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Aug 09, 2004



Hi Jo,
Very good post. I'm still wondering why there is so few good markets in UK.

Sandra Mostacci

I beg to differ on some of what you said - there are some very good markets in London. Try the local one at Islington, it is, or at least was a couple of years ago, excellent. Though tiny, I would almost say, for fruit and veg better then the borough markets because the borough markets have become so commercial.

Overall though it is still fabulous. I now live in NY and miss the Islington and borough markets. The union square markets just don't cut it. I have never bought into the myth that London has sub-standard produce. It just isn't true.

As for Herbies - buy the book! It is the best book on spices you will ever find. I am from Sydney but haven't lived there in five years and got it as a present. I was immediately inspired and have been whipping up curries left, right and centre. It is fun to put those spices in the cupboard to work. This book gave me the nudge of courage I needed!


I am planning to go to Borough Market next Saturday 26/02. Now that I've read your article I feel less apprehensive. Like you, I've been to a few markets in London and having lived for 15 years in Switzerland near the French border I was really spoilt for quality and choice all those years from both countries. My experiences of London markets have been so far utterly disappointing and depressing. I was shocked to see that in some of them they will sell you a bundle of vegetables for £ 1.00, of 'vegetables' which were not suitable for consumption anymore. But London being as expensive as it is, it broke my heart to see some people actually buying this because they could not afford anything else, as fresh vegetables and fruit in this country are more expensive than junk processed (and frozen) food. In another market, I bought a dozen of what were supposed to be 'fresh' eggs which I had to throw away as when I tried to use them they were rotten. I find it is a lack of respect to people to sell 'food' like that. It's the opposite of France where the best food is at the market not the supermarket. Despite all the cookery programmes on TV, the UK still has a long way to go about eating proper nutritional food, one main reason is because this type of food is only affordable to some.


Hi - you can now buy english grown Pimientos de padron from

Why not try them?


Wonderful market. I visit it every time I go to London.

Jaquie Scamme;;

I am a HUGE fan of the Borough markets and visit them every weekend to not only purchase my fresh fruit and vege for the week but it also makes a great day out.
Let me ask you this: if there was an organised tour that you could take for a small fee and you were shown all there is to know about the market stalls, their produce, more than a taste of the foods - a culinary tour let' say.Then to follow an interactive, hands on BBQ/ picnic at the end of the day to experience all the foods and recipes that you have been talking about... would anyone be interested do you think? Im obviously thinking about the international vistiors as well.
Would love to see your comments.


Nice write up. I'm making my first trip there next week. Can't wait to go!


I went to Borough Market today and while the quality and range of the food is undeniable the prices are ridiculously steep. For example, I was quoted £14.00 for an average sized Octopus. See Woo in Greenwich offer just as wide a range (including turbot, eel, langoustines, crab, lobster and even crayfish all alive in tanks!)for about a third less. Steve Hatt in Islington is also good for game and wet fish and you won't get ripped off. In other words, forget the markets and go for the speciality shops.


martin, i have to agree - the borough market has pretty steep prices. but then again, you find things you don't find anywhere else, so can't really compare.
I go there for those things i can't find in my local shops, but i stay loyal to my fish monger and butcher etc...


Neither K or I have been to the Borough Market, and after reading your post, we're really looking forward to visiting it in April!!

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