Go for a meandering food & drink walk south of the Thames, loosely focussing on Maltby Street.
Borough Market is great, but it’s often heaving with tourists to the point of frustration.
My friend recommended Maltby Street as a much smaller, much less busy alternative to Borough Market. Maltby Street isn’t a market, it’s a loose collection of shops all within a few streets of one another, mainly selling very expensive, but incredibly nice fruit, veg, cheese, meat, and drinks . . .
These premises are a production and training site during the week, but on Saturday they open to the public, selling high quality, very tasty coffee.
Suitably refuelled we wandered off around the streets, down alleys and under arches looking at some incredibly high-end ingredients. I’d suggest that you’ll get the most out of this set of shops if you want organic, ethical foods for recipes that’ll really show off their flavours. I’d also suggest that you’d get the most out of the shops if you have a minimum of £20-£30 quid on ingredients (bear in mind that some of the cheese costs up to £20 a kilo).
Given these considerations, it’s a great place to wander before making an indulgent weekend feast. There are about 10 shops in total, here are some that we explored:
- Neal’s Yard Dairy – British Cheeses
- Fern Varrow Vegetables – organic veg
- The Kernel Brewery London – mmm, beer
- The Ham and Cheese Co. – made using French & Italian expertise.
Having successfully explored, we headed over to the Waterloo area (where my friend lives), ending up in Greensmiths for brunch (via a pint overlooking the Thames in the Horniman at Hays). Greensmiths is an excellent idea, a ‘supermarket’ that essentially made up of concessions, each of which is an organic food retailer in its own right, but together in one building they offer a fantastic range of food.
The partners in the store are:
- The Old Post Office Bakery
- The Ginger Pig (butchers)
- Antica Coffee
- Waterloo Wine Co.
- Solstice (greengrocers).
I had bangers and mash in the Greensmiths Cafe, courtesy of Ginger Pig sausages (the following day I had Ginger Pig beef at Hawksmoor). Full of food and hangover successfully overcome, we all then waddled off in our respective directions to get ready for our Halloween evenings – to sign off, here’s my Transformer: Pumpkin in Disguise.