Saturday, 22 November 2008
Back to the old neighbourhood
For the first two years I lived in London I was very lucky indeed and I got to work at the famous Borough Market, bastion of all things foodie. It all happened a bit by accident, but I wasn't sorry. Not on the days when it was freezing and the wind chill was so much that you'd have a bath and still go to bed cold to the bone, only to wake up the next morning at dawn and do it all over again. In the end it did get a bit much, and despite moving around and changing the food I worked with I had to give in and decide it wasn't for me anymore.
But those two years were fantastic, they did a lot for me as a person, and loads for my love of food. I learnt so much and was surrounded by people who loved food like I did. Since I've left I've shed a few pounds (there's nothing like a brownie to keep you warm in the long cold January!), but I've retained some of the friends and am always welcomed back with cheery smiles.
Today I was back to show round some friends who've lived in London for years but never experienced it and wanted a guide. It was so much fun; we pottered around, bought nice things (I was very restrained and bought only veg and fruit....although I'm hoping I'll get a share in the olives and cheese N bought!) When it got too much for the boys they retired to the pub and we continued our stagger, aided by hot cider to keep out the chill (It's FREEZING here at the moment, and there are rumours of snow!).
All in all it was a lovely day. So many amazing smells and it brought it all back. I don't think it'll be so long before I return, in fact I think in a few weeks time I'll be there stocking up on coffee and cranberries, and yes probably some chocolate this time!
It was like a food adventure all over again, and I know our friends had loads of fun. It might be a bit expensive, but it's worth it, it really is and this time of year is perfect for it: traders are cold, but festive and cheery (because the long cold slow slog of January and February is still a while away) there are smells of the hot wines and ciders, the roasting fruit and veg, and the air is chilly but bright. We saw Borough at it's very best, and yes, for the first time since I left I actually missed being the other side of the stalls.