Over the past week I have come to really understand how diverse a city London is. Through exploration of two markets within walking distance of one another; I was shown drastically different socioeconomic and cultural aspects of London’s south bank.
On Wednesday I visited Borough Market, which is a covered series of stalls selling a variety of goods from fresh bread, cheese, wine, juice, and, fresh fish wrapped in newspaper, and cured meats. This labyrinth of interesting colors, foods, and languages reminds me of Pike’s place market in Seattle, Washington. However, the large Asian population in the vendors gives this market an interesting touch. In addition, walking through the wide walkways I noticed a variety of different people, from men in suits walking to work, to construction workers grabbing a quick-lunch to take away to their site. The quiet atmosphere I experienced was much different from the way this area comes to life on a Saturday night when it is abuzz with the sound of people enjoying a night out with friends or family. I spoke with a bread maker who spoke of the Borough market environment. It is clear that this market if geared towards high quality everyday items at affordable prices that the average Londoner can afford.
Today i took the advice of a friend who lives here in London a visited Maltby Street Market. While there, I was pleasantly surprised by the appearance of this otherwise non – identifiable alleyway in the middle of south London. Once I crossed the threshold I was greeted by a variety of delicious bright sights and smells, from salty fried calamari, to sweet pungent fruit tarts, to scrumptious saffron filled piella, to rich smoky barbecued pork. The high quality of food offered, from gourmet waffles with barbecue duck and egg (pictured above) to exotic olive oils and pastries. As these men explain, the high quality of items to be consumed on the premises or used for special occasions are very unique to the area. Now, I could go on and on about how I felt like a true local exploring this hidden diamond in the rough of a marketplace, but I think this post says it best. Whereas Borough Market was more of the working man’s marketplace, Maltby Street is definitely geared towards a higher end clientele who appreciate the finer, high quality products sold.