Borough Market: A feast for the eyes – and the stomach!

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I find myself complaining about the English weather way too much. But even the grey skies and pouring rain couldn’t dampen my visit to Borough Market. This little gem hidden away under the railway viaducts between the river Thames and Borough High Street is a food lovers heaven just waiting to be explored.

Mushrooms at Borough Market ImageLiving in the Middle East where the hot temperatures mean that so many things can’t be grown locally, has given me a special appreciation for markets and other foodie experiences and I find myself soaking them up at every opportunity I get. I get that real kid-in-a-candy-store feeling.

So, as you can imagine, when the friend I was staying with told me how we were going to spend our morning I couldn’t wait to get started!

Tomatoes at Borough Market Image

As I wove my way through the maze-like pathways my eyes didn’t know where to look first. Over there, tomatoes of every shape, size and color, next to them mushrooms galore, pumpkins in every shade of orange and and and….

Soon the sizzling smells got too much to resist and I had  to sample a plate of freshly grilled scallops. But no time to stop – there was way too much still to be discovered!  So with scallops in hand I moved to another section where I found chocolates, olives, cheeses. I was way too distracted to notice the big drops of rain coming down between the gaps in the covers.

Olives at Borough Market ImageFlowers at Borough Market ImageGerberas at Borough Market Image

While living in the UK for a year before moving back to Bahrain, I searched high and low to find a good cup of coffee – and failed miserably. Having moved there from Melbourne where great coffee runs on tap, I became a little obsessed and found myself hoping with every latte I ordered that that would be THE ONE.

By the time my trip to Borough Market came around, I had well and truly given up hope of finding good coffee in the UK. That is, until my friend suggested we end our day with a visit to Monmouth. The first thing that struck me about this place was the queue trailing out the door.

Monmouth Coffee Cups ImageThe next thing was how the coffee was being made. When we got inside I was surprised to see special filter cups (that at first glance looked just like normal white teacups), each lined with filter paper, lined up in a row with paper cups underneath to catch the drops of freshly brewed coffee.

Coffee Cups Filter ImageThe baristas had the system down pat and as we shuffled down the production line I got more and more eager to get my hands on the coffee.

Monmouth Coffee Filter Image

After about 15 minutes in the queue I finally got to take my first sip. And so ended my quest for a great cup of coffee! It was well worth the wait and unlike any coffee I’d had in the UK before. Or since, actually. Sadly, this discovery marked the end of our time at the market but I did manage to grab a roast pork bun with apple sauce and a cup of mulled wine for the road!

If you find yourself in London, you’d be mad not to take a trip to Borough Market (it’s open Thurs-Sat but best to check the website before you leave). Avid foodie or not, I challenge you not to find something that catches your eye. Oh, and don’t forget to grab a coffee on your way out.

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