Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bustle at the Borough


Last week, as  I sat down to a dinner of bread and cheese (one of my favorites), I flipped through the television channels to find The Hairy Bikers on BBC. It is a fantastic cooking show!  Two biker-dudes that cook amazing British farmhouse food from savory pies, to Welsh Rarebit (posh cheese on toast), even including some beautifully plump and fluffy lemon-blueberry muffins.  Needless to say, they really got me in the mood for some delicious British food.



When Saturday morning finally arrived, I got myself out of bed and layered up with 2 pairs of pants and four shirts/jackets so that I could face a frigid, yet once again sunny (the saving grace), morning run in Hyde Park.  I survived.  As noon rolled around, I was hungry and excited to be heading over to Borough Market, a fantastic food market located just next to the London Bridge tube station. 


This is an older-looking area of town, and actually the exact spot of the filming of one of the scenes in Harry Potter. Even though the temperature had already hit its daytime high of no more than 30 degrees, the market was packed with people, everyone bundled in coats, hats, gloves and scarves.  People were drinking anything hot...hot cocoa, coffee, strong herb teas and especially mulled wine as they meandered from stall to stall, tasting, buying, eating and then moving on to the next to repeat.
 There were pastry shops, hot sandwich shops, bread bakers, numerous cheese mongers, butchers selling meats of all sorts, and more than enough to go around. 










I ended up with a small stash of goods before leaving for the day.  For dinner that night I snagged a Heidi Pie (goat cheese, red onion, sweet potato, spinach and roasted garlic) from the famous Pieminister.



 Their pies are incredibly flavorful.  The crust is light and flaky but not heavy and rich.  I just heated it in the oven that night, as the snow fell outside.
 I also got a "mixed lot" bag of chocolates from Artisan Du Chocolat.




 I was afraid that these were going to be more boring than they seemed, but they really were an incredibly mixed lot.  Chocolate covered pistachios, dark chocolate squares with hazelnut ganache, milk chocolate with ginger ganache, chocolate covered candied orange peel...


and I could have kept eating the whole bag, but I was very relieved to learn that their permanent shop is just  two tube stops away from my home.
On the way out of the market, I was drawn into a small hole in the wall Italian pizzeria by the fantastic smell.


 It could have been because my toes were especially frozen by that point, but that warm crusty calzone encapsulating the sweet tomato sauce, and salty creamy mozzarella....it was an incredible way to end the trip.  Slightly thawed, I headed back toward the tube station and was looking forward to being crowded onto a warm train towards home with my Borough Market treasures.       

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