Last weekend Thom and I headed to Maltby Street in SE1. Tucked away from the tourists of Borough, and far from the puppy mêlée at Broadway Market, it has a reputation as a place to make a food pilgrimage. It’s for serious foodies. Of course, that ruled us out as the target market, but we still enjoyed ducking in and out of the railway-arches-cum-food-warehouses.
There was all manner of things to buy: crumbly cheeses, oatcakes, beer made from New Zealand hops, and fresh shellfish – still wriggling about in their polystyrene coffins. My favourite was the Colombian drinking chocolate, shaved from solid bars, and stirred into warm milk. I also really liked the remanents of industry lying about too – stacks of wood, old radiators, and piles of tiles. It was certainly interesting, so if you’re game for a different Saturday morning scene, head south to Maltby Street.
On Saturday Liss, Thom & I headed to Stoke Newington to check out the weekly car-boot sale at the Princess May. It was my first time in Dalston and I loved it! We picked up some breakfast at the street market – hot naan bread wrapped in newspaper, priced at 2 for a pound, then coffee at a Turkish cafe. Then it was off to the school yard to do some serious fossicking.
We came home with some good booty – a 35mm camera of Russian origin for £10 , a Patricia Highsmith book for £1, that bold red bird-printed dress for £5, and a set of mint-condition fondue forks for £5. The forks were a most fortuitous find because next week I’m holding a little fondue get-together to celebrate my birthday.
As far back as 1014, and probably much earlier, London Bridge attracted traders selling grain, fish, vegetables and livestock. In the 13th century traders were relocated to what is now Borough High Street and a market has existed there ever since.
The other day we went to Borough Market. Alongside cheese, breads, cakes and all those good things, it has the widest choice of fruit and vegetables that I have ever seen.
The atmosphere was incredible too; imagine crowds of happy people trading, supping on aromatic mulled wine, popping truffles in their mouths, pressing juices, ordering coffee, carrying armfuls of bread, commiserating on the weather… All the while trains rumbled across the viaducts overhead. I want to go back again and again.
Food, food and more glorious food at a market in Bastille, Paris. It was very early in the morning (thanks jet-lag) and we got there just as all the vendors were setting up. There was nothing to do but buy a nutella crêpe and perch on a bench waiting for them to open. It was the first time I tried nutella. Or ‘noooo-tella’ as the girl making it said. (As she I couldn’t help but think of Amélie, imagining records being made with a crêpe rake.)
Eventually the market jolted to life, and we bought as much cheese, bread and fruit as we could carry. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the intoxicating scent of fresh yellow pears, stacked high to the stall roof.
Bastille Market – Sundays
Boulevard Richard–Lenoir, Bastille, Paris.