Sundays may be for the boys but they’re also for the markets! There’s always a market ready for exploring in London. And the best part? Most of them are open during the week. I’ve visited some really great markets here that are worth exploring.
The first market we went to is the Borough Market, located in Southwark, London. This market is only open Thursday through Saturday and gets busy very quickly. For our class, we were taken through the Southwark area (and surrounding boroughs) to learn about the history of food in Britain. It was actually really interesting to learn the a lot of British food was imported and fruits, such as pineapples, were considered exotic and showed a status of wealth. Pineapples were even rented out for dinner parties as they not only showed wealth but also stood as a symbol to welcome guests. The Borough Market is one of the oldest and largest food markets in all of London, housing all kinds of food vendors. From meats to produce, pastries to snacks, the Borough Market has it all! We got to explore the market and talk to vendors about how long their businesses had been here and what makes them so special. We noticed the words “fresh” and “homemade” were plastered all over, which made us feel good about all the food we were buying. It felt great to support local businesses, one of our favorites being the Greedy Goat ice cream vendor. Using only British goat’s milk, the Greedy Goat vendor made ice cream taste like gingerbread cookies, earl grey tea, and carrot cake. It was heaven in a cone on a Friday afternoon. The Borough Market is a great place to visit to get a sense of the diversity in London. Vendors showcase foods from all over the world, some keeping with traditional recipes and other putting their own British twist on a classic dish. You’ll need a few hours to explore the whole market so going in the morning is probably best. Two to three hours will do just fine! Just make sure you try all the free samples.
Maltby Street Market
Another market I found to be really great is the Maltby Street Market. This market is about a block long and features food from all over the world. Opened in 2010, the alley it resides in is very narrow. It’s hard to move around but that doesn’t stop visitors from enjoying everything these vendors have to offer. From wine tastings to authentic German bratwurst this little gem of a market has it all! The food here is fresh and delicious and I had the pleasure of tasting the homemade peanut butter, German bratwurst, and a tropical smoothie. The food was incredible and so filling! This market is definitely one to be experienced. It’s pretty low-key but I think there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Now the Camden Market is by far my favorite market. They have everything here! You need at least 3-4 hours just to see everything, let alone skim the racks of clothing and artwork. This market was opened in 1974 and houses over 1000 shops. It’s hard to imagine that this huge market began with only 16 stalls as a mini arts and crafts fair. If you get a little peckish while exploring the market, no need to fear! The Camden Market has tons of food from vendors to restaurants. The famous Cereal Killer Cafe is even located at the very heart of the market. Side note: it is the most incredible place on Earth and I never knew cereal could taste so good! There’s so much to do in this market; I’ve been there twice and I still feel like I need to go back. The surrounding borough of Camden is also very beautiful. It’s hard to miss the murals and artwork on buildings leading up to the entrance. Before you even reach the entrance, an abundance of smells hits you in the face and beckons you to come in. You’ll have a hard time leaving this place.
The markets are a great place to spend your time in London. The diversity of these markets really bring little pieces of the world to your backyard. If you love adventuring into new territories, the markets are a place for you!
Until next time, Cheers!