Every Saturday morning when we venture down to Alexandria's farmers market, I'm in heaven. I'm so grateful to have an extremely convenient source for fresh, local produce, plus it's a fun way to start the weekend. But boy oh boy, Alexandria's farmers market has got nothin' on what we were witness to this past weekend in London.
My UK-based friend recommended that we venture down to check out Borough Market, located on the south bank of the Thames in London. Since I lived in London as a student, and Alex and I had crossed off most of the touristy things to do on previous trips together, we were anxious to try out an "insider's" look at the city. First thing Saturday morning, we took the Underground (London's public transportation system) to the Waterloo stop. After asking for directions from a transit employee, we set off on foot to explore.
After a very short walk, we knew we were in the right place. What stood before us was an expanse of culinary delights, inviting us in to explore.
As the market slowly revealed its bounty, I grew more and more excited. To start, check out this amazing array of ales, just beckoning to be consumed.
Adjacent to the ales stood a fresh fish counter. We particularly liked the langusteen selection. I had to fight the urge to pick two of them up and make them talk to one another, claws flailing.
Within the seafood area was a fresh paella bar, offering up several different variations of the Spanish dish. It looked and smelled amazing.
Moving through the market, we soon came upon my idea of heaven. There stood barrels full of every type of olive imaginable. Olives aren't Alex's thing, but I could have sat in that stand all day sampling the salty goodness.
Nearby was a source for unique spices. We thought it was hilarious that the liquorice root had a special sign.
Speaking of paradise, check out the cheese selection. Mmmm. Imagine nibbling on these morsels.
Although we did more admiring than eating, I couldn't resist when we came to the fresh baked goods. We scored a warm, cinnamon sugar covered soft jelly filled doughnut for a mere 70p. (Roughly $1.10.) My only regret was not buying two. Sharing baked goods doesn't bring out the best in me. "No, I swear you have the bigger half."
After finishing the doughnut along with a fresh piece of pretzel bread, we continued our trek. This booth was advertising a myriad of beverages, including one that we know our friends watching Lulu would be fond of.
On a slightly healthier note, wheat grass and acai berry beverages were also available. Tempting, but I opted for a hot milky chai beverage instead.
Next we circled the gourmet chocolate selection, tasting the free samples and bringing home an assorted mix for friends.
More similar to what we're accustomed to at our farmers market was this fruit and vegetable stand. They also had an amazing selection of fresh preserves.
Here's another reason I adore London. Nestled directly next to Borough Market, just through an old iron gate, sits an old cathedral. That morning, people gathered to lazily sip tea, enjoy the purchases from the market, and shop a used book sale.
All in all, the market greatly exceeded our expectations. Not only was it much more vast than expected, the diversity of its offerings was a visual and culinary delight. If you're a foodie, enjoy free samples, or like to explore points of interest a bit off the beaten path, I absolutely recommend adding Borough Market to your list of stops the next time you're in London.
Do you have a favorite market that you like to visit, whether it be in your town or somewhere you've visited while traveling? Do you have a favorite item you like to pick up at markets? Was there an item or two pictured above that got your stomach grumbling? I'd love to hear all about as I keep dreaming about those doughnuts.
If you missed yesterday's post about why we were in London, and how we took in the Olympic experience, you can read our recap here.