Sunday, 31 May 2009

Spitalfields Market

After having a long night of fun and debauchery with my roommates I woke in the late morning in search of the perfect hangover cure. The sun was out, I had nothing to do with my day and Spitalfields Market was calling my name. I stumbled to the train station and soon found myself at Liverpool Street where my cure awaited. How comforting it was to be surrounded by other hungover folks having a bit of the hair of the dog and eating good street vendor food. Only the biggest and loudest sunglasses would do and the warm weather seemed to really inspire everyone to look their best. There are vendors selling everything from vintage clothes to handmade cards to beautiful screen printed lampshades. I can't even begin to describe all the amazing food that is sold there. Hot curries, homemade crepes and doughnuts, authentic Thai and gorgeous Greek food just to name a few things. The vibe is young and trendy- four out of five hipsters agree, Spitalfields Market is THE place to be seen on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

After taking a walk around I decided first and foremost I needed to drink a pint at a bar called "The Gun". It was delicious and cold and what made it even better was that I got to take it outside and people watch. My mind kept wondering back this vegetarian Ethiopian vendor I had seen so I tore myself away from my standing post (a second pint was extremely appealing...oh still is appealing....) and go get some food. Five pounds got me an injera bread roll filled with lovely spicy pulses and a side salad of cabbage, greens, potatoes and beautiful shiny olives. I perched myself amongst the crowd and fell in love with the food on my plate. The heat of the pluses perfectly complimented the cool salad and while at first I thought it seemed strange to have olives on my plate, they turned out to be just what it needed. The texture, the flavors...everything worked. As I threw my plate in the trash can I noted my hangover was gone. Mission accomplished. I then wandered around, blatentley took pictures of unsuspecting hipsters and called it a day.

I have never been much of a market/festival type gal. Just ask anyone who's been to the Tomato Festival with me in Nashville. I always ruin the fun by whining about the crowd, making fun of the seemingly pointless crafts and getting irritated with people trying to sell me dumb shit. I am done after about ten minutes and make my friends leave their fun early to take me home. (Sorry Chris) But something about the markets here really do it for me and I think it's mainly to do with the food. I'm currently having a small affair with market food and am loving it. I now stop and ponder the crafts, enjoy the crowd (most of the time) and don't mind when people walk way too slow in front of me. It goes hand in hand with summer in London and I now look forward to the weekends when all the markets are in full swing. So don't be surprised if you see a lot more market food on here. One day I'll stay home and cook but right now, knowing there's a market full of cute hipsters and yummy food out there, I'm out the door in a flash with no regrets.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Borough Market

I have a new Saturday tradition of spending the afternoon at Borough Market, and it's a good tradition indeed. It's a market unlike anything I've ever seen! It's right near London Bridge and boasts some of the most amazing food vendors ever. There are surrounding pubs and cafes with lots of outdoor seating and people just hang out and laugh, drink, eat and look pretty. However, the vibe is not super hipster-y or upity as everyone is welcome at Borough Market. There are locals, tourists taking pictures right and left, cute families, lovers, friends coming together after a long weeks work or people like me, there on their own to soak in the wonderful atmosphere and perhaps catch a few rays of sunshine.

Twice I have visited the Market and twice I have eaten amazing food. There is food of ALL kinds there. The first time I went I got a homemade veggie burger made with quinoa, fresh vegetables and spices all tucked in a homemade wheat bun. It was all grown and made locally and cost me four pounds. The next time I ate a falafel which was equally as amazing and cheap. I've also tried the world famous brownies (there's a reason for that reputation. my god. those brownies....) and a fresh blackberry and apple juice. Again, all local and organic. There are stands that have giant pots of homemade curry. I mean, I could easily lay down and take a nap in them they are so giant. Other than hot meal stands there are lovely cheeses, vinegars, salts, granola, bread, tons of fresh vegetables and specialty liquors, wines and beers. That only begins to cover it. Oh, and since you can have an open container just about anywhere in London, people walk around with pints of beer, flutes of champagne and glasses of wine while shopping and talking. A grassy area hosts tons of people having a nice picnic or you can go sit by the River Thames and watch the cruise boats pass by. There are windy back roads that lead to other areas of the market and along the way are many ice cream trucks. I am interested in going to the Clink Prison Bar, where I'm pretty sure you can sit in an old prison cell and drink with friends. I don't know, something about that sounds pretty awesome. This paragraph only skims the surface of what Borough Market has to offer. Perhaps I'll continue to tell you my tales of Saturday afternoons spent there. That is only if you can control your envy.

I hopped into tourist mode and took some pictures along the way. Check it out!

Thames and Falafel and Bridge

A beautiful day indeed

I just doesn't stop being awesome...

The most amazing brownies in the world

The grassy area mentioned earlier. Oh, don't mind that church for stealing the spotlight

The clink prison bar/museum

More grassy area....

Giant pots of homemade curry

And finally, 'Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy'-Benjamin Franklin

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