge.
The place is charming and quirky.
We enjoyed a British cheese platter and some wine
before saying thank you to Ed and heading
back to school to pick up kids.

The other interesting aspect of the Markets is it's use in films. Stony Street (between Park and Southwark) was where parts of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was filmed; while Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was filmed on Stony Street too. Paddington, Salmon Fishing in the Yemon, The Golden Compass, and several BBC shows to name a few. The buildings and alley ways, the ol' fashioned style of markets just lends itself to this kind of thing. 

Recognise Bridget Jones' apartment block?
It's a pub on the edge of the Markets.

There's so much to experience at the Borough Markets (and surrounding area) that it really is a great day out in one part of historical London. If you have a flexible itinerary, maybe think about going mid-week to avoid the weekend crowds. It's when the 'locals' do their weekly shop and tourists visit too on their City Breaks. Of course, this lends to the atmosphere, but it's also crazy busy. 

It's a great place to remember to visit and shop at when having dinner parties. Take your shopping bags and a freezer bag, just in case. I'd also recommend a wheelie-style bag or trolley as the shopping can get heavy (wink, wink).

If you're interested, I usually come home with:
A round of rye bread.
A round of grain bread.
Olive paste and other yummy antipasto delights (Borough Olives)
Olive Tea and specialist oils (Oliveology)
Cupcakes (whichever takes my fancy on the day)
Various cheeses (sorry, don't have a favourite)
Sausage rolls (Ginger Pig)

MrsD loves Spice Mountain, Drunk Cheese, Oliveology and Borough Olives.

If I remember the freezer bag with ice bricks (for the train ride home) - fish and meat (again, it just depends on what I'm wanting, so no favourite stall)

For more information about the Borough Markets, click here to go to their website.

If you go to the Markets, please pop onto ms-havachat on Facebook and let me know what you thought. 

With friendship

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