"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Noshing through Borough Market, London

by Julie on December 31, 2011

in Travel

hanging wreath at Borough market

Happy Christmas wreath hanging from the rafters

By far the best Christmas prezzie I’ve gotten is the trip down to Borough Market, in Southwark (pronounced, “Suthick” in case you were wondering), which is right next to the Thames (which is pronounced “Temmes,” in case you were wondering. I mispronounced this until practically my 20s.  Because although it said “Thames” on all the BBC productions I watched on public TV as a kid, nobody ever pronounced it.).

I’m a fan of farmer’s markets anywhere, but for some reason I wasn’t expecting to visit one on a trip made mostly to visit relatives. My brother-in-law mentioned it in passing, because it was near the Tate Modern, and a small museum called “The Clink,” which described the torture and imprisonment of various miscreants in the prison of the same name. The boy would surely love that, he said. “Oh, and there’s a lovely food market down there. You might like it.”

Typical Anglo-Saxon understatement. I’m told that there’s been a market here since the 13th century, so I was surprised to find it so, well, upscale. Huddled underneath high rafters and the constant rattle of an above-ground train, there were artisanal butchers and organic produce, and homemade Turkish Delight and people making olive oil soaps.

Turkish Delight!

After falling on a box of fish and chips (they’re not allowed to serve them in newspapers anymore, alas), we went through a small alley and came upon the proper marketplace. Everyone went on ahead while I stood and gawped. That’s when the samples started.

Turkish delight. Baklava, olives, cheese…..All right! Bag it all up and ship it home, please!

Baclava. Where to start?

Ever corner revealed another vendor with another jaw-dropping ware. I was still chewing my rose-flavored Turkish Delight when I came upon the French pastry vendor and almost ran into a pile of giant meringues…

meringues at Burough Market, London

Meringue mouth...

And cheese. Oh God, the cheese…

Blessed are the Cheese Makers

I was relying on the lovely ex’s iPhone camera, and otherwise I would have spent another hour roaming and taking photos. I had to find the family, though. They were inside this building:

Dining al fresco at Southwark Cathedral

Maybe it was the brisk weather, or the Welshman brewing it up from his kiosk, or his Anglo-Chinese co-worker with the charming smile, but this was probably the best cup of coffee I’ve had in years. Creamy and rich and hitting just the perfect spot. I regret to say I did not get a picture of it. By this time, our hands were full.

Stay tuned…

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bonnie McCarthy December 31, 2011 at 10:28 am

WOW! Julie, I love the photos and wish I were there with you all! It looks amazing and scrumptious!! The meringue mouth picture cracks me up! Ha! But I have to confess I don’t know what Turkish Delight is! What is it, and what am I missing??


Julie January 2, 2012 at 9:07 am

Bonnie – I will be bringing back a small bag…You’ll love it!


Michelle December 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Oh, that looks amazing, Julie! Takes me back to the outdoor markets in Italia. That cheese looks so good!


Jamie January 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Good coffee in London? My, the times have changed. Please, please, puh-lease save me a piece of the rose turkish delight!


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: