7 Apr 2006

More on Borough Market

FURTHER TO my previous post entitled Chilford Hundred, here are a few more words on the market.

For what I consider to be the best coffee in London, check out Cafe Monmouth (also Covent Garden), serving takeaway espressos/macchiatos so effective they make one's eyes cross [60p]. Their coffee lists makes good reading too, showing how provenance and individual growers style can have as much influence as terroir to wine.

Wright Brothers Oyster and Porter House has an initially bewildering array of oysters from various shores. Senior waitress Bethany will guide you through and prepare a platter. An educational experience. Picpoul de Pinet from Coteaux de Languedoc (translates as 'lip-stinger') works well with most of the crustaceous fayre. Also worth trying is the oloroso coloured 10yo Calvados. Meal for two with absolutely everything including 24 oysters of varied provenance, Jenga of razor clams, Lustau Manzanilla to begin is about £100-£110. If you just want oysters and don't mind queing and eating standing-up, the Mersea Island stall is very good.

Still in the aqua-life vein, Feng Sushi has perhaps the most healthy-looking staff I've ever seen. A small flask of warmed ethanol-tinged saki [£2.50] invigorates.

For a rather less smart experience, try Maria's Market Cafe for bubble, bacon and cheese baps. Hobbs Pie, Mash and Liquor is good too (takeaway only). £3.50 both.

Neal's Yard Dairy (also of Covent Garden) is a fine experience, where you can taste widely whilst watching cheese being washed using an antique copper shower head. The cheese is very affordable and beautifully kept in the humid atmosphere of the shop, filled with maturing cheese-wheels. James committs particularly knowledgable service.

Sillfield Farm butcher taught Jimmy Doherty (of BBC Two's Jimmy's Farm) how to make sausages. Theirs are particularly fine as are the Lancs. black pudding rings and black bacon cured in molasses, treacle.

The 'World Famous Chocolate Brownies' [£1.50] from Flower Power City are hyper-chocolatey and vary in consistency depending on who's made them that morning.

Further Links: For more on the market, a charity overseen by trustees, visit: www.boroughmarket.org.uk. For information about the Thameslink 2000 scheme threatening a prominent part of it, and to sign a petition against this, visit: www.sabmac.co.uk/index.html.