Leaving the Arran House, we decided to travel the Northern Line from Goodge Street to London Bridge. From there it was a quick walk across the street to Borough Market, which includes Jubilee, Green, and Middle Market. Borough Market can be found tucked behind the Southwark Cathedral.
Before we even fully entered the market, we were hit by a blast of smells. Borough Market is an upscale, artisanal food and foodstuffs market, featuring booths selling everything from specialty fromage, to fresh produce, seafood, wine and beer, and traditional and exotic meats– ostrich! The market was extremely crowded, with people walking through shoulder to shoulder. We were separated from each other at several points due to the shuffling throngs of people.
Due to the high-priced nature of the vendors, the patrons (minus tourists like us) visiting the market appeared to us to be of a higher socioeconomic class. Racially, they were fairly homogenous. Slight variations could be seen from booth to booth, depending on what was being sold. For example, Mikey was passive-aggressively asked to leave a wine booth as he was writing in his notebook, while the booths selling cider tended to cater to the less affluent.
There was almost every sort of food one could hope to find at a market, so in the blog we will just document some of the more surprising or delicious options.
The market as a whole was eco-conscious. Most meats and produce were organic/free-range, and packaging for products was often biodegradable. There were also many interesting and noteworthy foods that were available and that make Borough market worth the trip. At a sausage stand beef, wild boar, venison and ostrich were available (The ostrich, by the way, was delicious.)
At another stand a giant, sliced, puffball mushroom was available. Exotic and expensive fruits such as whole figs and pomegranates were available, and we passed a crepe stand offering fillings of the savory, spicy and sweet variety. Whole fish were for sale, along with squid, scallops and halibut. We were intrigued by a stand vending elderflower cordial, though, as with most of the items of intrigue, it was pushing five quid for even a small drink. At a fine meat stand, there was a sign touting the benefits of the ostrich eggs they were selling- including the rather astounding fact that one ostrich egg is equivalent to twenty chicken eggs- as well as offering a kangaroo burger. We saw duck eggs and whole game mallards, whole hams and various wild boar meats. The upscale beer store was rather astounding as well.
If anyone is looking for high-quality specialty foods, the Borough Market is the place. It is lively, expansive, and an a fun experience.
Tags: 2010 Michael · 2010 Rachel · 2010 Sarah
Apparently, Sarah and I had not walked enough the past few days and decided to go on an exploration of the Tower Hill section of London yesterday. We arrived at the Tower Hill station, appropriately named, and wanted to walk towards the section labeled “Beheadings”, but decided not to. After walking around the outside of the Tower of London, we decided to head over to the War Monument for the Merchant Navy. It was a beautiful garden/memorial area that had a few people strolling about.
After that, we decided to go whereever the streets led us. We stubbled upon St. Olave’s Church, where Samuel Pepy’s, Mother Goose (apparently) and 365 people from the 1665 plague are burried. Upon more walking, we discovered a church (that I cannot recall the name of) that was left in ruins after the war. There was a quaint garden and small fountain where a few people were sitting around. The ruins were also open to elements and the public and it was interesting to see once stained glass church windows now covered in vines and vegatation. Sarah and I noticed while walking around that there were very few people on the streets once we got away from the more “touristy” areas. I guess it is strange to me that not all of London is bustling along the streets all the time, because it is such a big city, but I am finding that this is not always the case!
Turning a corner, we noticed a sign for Pudding Lane and, thinking that the name was adorable, decided to walk down the lane. Little did we know the significance of this lane! We saw people at the end of it, standing around something and taking pictures. As we walked past a building we were both stunned by a large monument. Appropriately, the monument we stubbled upon is called “The Monument” because it was built to commemorate the start of the Fire of 1666 in Pudding Lane. Now Pudding Lane did not seem so “adorable” anymore. The Monument, I learned, was built by Sir Christopher Wren between 1671 and 1677 and was built to be 61 metres high, the exactly distance between the Monument and the start of the fire in Pudding Lane. Sarah and I, for whatever reason, decided to walk up the 311 steps of the Monument as if we had not walked enough already! The climb though proved itself worth it because we had a marvelous view of London. Then we had to walk back down.
To continue our “stroll” we decided to head towards the “London Bridge” (which is actually called Tower Bridge). After crossing the real London Bridge, we found Southwark Church at the base of it. Southwark Church was a beautiful on the inside, and we managed to step in as a traditional Latin service was going on. We then left the church and headed in the general direction of the Tower (or “London”) Bridge. After about 20 minutes or so of walking, we finally rounded a corner and found ourselves face to face with the Bridge. Even for it being such a commecial site, it is still breathtaking. We noticed there was an exhibit going on in the bridge towers themselves (if anybody would like to do that in their freetime, make note of this!) but we both decided we did not want to do anymore walking up stairs that day!
Even though we did not go into any museums or see many “touristy” sites, Sarah and I still had a fabulous time exploring. Somedays I love going into museums, but I also love just discovering London through randomness and stumbling upon sites that a tourbook would not usually point you towards, those are always the most interesting discoveries to me. So my advice to all of you is to take some free time and go out and just explore! (With another person of course…)
Tags: Alli · Churches and Cathedrals