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Borough Market (London) strategy, Saturday a.m.

I have Saturday free until 2 p.m. and am planning to spend the morning at Borough Market. I have friends who are friends with the folks at Neal's Yard and plan to stop in there. Any thoughts on a good walking strategy (which building/corner to start at, end up at?) I will check other posts for lunch recommendations, but primarily I'm looking for stalls/shops to visit.

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  1. It isn't really that big so you don't really need a strategy. Best to start at Monmouth with a coffee though.

    1. For breakfast, my favourite is a cup of drip coffee from Monmouth Coffee and a coffee cake from one of Ion Patisserie (in the middle of the covered market). These are quite portable and will allow one to much and sip whilst walking through the market. The line at Monmouth is longer than Ion, so start at Monmouth (things seem to move a bit faster at their stall in the market rather than their permanent store, although there's a much bigger selection at the store).

      From there it's worth browsing through the wines at Bedales, the teas at East Tea and getting a random bag of very good chocolates for £2 at the L'Artisan du Chocolat stall. Nab some Helsett's farm ice cream. Pick through the selection of Spanish goods at the Brindisa store and check out the pies and meat at The Ginger Pig.

      1. There's hardly a stall that isn't worth checking out. If you like Cheeses, in addition to what you already plan at Neal's Yard do be sure to try the incredible Comte in the market (best one I've had).

        1. My advice is to go as early as you can to beat the crowds of tourists.

          Don't miss the French cheese stall in the middle of the market, and Mrs Bassa's stall - a charming Indian woman who makes the most incredible pickles and chutneys (the garlic one is my favourite). Brindisa is eye-wateringly expensive, imho, but worth it for some things. I really like the fish and game stall, especially the potted shrimps and the stuffed pheasants are great for a quick lunch/dinner.

          You can then have a restorative pint (if that is your thing) in the Market Porter on the corner of Park Street. Or head down the street towards the river (Stoney Street?) for a glass of something at Wine Wharf.

          4 Replies
          1. re: greedygirl

            The last few pints at TMP have been dreadful. I am not sure if they are just depending on tourists now or if they are just not cleaning out the pipes, a shame, because, as GG says, it is a perfect spot to down a restorative one.

            Directly opposite through the entrance back to the market is Mrs King's Pork Pies. The hartland family make the best in the country bar none IMHO and it is definitely worth stopping by and picking up a small one from Ian and eating as you walk around the market

            That, a decent pint and a decent cup of tea are the things I have craved most while being out of the country for so long and the first things I shall have when I am back next week

            S

            1. re: Simon Majumdar

              You're right - those pork pies are divine, especially with a dab of Mrs Bassa's garlic pickle or some brown sauce!

              I don't like beer much, but Mr GG has always enjoyed his pints at TMP while I shop for England! Having said that, we were saying just the other day that we haven't been for ages, mainly because it's so horribly crowded on market days.

              I'm with you on the cup of tea thing. I now travel with a box of my tea addiction, Twining's Earl Grey, but it's not the same. Something to do with the milk, and the fact that the water is never hot enough.

              1. re: greedygirl

                Last year, I spent some time with the Hartlands in Melton Mowbray making the pies. Great fun and the nearest they come to industrialisation is a 200 yr old hand press for the pastry. They still hand raise the larger pies and there are only five ingredients, pork, salt, lard, flour and water.

                I am currently taking legal advice to see if it is possible to marry a pork pie

                S

                1. re: Simon Majumdar

                  Miss Piggy says it's very PC to marry anything 'porky.' Heck, anything goes these days.

          2. Brindisa for their cooking chorizo (pack of 6 approx £5.50 and work amazingly on a bbq) and cured hams. Their anchovie stuffed olives must be tried.
            Compte stand is a must!
            Ginger pig - meat - best butcher in this city.very reasonable pork chops were melt in the mouth AMAZING last week . If you cannot wait to get home to cook it they do sausage rolls that are to die for .
            Neals - a definate for cheese lovers - try their cows milk cheese with triple cream.
            The cool chile company do great smoky paprika
            Fern Valley is best for herbs/salad and wonderful rar british veg varieties.

            9 Replies
            1. re: beckypoostchi

              I have to say that I think The Ginger Pig has seen a real slide in the last year or so, heretical as it sounds.

              They may be a victim of their own success, but meat from there is not what it used to be and I wonder if much of the good stuff is being kept back for the restaurants? Certainly there is no decline in what they serve at places like Hawksmoor, so I wonder if Tim Davis(sp?) is struggling to match demand with supply and having to speed up production.

              I have also heard stories of shoddy service and rudeness at the Marylebone branch.

              In Borough, I tend to go to Northfield Farm for beef and pork, Farmer Sharp for lamb and mutton and Furness for the chickens which are spectacular

              I have not visited yet, bu the other brother swears by Jack O Shea in Knightsbridge and has been posting about an excellent range of different steak cuts on the blog.

              Lidgates is still excellent and, when I was last in town for any period of time Allen's of Mount St was just re-opening although I never feel particularly inclined to have to sell one of my organs to be able to afford some of theirs.

              S

              1. re: Simon Majumdar

                Interesting, after the last round of beef buying at Lidgates I have decided not to bother, when I compared to Northwick farms produce it just seemed tasteless. Probably just as well as I'd need a second mortgage to shop at Ligates regularly! If you want to chat to the Northfield farm butchers, don't drink in TMP (I've never had a good pint in there) go to The Globe, of course, they drink their guiness very quickly so talk fast!

                1. re: Simon Majumdar

                  Thanks for the tip about Jack O'Shea - I am beyond excited about this! I rang him this afternoon to ask about something and we ended up having a bit of a chat. He sells all sorts of interesting cuts, including short ribs and tri-tip, so I can try lots of recipes from my American cookbooks. He is also very nice and very Irish! Shame it's in Knightsbridge but his sister lives near me so maybe if I become a good customer he'll deliver!

                  1. re: greedygirl

                    I wonder if O'Shea has flank steak. That's one cut of meat I miss at times.

                    1. re: greedygirl

                      I have intended to go here for the longest time but never have - I really must go! I first read about his Belgian shop when I was back home in Ireland and it really sounds superb. I think I'll have to go this weekend!

                      1. re: niamheen

                        He's lovely. I got a free bag of cherry tomatoes when I went last Friday.

                        1. re: greedygirl

                          I'm looking forward to trying the flank steak. My husband enjoyed the lamb-carving tips on O'Shea's website, and we'll definitely try the shop soon. Free anything is good!

                          1. re: greedygirl

                            I saw! I think I might actually go after work. Sounds like a proper Irish butcher! He'll probably make me homesick!

                            1. re: niamheen

                              I think you'll find the prices are more "London" though. ;-)