Borough Market was another place that has been on my London to-do list for a long time. And as it was just around the corner from Southwark Cathedral, and on the way home via London Bridge station, it was a good opportunity to tick it off that list.
It was pretty much five o’clock on the dot when we arrived, and so many stalls were starting to close, but it was still very busy. The market is partly indoors; well, strictly speaking, it’s ‘covered’ rather than properly inside, but with some outdoor bits. We didn’t buy much – it was the early evening and we weren’t going home until the day after. We managed to squeeze in some goat milk ice cream cones, which is great for someone like me who is lactose intolerant. Amusingly, the stall next door specialised in goat meat. I have no idea if the two were connected.
Borough Market is a very fashionable place to shop and is often featured in cookery programmes on TV, and in films such as the Bridget Jones series. Historically it was more of a wholesale market, but now almost all of the stalls are aimed at the general public. And there’s a very wide variety of stalls, most of which aim at a much wealthier clientele than the average city centre market.
Records suggest that Borough Market is as about as old as the cathedral next door, dating back to the 11th century, but the current buildings are from the 1850s. It sits partially under railway lines, which, controversially, have been expanded under the Thameslink Programme. This resulted in the partial demolition of some properties; a pub on the edge of the market is now shorter than it used to be, for example. However, despite being of new construction, significant effort has been made to make the new bridge over the market match in with the existing fabric of the building. It’s possible to see where the bridge is from below, but it’s not a horrendous eyesore. Trains will start using it in the next few months.
I’d like to go back to Borough Market, preferably on a day when we’re due to travel home so that we can take things for the fridge and freezer. As it was, we were staying the night in London with friends, although we did pop around the corner to Neal’s Yard Dairy for some very nice cheese. That’s another place to go to on a Saturday evening, just before closing, as you can buy some of their offcut cheese at a discount.
Later on in the week, I’ll write about what we did on our second day in London. As you can see, we packed a lot into one weekend.