Borough Market review (Sep 2013)
This is out-of-date! I have been here again since I wrote this review
I had a wander around Borough Market this morning. It was pretty early so everything was shut up at first, with lots of people milling around and getting their stalls ready for the day ahead. It was all boxes and brooms and busy bodies, unloading lorries and carrying crates, and the sweet smell of yesterday's trash in black binbags. People were scrubbing their shelves and hosing down the pavement, dodging the street cleaner's cart as he swept up the empties. And then there was me, and a few office workers strolling through on their way to work.
The first stall to open up was the fishmongers. He had them all laid out on a bed of ice cubes, some with their heads chopped off and some sliced open at the gut. It would have been quite gruesome if I happened to be a fish. But he prettied them up a bit with a sprig of parsley here and there. And he had the traditional stripy apron on of white and blue too -- that is what Borough Market is like. It is full of traditional stalls selling individual things. They've got a fishmongers, a baker, a cake maker, a chocolate guy, a fresh fruit and veg guy, and some woman selling posh blocks of soap. It's all very posh and upmarket. Take the bread rolls, for example. We are not talking about your normal pack-of-six bread rolls like you buy in Tescos. These ones are rolled into fantastic shapes, with loops and swirls and smothered in ornamental seeds. This baker is an artist.
They've got stalls that sell nuts, all laid out in country-style wicker baskets. The cake place is full of fancy snacks and pastries. You can get quiches, tarts and brownies. German pretzels, cheesecakes, bloomers, buns and Bakewells. And then you've got your chocolate artisans, with chocolate bars and truffles. And fancy little dainty things with strawberries on top. It's almost a shame to eat them, I wonder what they taste like?
As for the building itself, it's quite a nice little place. It's all wrought iron, dark bricks and dark green paintwork. It's quite atmospheric inside, especially when the stalls all open up and display their goods. It seems quite closed-in like a maze, with windy little paths leading between the stalls. You could walk around in circles and end up in the same place. Some of the stalls have got tables too, so you can come in for lunch and have a sit-down. It makes a nice change from having a Big Mac at McDonalds anyway.
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