Shop local: Borough Market, London, England (2019)

The entry to Borough Market, the most popular daily market in the city, located on the south bank of the River Thames, London, England

The entry to Borough Market, the most popular daily market in the city, located on the south bank of the River Thames, London, England

 

Before we left London to board our ship in Greenwich (about an hour’s drive in bad traffic to the east of Covent Garden in central London), we spent the morning shopping for provisions at the famous Borough Market located on the south bank of the River Thames, London, England.

The Market’s web site has a good history and description: “BOROUGH MARKET is rich with history, but it remains as relevant now as it has ever been.  As London’s oldest food market, it has been serving the people of Southwark for 1,000 years, and that extraordinary heritage is an important part of its appeal.

“But this is not a museum piece—it is a dynamic, ever-changing institution; a participant in the wider debates around what we eat and where it comes from; a place where food is talked about almost as enthusiastically as it is consumed.

“First and foremost, though, it is a source of genuinely exceptional produce. Many of the Market’s stallholders are themselves producers: the farmer who reared the animal, the fisherman who caught the fish, the baker who baked the bread.  Other traders have built their reputations on seeking out small-scale artisan producers and bringing their wares to Borough.  Together, the Market’s stalls, shops and restaurants reflect London’s status as a truly global city, with traditional British produce sitting alongside regional specialities from around the world.

“Borough Market is a riot of colours, smells and human engagement.  The traders — a vast repository of culinary knowledge — are only too happy to share their expertise with shoppers, or else just pass the time of day.  Their voices are added to by the chefs, food writers, campaigners and teachers who help make the Market’s cookery demonstrations, publications, public debates and educational programmes so highly regarded.” – http://boroughmarket.org.uk/

 

A cheese vendor selling Gorwydd Caerphilly cheese in Borough Market, London, England

A cheese vendor selling Gorwydd Caerphilly cheese in Borough Market, London, England

 

A sausage vendor with breakfast and lunch buns for immediate consumption in Borough Market, London, England

A sausage vendor with breakfast and lunch buns for immediate consumption in Borough Market, London, England

 

Mushrooms cooking in a huge vat for walk away snacks of “mushrooms on toast” at the green grocer, Turnip’s, stand in Borough Market, London, England

Mushrooms cooking in a huge vat for walk away snacks of “mushrooms on toast” at the green grocer, Turnip’s, stand in Borough Market, London, England

 

“Borough Market has transformed since I first knew it, but it has always been one of the best examples in the world of not just good produce, but of culture and a growing, sustainable economy.” — Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food

 

A vendor with a variety of meat pies – featured here are the Melton Mowbray pork pies -- in Borough Market, London, England

A vendor with a variety of meat pies – featured here are the Melton Mowbray pork pies — in Borough Market, London, England

 

Just outside the stalls in Borough Market, London, England, is a permanent cheese store, one of several outposts of the famous Neal’s Yard Dairy, where we bought a bagful of cheeses, fresh yoghurt and crème fraiche

Just outside the stalls in Borough Market, London, England, is a permanent cheese store, one of several outposts of the famous Neal’s Yard Dairy, where we bought a bagful of cheeses, fresh yoghurt and crème fraiche to take to the ship for snacks, cooking and eating in our apartment

 

“Neal’s Yard Dairy is a London artisanal cheese retailer and (formerly) cheesemaker, described as “London’s foremost cheese store.”  The store is considered as a forerunner of the British wholefood movement and an important part of the revival of London’s Covent Garden district.  Founded in 1979 by Nick Saunders and Randolph Hodgson as a cheesemaker’s shop, one of their first customers was Monty Python’s John Cleese.  The new owners were still learning how to make cheese, and “had only managed yoghurt that day, so it all rather descended into a ‘Monty Python sketch.’  Despite this rocky start, the store grew from a cheesemaker into a retailer of artisanal, mostly British and Irish cheeses (including farmhouse Cheddar cheese and varieties such as Stinking Bishop), spinning off the cheesemaking operation as Neal’s Yard Creamery in Dorstone, Herefordshire.” — Wikipedia

 

A beautiful and bountiful selection of fresh fish at a fish monger’s stall in Borough Market, London, England

A beautiful and bountiful selection of fresh fish at a fish monger’s stall in Borough Market, London, England

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

London, England (2019)

Carnaby Street is a pedestrianised shopping street in Soho in the City of Westminster, Central London, England, that is home to fashion and lifestyle retailers, including a large number of independent fashion boutiques

