Friday, May 3, 2013

Borough Markets - Brick Lane

We spent a day of perfect London Spring weather in Oxford Street yesterday doing last minute shopping for the weekend.  On our way home around 6.00pm we observed a London warm weather phenomena at The York on Upper Street Islington. There were hundreds of people including lots of men in suits all drinking their pints outside the pub on the pavement (and sitting in the gutters)...... just enjoying the warmth.....and after work (on a Thursday!) drinkers' conviviality.

We set out a bit earlier today, with Joel as tour director, by Underground from Old Street to London Bridge station - and then a short walk to the famous Borough Markets.  It was fairly quiet to begin with - lots of space to admire the beautiful fresh produce: mushrooms of every shape and species......

.....and fresh figs only 50p each.

I loved the punch to the nostrils of arranging mounds of garlic with bunches of lavender.

 ...and these are the fattest artichokes I've seen in all our travels so far....

We stopped for coffee and cacao tea(!) and then could not resist spelt croissants from this wonderful bakery.

.....before admiring the artistry of these guys slicing the Spanish cured hams (and sampling the goods).

The Borough Markets have been in this spot in London for a good 150 years or so, at least.

A wheat grass Zinger proved to be a great aperitif for the main course:

Baguettes filled with bar-b-qued lamb (and venison for me), salad and a sauce verte, enjoyed in the sunny grounds of the grand old Southwark Cathedral (yum).

From here it was easy walk across London Bridge to Monument station - giving us a great view across to Tower Bridge.

 ..then a short Underground trip from Monument to Aldgate East, and we'd arrived at the southern, still very multicultural end of Brick Lane.

Joel has already learnt a fair bit about the street art history of this area so it was great to explore the laneways with him and check out the work and see which artists and what messages were dominating.

It was great for us to see the work of some of the artists we'd seen in Berlin and compare the messages. Other than the art work and the busy curry restaurants at the southern end of Brick Lane it was pretty quiet today. Previously we'd visited this area on a weekend when it is absolute mayhem.

Today we spent a bit of time too in Hoxton - Shoreditch, admiring the design shops and boutiques lining the streets.

 ..and more street art.

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