In celebration of my mum’s ‘Big Birthday’, we started off her London city break in the foodie hotspot of Borough Market. Below you can find a whistle stop tour of my favourite foodie stands and a few recommendations for your next visit!
For us, a visit to the market starts at Monmouth Coffee Shop. In all the times I’ve visited, I’ve never escaped the mass of coffee-lovers outside, and so we do what the British do best, and joined the queue. In a move to become more sustainable, they no longer use single-use takeaway cups, so if you want to walk around, it’s best to take your own flask!
Next up, we began our food shop at Food & Forest, a sustainably sourced sweet and savoury nut stand. The hazelnut, cinnamon and vanilla brittle is a firm favourite, but the mixed spice pecan brittle (if Christmas had a flavour, I’ve found it) and the lemon-honey macadamia brittle are also popular. Overall, a great sweet treat to provide much needed energy to walk through the masses.
Moving onwards, we stopped at L’Ubriaco Drunk Cheese. Offering a variety of cheeses steeped in wine, and more recently beer – we settled on a red wine-soaked pecorino. Testing it out a few times at home already, I can confirm this is excellently paired with a Spaghetti Bolognese. Despite the boozy selling point, my sister remains unconvinced about cheese, which means fortunately, more for me!
For spice-lovers, the Wiltshire Chilli Farm is a great stop for sauces, rubs and marinades. Drawn in by the chipotle rub (perfect for a Taco recipe I want to try out) and staying for the brave passers-by who were keen to sample a scary sounding ‘Reaper Habanero’ or ‘God Slayer’, they have something for all taste buds! Given this day out was for mum, we did manage to find a mild sweet chilli sauce that she agreed would be great when served with food to lessen the kick!
We then popped by the East London Liquor Company. They’ve recently partnered with RBG Kew to use botanicals grown in the gardens to infuse a special edition Lavender gin, under the tagline ‘there’s no booze without bugs’, aiming to show the importance of pollinators in the growth of botanicals used to flavour gin. A percentage of sales then go back to Kew to help fund biodiversity efforts. They also offer Rum, Whisky, Vodka and a Mezcal option – so it’s a great stop for aspiring mixologists! With refill options available for gins, and their choice to use recycled wine bottles, this stall is making great moves towards sustainable shopping.
A trip for us is not complete without a stop by Borough Olives. With an olive fiend in the family, a new type of hunger games plays out in our household any time we have goods from their stand.
After a trip up the Croatian coast last summer, I was also excited to see Taste Croatia’s stall this year. After trying Peka and my favourite dish, Pašticada (slow-cooked beef in a red sweet and sour sauce, usually served with gnocchi) I was keen to see if they had any speciality ingredients to help me re-create either at home!
Not satisfied from my snacking, we arrived at my favourite part of the day – Lunch. The choice of the day was Applebee’s Fish Restaurant. We decided to sit and eat, but they do now have a takeaway stand! The top choice of the day for diners was their Fish and Chips, but for this special occasion we opted for something a little different.
Starting off with sashimi and scallops (the sizing of which was very generous for the price), we then moved on to mains. The table decided on mussels and fresh tuna, as well as a delicious monkfish and chorizo skewer. A word of warning for the latter, it is quite large, so if you don’t like people watching you whilst you eat, you may want something else.
With eyes bigger than my stomach, I also thought I would be able to manage a bowl of chips (reader, I could not). I was thus disappointed in myself then I realised I could fit neither a Bread Ahead doughnut nor a Humble Crumble dessert. I was, however, able to find room for a mini chocolate croissant (what a trooper!).
Other past favourite spots if you’re stopping to dine include Arthur Hoopers, Bao Borough and Le Tua Pasta. All have great and varied options for delicious fresh food.
Overall, this was a delightful morning filled with my favourite activity – eating. If we had taken a bigger bag (or indeed, I’d had a smaller breakfast), I’m confident I could report on a few further bakery stands that caught my eye – a Eurovision-themed bagel comes to mind!
If you have a favourite eating spot at Borough Market, we’d love to see them. Tag us on socials using @jellybeanagency.