Sunday, 29 January 2012

A Good Way to Begin the Weekend

When our students go up to London on the train to Hastings they often go to Victoria or Charing Cross stations so that they arrive right in the middle of London but they are missing a great experience of 'hidden London'. Get off at London Bridge station, walk down to the main road, go across the road to the cathedral, go down the steps and you will find yourself among crowds of people shopping for food in 'The Borough Market'.

You will find cheeses from England, Italy, France which you can enjoy tasting (this one is called 'Conte' and comes from France). There are sausages and cold meats from Germany, France, Italy and England too.

There is freshly baked bread of every kind - French baguettes, Italian focaccia and ciabatta, English cob and farmhouse loaves too. There stalls selling olive oils and vinegars which you can taste by dipping little pieces of fresh bread into bowls of different flavour oils. Delicious!

And sweet pastries too, from Greek honey baclavas to French tartes to American muffins, as well as stalls selling hand-made chocolates.

If you want to but something fresh to prepare yourself, there are fish stalls - fruit and vegetable stalls - stalls selling just mushrooms and fungi - and meat stalls selling what we call 'game' which is wild birds and animals like deer, rabbit, ducks and so on.

By now you will be hungry. There is every kind if hot food to tempt you. Venison (deer) burgers, vegetarian falafel, paella, pizza, sausage in a roll, hot soups, coffee and pastries - it's definitely time for a second breakfast!


The market is situated under three railway bridges so that it is quite noisy with trains travelling to and from London Bridge station rumbling overhead every two minutes - it's a great atmosphere. Well, after all that walking around and eating perhaps it's time to go for a glass of real English 'ale' in a really traditional old English pub called 'The Market Porter' on the corner opposite the market.

So, if you caught the early train it should now be about midday and you have plenty of time to head into the centre of London for some shopping and sightseeing.

P.S. Five minutes walk through the narrow riverside streets you will find a replica (copy) of the old sailing ship 'The Golden Hind', then five more minutes walking past the site of the old 'Clink' prison (1151 - 1780) you will come to a replica of Shakespeare's Globe theatre and five more minutes walk by the river Thames you will arrive at the Tate Modern Art Gallery.

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