Heading to London’s South Bank? Make Borough Market your must-visit pit stop. Stock up on gourmet treats to bring home: its warren of stalls offers everything from Essex Oysters to gooey brownies and vast wheels of cheese. Food writer Ed Smith, author of The Borough Market Cookbook, takes us on a tour behind the scenes.
The Bread Ahead bakery is a 24-hour operation. Its sourdough loaves and sweet treats are proved, shaped and baked throughout the night to first light. Our pick of the bakes? The slow-fermented loaves and the luscious signature doughnuts that are the final addition to the stall every morning.
A coffee from Monmouth is a recalibrating ritual for both stallholders and shoppers. The roasters source their beans from single farms, so you’re guaranteed a perfect, guilt-free cup of joe.
Turnips is famous for its grand displays of seasonal vegetables, from colourful heritage carrots to bounteous piles of wild mushrooms. Don’t miss the deli section, stocked with truffle oils and other store-cupboard sweeteners.
The boys at Southern Italian importers De Calabria are famed for their ’nduja (a spreadable cured sausage) and chilli pastes. Everything here – from the bottles of cloudy olive oil to the rotund wheels of blue-veined cheese – is impeccably sourced.
Fitz Fine Foods is a cornucopia of infused vinegars, unusual oils and seasonal foraged delicacies, such as truffles. Its preserves (wild garlic mustard, sriracha sauce) are rustled up in a cottage kitchen in East Sussex.