Since moving to Lincoln five years ago, I've gone from visiting London every two or three months, to visiting only every two-three years. In all honesty, I hadn't really been missing it. I've been so enamoured recently with northern cities and as the last few times I'd passed through it had been for two of the worst job interviews/days of my whole life, I wasn't in a rush to get back. But a couple of weeks ago for Dave's birthday, we decided it was time to get out of Lincoln for a bit and spend a day rediscovering our love for the capital. Spoiler alert, London is well and truly back in my good books thanks to a full day of amazing food, much of which happened at our first stop of the day, Borough Market.
I'd never been to Borough Market before but Dave was in charge of itinerary and when we first reached the city he wanted to stop by to grab some lunch. It quickly exceeded all my expectations and I was in foodie/hipster heaven. I could have spent all day there. I could happy live in the market actually if they would let me.
I've talked a few times about my love for street food, but as most street food vans anywhere I've lived are pretty questionable, its mostly come from street food restaurants, which are a wholly different experience. (I would take either over a trip to a 'fancy' restaurant, any day of the week though.) The atmosphere across the whole of the market was so friendly, despite it being absolutely freezing and they didn't seem bothered by our constant photo taking either. Because we went on a Monday, it was pretty quiet and not all the traders were there. We were still spoilt for choice though and had to wander round several times before we could make a decision on what we wanted to eat.
Eventually we both settled on Nana Fanny's. A family run stall, serving salt beef bagels and falafel wraps. As soon as we arrived home Dave was straight onto google trying to figure out how to make salt beef, so that should be proof enough that we enjoyed it. I don't actually know how to describe the salt beef except that some sort of witchcraft or sacrifice to the gods must have happened while we were looking the other way. The bagels come fresh from a bakery in Brick Lane and the blowtorch melted cheese was a nice touch. My falafel wrap came with a mixture of spices, salad and probably the best falafels I've ever had (although I'll admit that isn't a long list, I was looking at falafel recipes as soon as we got home.) The stall owners were so lovely, we got to choose exactly what went into our meals as they prepared them and when we walked past later they even asked for our thoughts about the food. Every person there seemed to really love the food they were making and it definitely showed.
The market has a gorgeous indoor seating area filled with plants where we sat to eat our food. Even in winter this was really lovely, and it has large windows that on a sunnier day would make it a fantastic dining area. This really set Borough Market apart from any other market I've been to as well. When I'd been told we were visiting a market this wasn't what I expected at all.
Before we left we had to check out the dessert options (even though we were on our way to have cake, but I'll be giving that its own post soon) and I fell in love Comptoir Gourmand. Choosing just one thing to buy from their stall was the most upsetting thing I'd had to deal with in weeks (I know, first world problems over here) but we had another 8 hours of exploring to do and I didn't fancy carrying a box of eclairs on the underground all day. Eventually I settled on a giant raspberry macaron filled with white chocolate ganache. I'm usually all about the miniature desserts but giant macaron are words that I just couldn't resist.
Our final stop of the market was Tea2You where we picked up some masala chai teas to take away with us for a stroll across the river. I've talked many times about my obsession with chai tea but this one topped them all. Their own blend of loose leaf chai tea, served with freshly grated ginger, honey and black pepper, this was the perfect thing to keep us warm as we strolled around and I now don't know why anyone bothers serving chai any other way. Once again the woman we spoke to in Tea2You was one of the nicest people I've ever met and the service was faultless.
I just can't put into words how amazed with Borough Market I was (if you think I'm excitable in this post you did not want to see me when we were there). It has such a strong identity and I just love everything they're about. It filled me with inspiration for new recipes and flavours to try and it was a lovely start to our visit to talk to so many interesting people about food. If you've never been to Borough Market before, I couldn't recommend it enough. You can find more information about the market and the rest of their vendors here.