There’s something wonderfully Dickensian about a London food market at Christmas. I’ve recently moved to a new office a hop and a skip from Borough Market (I’m actively having to stop myself from buying lunch there every day), and today I took a wander there to soak up the pre-holiday atmosphere.
It was crowded, but not to an insane degree – you could still browse. There were pheasants and hares hanging from the butcher’s stand, mulled wine being ladled out, people excitedly snapping up fresh cranberry sauce and whiffy cheeses. It was so, so lovely.
It’s just a very special place if you love food. There are multiple (three?) stalls dedicated to oils and vinegars alone, and one dedicated to truffles (I just stood there inhaling, like an addict desperate for a fix). So many stinky cheese havens, a couple of spice blenders, myriad bakers and greengrocers. Whether you want a beautifully disfigured winter squash or a crate of English Sparkling Wine, this is your place. The queues of foodie gift-givers outside Monmouth Coffee and Neal’s Yard cheeses made me indescribably happy.
Three failsafe gifts to buy me from Borough:
1. Black truffle oil. Always, always.
2. Monmouth Coffee. Ridiculous prices – until you taste what you’ve bought.
3. Interesting salt. You’ll find pink Himalayan, red wine-infused and herby crystals at several stalls.