When I first moved to London, Borough Market was one of the first places I visited. However, I hadn’t been for a while when Celia Brooks-Brown invited me on one of her tours of Borough Market. The market is constantly changing, especially with the redevelopment around London Bridge (Europe’s tallest building, anyone?) so I thought it would be interesting to go around the market with someone who knew it a lot better than I did.
We started off with breakfast (toast and fruit salad) at Roast, a restaurant that lives upstairs at the market, overlooking the market floor. I had never actually been before, and it was a nice way to start the day.
Between that, a wine tasting at Bedales, and finishing up at The Turkish Deli, Celia took us to all her favourite stalls, where there was plenty of food and drink to taste and hidden gems to discover.
I bought some amazing methode champenoise cider from these guys at New Forest Cider. It was really tasty – I think I’ll be buying some again come Christmas time.
I won’t go through everywhere we went and everything we tried as a real tour is better than a virtual one! I will however share one new product Celia introduced me to as it may well be life-changing:
Belper Knolle. The picture and the name still don’t give much away, do they? Belper Knolle actually means “the tuber from Belp”. Inside you find this:
It comes from a creamery in Switzerland, where they make a soft cheese which is rolled in garlic, black pepper and salt before being dried for several weeks. At that point it is perfect for shaving over pasta, salads or anything else that needs a flavour hit. You can use it in place of Parmesan, although it has a very different flavour. I love it and have been eating far too much pasta lately as a delivery vehicle for this unique cheese. With its lovely packaging I think it would make a fantastic gift for the foodie who has everything (I’m quite willing to receive one for every birthday and Christmas).
There were plenty of other hidden gems on the tour, so I really recommend giving it a go whether you are just visiting London or if you are an old hand! Celia is the only person licensed to take tours around the market, and she knows absolutely everyone there – and, it would seem, every product on offer too. Go hungry – you will not need breakfast or lunch!
I was a guest of Celia Brooks Brown on the tour. Tours cost £70 and include a LOT of food and drink. Bookings can be made here.