Close to Home: Borough Market

“Hey, where did you get that?” said my friend Alan to a guy munching on a chocolate chip cookie the size of a dinner plate. He gestured, Alan looked at me and we both agreed that we needed that cookie.

Borough Market is one of my favorite spots in London and I love to take visiting friends as well as wander through myself on a Saturday. It makes a great stop if you’re strolling the South Bank like I was when I first visited the market. It is nearly always crazy busy but I’ve found that if you brave it on a rainy day, it can actually be quite peaceful. Just keep in mind that the market is closed on Sundays. (Made that mistake only once!)

I think it’s actually a great tactic with Borough Market to do a lap first, assess what other patrons are partaking in, and then choose.  Although, I say this and usually my first stop is the Boston Sausage stand which I love both for its name and for its fare in equal measure. My favorite is the Boston sausage with caramelized onions and Stilton. I’ve been known to devour it so quickly I don’t stop for a photo, but luckily when I took Emily she captured a great picture in the slide show below.

On my most recent visit this past weekend, my first course was the aforementioned sausage, crispy skin with juicy insides, smothered with cheese and onions and leaving a powdery flour cloud with each bite, as delicious as ever. Next was fresh tortelloni filled with wild boar dressed simply in olive oil and parmesan from La Tua Pasta. And finally, the ginormous cookie. In between we quenched our thirst with prosecco from Borough Wines.

The market is primarily both fresh and prepared food; you don’t come here for souvenirs unless they’re edible.  Speaking of which, Borough Wines has some lovely house wine you can fill yourself for £5 in their £2.50 reusable bottles. The pesto or Italian green olives from Borough Olives would make a great gift for anyone. But don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone if you keep it all for yourself. 😉

Borough Market
8 Southwark Street
London SE1 1TL

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© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2014.


Strolling the South Bank

I had a friend in town over Thanksgiving and it was the perfect time to be touristy and explore some parts of London I hadn’t seen yet.  Someone at dinner recommended that we try a walk down the south bank of the Thames and then go to the OXO Tower for a drink.

We started at the Tower of London then walked across Tower Bridge.  Living in New York for so many years walking across the Brooklyn Bridge was one of my favorite things to do so I just LOVED this. 🙂  Tower Bridge is so beautiful and the views from both sides are amazing.

We then walked down the South Bank, browsing in shops and checking out the many eateries and bars.  After gawking at the outside of Shakespeare’s Globe (which I can’t wait to visit again later in the Spring and see a performance), we had a drink at the Swan bar.  Normally I think touristy, theater or museum bars can be major misses, but this was great.  Beautiful sunset views of St. Paul’s as we sipped drinks and endured the brisk fall weather on the outdoor patio.  Inside, a pianist and clarinet player provided live music to the diners.

After the Swan, we continued our walk past the Tate where a couple of sweet girls had a stand outside selling mulled wine and mince pies.  We were out of cash but they gave us a little sample of each, very festive!

We finally made it to the OXO Tower, went up to the bar for a few of the amazing and inventive cocktails and enjoyed the views of the city.  An incredible day!  London visitors, just note that you’ll likely get a similar tour.  You’re welcome. 🙂

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© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2012.