|Parmigiano and proscuitto for sale at Borough|
I was lucky enough to work right nearby so I could take advantage of shopping there on Thursdays and Fridays when the crowds are absent and this would be my top tip for Borough market visitors – don’t go on Saturdays. If I absolutely had to visit on a Saturday then I always tried to get there as early as possible in the morning to beat the crowds.
I found Borough Market was one of the few places I could reliably get various esoteric ingredients like Japanese daikon radish and also the place to find out about new and interesting products like the hemp falafel (delicious), and if it all got too much I would always escape to one of the Borough Market restaurants like the excellent Roast or newly opened Elliot’s Cafe.
|Another reason to go on Thursday’s – cooking demonstrations (and tasters) using ingredients all from Borough Market|
One of my favourite parts about Borough Market was being able to have an excellent lunch while shopping. Multi tasking we women like to call it. These are my favourites:
As the queue attests it is impossible to go past Brindisa’s chorizo and pepper roll (£3.75). Cooked on a little hot plate right next to Brindisa’s shop at Borough the ingredients are simple: top quality, fiery chorizo, slow roasted red pepper and rocket all drizzled with a dash of extra virgin olive oil and sandwiched in a floury bun. Pure perfection.
|Perfection in a bun – Brindisa’s chorizo roll|
On a wintery day, the raclette stand is where I always head. I discovered raclette when learning to ski in France and my love affair with this cheesy potato delight has never abated since. It’s all about the potatoes a little boiled and a little grilled and then the melted Ogleshield cheese which you can see bubbling away as you wait. I particularly like how the Borough Market version has tiny salty cornichons wedged inside.
|Cheesey, gooey raclette|
3. Le Marché du Quartier
A relative newcomer to the Borough Market lunch scene is the hot duck confit roll (£5) from the Le Marche a Quarter. The duck is slow cooked until it is tender and generously piled on to leave you in ducky heaven.
4. Furness Fish
Right in the middle of the market you find Furness Fish which sells seafood and also huge woks of giant curry. I like the just-the-right-amount-of-spicy green thai curry with mussels, calamari, shrimp, potatoes, and a complex, coconut flavoured sauce.
|Giant curry – you can have it Thai style or Carribbean|
For a little bit of gourmet in the Borough experience I like the hand-dived scallops served on the shell from Shellseekers (£4.50). You get two scallops seared to a light brown tan, sprinkled with crunchy bacon bits and vegetable stir fry. Delicious.
And for an even quicker snack it is hard to go past the towers of famous Borough market brownies, shucked-to-order oysters (four for £3.50) at Richard Hawards or the turkish delight stand selling wobbly, soft blocks of fluffy turkish delight in flavours like pomengranate, walnut and cinnamon (three for £1).
Details: Borough Market, Between Stoney St, Cathedral St and Borough High St, SE1 1TL. (Tube: London Bridge). Hours: 11am-5pm Thur; noon-6pm Fri; 8am-5pm Sat.