Salient Features Of Borough Market

Borough Market is one of the largest and oldest food markets located in Southwark, Central London and easily accessible by all modes of transport such as train, tube, bus, bike, or on foot. Its 1000th birthday was celebrated in 2014.

Brief History:

The present market is located on Southwark Street and Borough High Street just south of Southwark Cathedral on the southern end of London Bridge. The site has historically been a place of trading as food and livestock traders have been attracted to this place since the 10th century. The original market was located at the end of London Bridge that was subsequently moved south of St Margaret’s Church on the High Street. It was abolished by an Act of Parliament in 1754 as it created traffic congestion. At present the market has over 100 food stalls and besides the traditional fruit and vegetable stalls, gourmet lunches are provided by many traders. There is a food quality panel in place to ensure that the food sold in the market is of a high quality meeting specific standards.

Reaching the Market:

It is easy to get to the market as it is located close to London Bridge Underground station. This station is serviced by the Jubilee and Northern lines on the Underground. The market is also accessible by several bus lines. The market is within walking distance of several stops such as London Bridge, Borough High Street and Southwark Street. Bike racks are also available close by.

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Best Time to Visit:

The market operates Mondays through Fridays from 10am to 6pm whereas the wholesale market operates on all weekday mornings from 2am to 8am. The market opens on Saturdays at 8am. It is best to visit the market during lunch when sample meals are offered along with products from the lunchtime food stalls.

Architecture:

Designed in 1851 the present buildings were extended in the 1860s, and in 1932 an entrance was designed in the Art Deco style. In 2001, a refurbishment of the building was started. The original Covent Garden building was listed and the re-sited portico was Grade II listed in 2008.

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Features of the Market:

The layout of the market showcases its rich history as it has a warren of passageways and open spaces due to which a great atmosphere is provided that offers a thrill of new discoveries to the shoppers. The market offers Three Crown Square which is devoted to produce including meat, fish, cheese, fruit and veg. A colourful and eclectic mix of foodstuff from all across the globe is available in the spaces around the periphery. This famous market offers British and international foods and as a result it is frequented by celebrities, chefs, locals and tourists who come here for its high-quality foods and cheap take-away from restaurants. Different types of cheap eats are offered by lunchtime traders from Indian curries to fruit smoothies, meat pies to chocolate cakes, making the market one of London’s best for international cuisine. The market spans across several buildings and open spaces.

The range of food and produce available in Borough Market is unimaginable as you can find everything from baked goods to seafood, dairy products to condiments and spices. As a result of the wide variety of food available, the market serves diverse clients such as tourists, top chefs looking for quality ingredients or common people who love eating.

Trade:

Originally a wholesale market that used to sell produce in quantity for greengrocers and being the main supplier of fruits and vegetables to retail greengrocer shops, the market has transformed at present to selling speciality foods to the general public. In the past, the main businesses that traded in the market included Vitacress, Lee Brothers, Manny Sugarman, Eddy Robbins, Verde, AW Bourne and Elsey and Bent. JO Sims, the main importer for South African citrus fruit.

For trading in the market, stallholders come from different areas of the UK. Moreover, traditional European products are also imported for being sold in the market. The various items that are sold include fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, meat, game and freshly baked bread and pastries. Lunchtime visitors can get a wide variety of street food in the market.

Borough Market is a charitable trust run by a board of volunteer trustees, who necessarily have to live in the area. A food quality panel of impartial experts is employed to ensure high standards of produce, and to ensure that that the taste, provenance and quality of foods sold are all regularly measured and maintained. Moreover, small traders are supported to meet these high standards.

The market has become a fashionable place for buying food as it has been promoted by British television chefs and has been used as a film set. The notable films that have been filmed in the streets around the market include Bridget Jones’s Diary, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The market also appeared in the Savage Garden music video for “Hold Me”. The artist Anna Best staged an event in Borough Market entitled “The Wedding Project” in 1998. The Evening Standard has reported that the market is now available to hire for private events.

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