Borough Market

borough market

February 9th, 2013

A market is said to have existed on or near the current site of Borough Market since 1014.  The current buildings were erected between 1851 and 1860. They have seen a considerable amount of change over the last ten years – next week sees the reopening of Three Crown Square, closed for building work and refurbishment since 2009.

market hall

market hall

Borough Market acts as a wholesale food market from 2 – 8 am and since the late 90’s on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays it houses a retail market selling fine foods to the general public. It can be busy at lunchtimes, when local office workers visit to buy hot food and sandwiches. It’s especially busy on Saturdays, being popular with tourists and those looking to purchase high quality and exotic foods.

poultry and game

furness poultry and game

Furness Fish, Poultry and Game is very popular, with a meat stall selling hare, partridge, pheasant, roe deer, (hanging in the picture above) etc., when in season

furness fish

furness fish

and a spectacular selection of fish



which very few fishmongers in London can equal.


wyndham house poultry

There are still a considerable amount of game birds on sale, but as the season has finished it’s likely to be the last week they are available, until the end of next Autumn.

green market

green market

The market is made up of several areas, with railway lines from London Bridge Station crossing above them. Passing through a Victorian railway arch into the Green Market, next to Southwark Cathedral, it’s sad to see that some things haven’t changed in 150 years – there’s a Dickensian looking old man begging next to the right hand side of the archway.

bread ahead

bread ahead

Bread Ahead Bakery stood out from other bakers at the market with their spectacular Le Pain Grand – middle left, which must be nearly 3 feet long!



There is, of course, a large selection of vegetables, including pears from Kent and tomatoes from the Isle of White.

cannon and cannon

cannon and cannon

I was completely blown away by the British charcuterie sold by Cannon and Cannon,

venison chorizo

venison chorizo

in particular their Scottish venison chorizo, which was so good it could have come from Spain.

borough cheese company

borough cheese company

I particularly enjoy the fact that you can try the cheese and cured meats before you buy.



There were at least three stalls selling Comté cheese. My favourite being the Comté sold by the Borough Cheese Company.

neal's yard dairy

neal’s yard dairy

As an additional bonus, Borough Market is surrounded by shops, bars and restaurants, such as Brindisa, Monmouth Coffee Company, Neal’s Yard DairyThe GlobeThe Wright Brothers, etc.

I hadn’t visited for a while until recently, but it has struck me that Borough is every bit as good as the Boqueria in Barcelona and other old school European markets.

Borough Market is at: 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL

About Mad Dog
This entry was posted in Barcelona, Drink, Eating Out, Fish, Food, Game, Meat, Restaurants, Shopping, Spanish and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Borough Market

  1. Tessa says:

    What a cool place to visit! I would have an incredibly difficult time leaving empty handed! My son is planning a two week visit to London late summer before school starts in the fall. I will be sure to share this post with him. Have a great weekend!

  2. rutheh says:

    Woud be lovely to be there and shop in the market. Thanks for the wonderful tour.

  3. Haven’t been in a while, but would love to go again, might end up spending a fortune though.
    Thanks for reminding me of this lovely place.

  4. I would be lugging a lot of bags home from the market…it is great.

  5. That looks incredible – I’ve now got serious market envy. It’s torture 😉

  6. Eha says:

    Thank you so much for the fantastic pictorial series. Conor Bofin brought this Market to my attention a few weeks back when we were talking about availability of kangaroo meat. Now I have a much better idea of what is available 🙂 !

  7. Conor Bofin says:

    You are very lucky MD. Such a selection of fantastic fresh ingredients.

  8. Great post, love all the photos and details. What an amazing market, such a range of products, especially all those hard-to-find British goodies like Cornish squid and Scottish venison chorizo! I love the idea that you can find so much in one place. It must be the best, if not the biggest, gourmet market in the UK, no? Haven’t been for over 10 years. Definitely on the list for next visit!

  9. Nice tour of the market. It was good to see how it’s developed. I used to hire a studio (Duthy Hall) just up the road in Grt.Guildford St. That area has really taken off. The big difference between Borough and a good provincial French or Spanish market would be the prices demanded. The Boqueria in Barcelona may be the same, but Barcelona is Barcelona:)

    • Mad Dog says:

      I can remember photographing a band in the old market, when it was just wholesale and on the brink of closing down. It definitely isn’t cheap and I can buy most things cheaper elsewhere. The Boqueria isn’t cheap either, but there are some cuts of meat, especially offal, which are much cheaper abroad. However, it is a great place to find the finest produce under one roof or umbrella 😉

  10. Love it. I’m a massive advocate of local markets and British produce. Time we started shouting about it a bit more! Thanks for posting.

  11. ChgoJohn says:

    Wow! I’d visit London just to see that market, MD. And then get caught upon landing at O’Hare, trying to smuggle some venison into the country.

  12. cecilia says:

    Right, this one is going on my list too! And once again oh How I wish I had had you or at the very least your blog when i lived in london! c

    • Mad Dog says:

      Gosh I thought you’d been to Borough Market! Never mind, I’ll meet you there when you come over too, followed by a glass of wine at the Tate 😉

      • cecilia says:

        I may have been there.. I definitely went to a huge covered market.. but I should have explored more.. often I stumbled across places .. not really knowing where I was!! c

  13. cecilia says:

    Have you seen this fellows blog yet.

    he said that he made scotch apples today.

    He says
    “I’ve been making Scotch Eggs from the free range, rare breed hens at the farm, surrounded by sausage meat from the organic principles pork. They’ve been going down very well, in fact sold out within a hour at the Real Food market on London’s South Bank”

    have you been there? … c

  14. Ah… so you are Mad Dog – was following you anyway! Cecilia has just introduced us. I might be there one day next weekend, but I really need to be concentrating on making the scotch eggs and other stuff , plus the new project – a kind of pop up restaurant on the farm. it may be Steve who owns the farm and a helper next weekend. But my scotch eggs’ll be there.

    • Mad Dog says:

      Hi Linda, I think I’d better visit the stall with my friend Fiona, who loves Scotch eggs – hopefully you’ll be there.
      I like the sound of the Farm Pop up restaurant 😉

  15. It is amazing isn’t it – expensive but lovely. And I know of Brindisa because one of the sales guys from the company knocked my dad (who was thankfully only rather bruised, but lucky for a nearly 80 year old) off his vespa about a year ago 😦 Not on purpose, I hasten to add!

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