There's something timeless about markets - something about the friendliness and generosity of the stallholders that makes ambling these places so enjoyable. I love farmers' markets especially, but any that promises new and interesting food is of interest.
Even on a freezing Saturday in January, pouring with rain, nothing can deter me from getting my fix of colourful Borough Market and, a new one for me, Maltby St Market.
After our trip to The Breakfast Club, Iesha and I crossed the road and into the semi-warmth of Borough Market. The first thing to catch my eye was this array of mushrooms. I was hungry again straight away.
The colour on those aubergines! I wonder what they taste like?
There were so many delicious looking pastries. Some were made to cater those with food allergies or intolerances, with different types of flours including spelt.
To balance out my carb-heavy breakfast (and, as you'll soon see, lunch, too) I headed over to one of the juice bars where I ordered a classic carrot, apple and ginger juice for an extortionate £3. I won't ever get used to London prices.
It was yum, though.
Next stop: Maltby St Market in Ropewalk. Nearest tube station is Bermondsey, but I walked it from London Bridge in ten minutes.
I was greeted by a friendly chap giving out samples of the most incredible goat cheese pizza/flatbread-type things. The accompanying pomegranate ketchup was especially good, and, had I not been saving myself for the best grilled cheese in the world, I would have bought myself a little snack from here.
The market was smaller and quieter than I expected, but that made the atmosphere a lot more relaxed and close to home. I had a little while to wait before Elly arrived, so I took my time wandering and absorbing. I walked past the most intriguing looking junk shop with this sign lit up at the entrance:
Everything inside was the kind of junk that most people would treasure. I came across old school desks, tiny wooden chairs, vintage doorknobs, sinks and mirrors among brand new items such as soaps and crockery.
At the end of Ropewalk was Comptoir Gourmand which promised freshly made mint tea and I was freezing so I headed inside to warm up. It was so delicious and writing this now is making me want to get lots of mint and make my own! I sat in the cafe and read some of the book I was reading at the time - We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Just a heads up, unless you're under the age of 15, don't read this book. (Probably the only essiebutton recommendation I disagree with).
When Elly arrived we went straight to The Cheese Truck. She was expecting great things. Remember when I first raved about this stuff? I had waited far too long to taste their magnificent grilled cheese again and I was so excited. I ordered exactly the same thing as last time - the keens cheddar ogleshield and onion mix and Elly got the same. There was a queue and the staff were working hard to keep up the pace - signs of good grilled cheese.
|First seen on my Instagram|
We took shelter from the rain under a bridge round the corner from the market and ate our sandwiches in minutes, devouring every last cheesy mouthful. It was as good as I remembered and reinstated my belief that it is indeed the best grilled cheese in the world.
Afterwards we had another wander down the market. I bought a cookie the size of my face (separate post to follow) and Elly bought a single macaron.
Have you been to either of these markets? Oval Market is next on my list. I want to visit as many as I can, so let me know your recommendations.