Foodie’s weekend trip to London
[Food stalls at London's Borough Market]
Back from my weekend trip in London and all I can say is that it revolved around food. Surely, what else can it be since I write a food blog and am obsessed about taking photographs of edible items? These images can only attest to the decadent sights and smells (not to mention cheese sample tastings) that were to offer from my Saturday morning window-marketing, if there is such a thing.
It was not really just a short get-away. More like a get-orientated-n-meet-the-family trip, T carefully thought out that the most fun thing to do would be a morning foray at Borough Market, which he deemed “a very Kelly thing to do”.
The background information carefully relayed to me in amused detail by family members D + F were that ages ago the market used to be this truly original organic farmer’s market where Londoners, high on taste, style and health, could expect to pay a reasonable price for a basketful of wholesome ingredients for an at home gourmet meal.
Today, with its repertoire evolving into a standard Saturday-morning activity for a lot of Londoners and tourists in the know, the close-knitted group of stallholders are giving room to a wide range of gourmet food offerings from every corner of Britain and spilling over to the continent. Authentic Spanish carnicera, French cheese specialists, organic Italian Parmeggiano-Reggiano, you name it. One may still expect to find artisan food products like fresh organic raviolis, smoked tofu and handmade truffles. We were poking fun at one of the organic vegetable stands, which I was told, is now ridiculously over-priced and offers dirt-covered vegetables that one, adds up a good few pennies when weighed, and two, gives the customer a dilemma about putting away carrots with dirt.
Wholesale Spanish products retailer Brindisa has a full-blown retail space to attract its customers in search of the imported queso Manchego and Arbequina olives. As the well-known supplier of Moro, one of London’s most talked about Spanish restaurant, they even stock the Moro Cookbook alongside other Spanish culinary books. (Interestingly enough, my cousin is married to one of the original partners that started Moro, along with the Clarks – current owners, and a Sainsbury heir. Years later, Jake pulled out of Moro, and started his own Moorish-inspired restaurant Cigala at Lamb's Conduit Street.)
We were supposed to try out the best cheese sandwich nominated in Britain, but the guy was not there that Saturday. No luck this time around. We did wander into nearby Neal’s Yard Dairy, with me and D taking in every cheese bit that was offered. Since we were so close, and the restaurant offered a view of the Thames, lunch was decidedly fixed at Tate Modern. The walk towards the South Bank and London Bridge has a real London feel to it: trains running overhead, views of the Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s dome looming in the distance.
At Tate, the Cornish crab appetizer was a huge pleaser and so was the fish and chips made with haddock. I can’t help but notice all the Spanish servers and their very Spanish ways. It seemed to me from my last trip to London last year that a lot of young and not-so-young southern Europeans are quite attracted to a stint in the city, I assume partly to brush up their English, which is completely applauded considering they try.
In the Know:
London Bridge Underground Station
Neal’s Yard Dairy
6 Park St. 44-207/ 645-3554