Carnaby Street is a pedestrianised shopping street in Soho in the City of Westminster, Central London, England, that is home to fashion and lifestyle retailers, including a large number of independent fashion boutiques

 

“A tireless innovator of art and culture, London is a city of ideas and the imagination.  Londoners have always been fiercely independent thinkers (and critics), but until not so long ago people were suspicious of anything they considered avant-garde.  That’s in the past now, and the city’s creative milieu is streaked with left-field attitude, whether it’s theatrical innovation, contemporary art, pioneering music, writing, poetry, architecture or design.  Food is another creative arena that has become a tireless obsession in certain circles.  This city is deeply multicultural, with one in three Londoners foreign-born, representing 270 nationalities and 300 tongues.  The UK may have voted for Brexit (although the majority of Londoners didn’t), but for now London remains one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, and diversity infuses daily life, food, music and fashion.” – http://www.lonelyplanet.com

 

Kingly Court (off Kingly Street in Soho), City of Westminster, London, England

Kingly Court (off Kingly Street in Soho), City of Westminster, London, England

 

Delicious sandwiches for lunch at the Bread Ahead Cafe in Kingly Court, Soho, City of Westminster, London, England

Delicious sandwiches for lunch at the Bread Ahead Cafe in Kingly Court, Soho, City of Westminster, London, England

 

We were very impressed by how contemporary London has become, from its diversity to the broad range of lifestyle options and a big focus on sustainability -- taking care of the city and the environment

We were very impressed by how contemporary London has become, from its diversity to the broad range of lifestyle options and a big focus on sustainability — taking care of the city and the environment

 

Liberty of London department store, Soho (off Regent Street), City of Westminster, London, England

Liberty of London department store, Soho (off Regent Street), City of Westminster, London, England

 

All Souls Church of Langham Place, London is a 19th-century, working evangelical church, designed by John Nash, with an ornate galleried hall

All Souls Church of Langham Place, London is a 19th-century, working evangelical church, designed by John Nash, with an ornate galleried hall

 

A residential building beautifully adorned with flowers in Soho, City of Westminster, London, England

A residential building beautifully adorned with flowers in Soho, City of Westminster, London, England

 

Wimpole Street, Marylebone, City of Westminster, London, England

Wimpole Street, Marylebone, City of Westminster, London, England

 

“The most famous resident [of Wimpole Street] was the poet Elizabeth Barrett, who lived at 50 Wimpole Street with her family from 1838 until 1846 when she eloped with Robert Browning.  The street became famous from the play based on their courtship, The Barretts of Wimpole Street…  Virginia Woolf memorably describes Wimpole Street in Flush: A Biography, beginning: “It is the most august of London streets, the most impersonal.  Indeed, when the world seems tumbling to ruin, and civilisation rocks on its foundations, one has only to go to Wimpole Street…”.  The street was also given as the address of Henry Higgins by Bernard Shaw in his play Pygmalion and in the musical adaptation My Fair Lady, 27a is given as the address.  22a Wimpole Street is referenced in the Monty Python sketch ‘Secret Service Dentists’. — Wikipedia

 

The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London, England, whose large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden"

The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London, England, whose large building is often referred to as simply “Covent Garden”, after a previous use of the site of the opera house’s original construction in 1732

 

A pianist playing as background for the afternoon (cream) tea and high tea served at the Savoy Hotel, London, England

A pianist playing as background for the afternoon (cream) tea and high tea served at the Savoy Hotel, London, England

 

“Afternoon Tea at The Savoy is an enduring custom that has been a feature of the hotel since it opened in 1889.  The restaurant terrace was a popular venue, as it combined The Savoy’s usual impeccable service with a panoramic view of the Thames.  English weather being what it was, the terrace was soon glazed in and incorporated into the body of the main restaurant, where fashionable couples enjoyed mid-afternoon refreshments.  By the 1920s, Afternoon Tea was a firm tradition at The Savoy.  Surviving menus show that today’s sandwiches, followed by patisserie were then established parts of Afternoon Tea; other offerings included toast, English muffins, ice cream, fruit salad, and boxes of chocolates.  Hot gaufres (a thin sweet waffle) were made to order if requested.  Tea itself might have even be substituted by coffee or hot chocolate.  Such sweet indulgence was offset by a little gentle exercise: The Savoy offered thés dansant, where the house dance bands provided a background of popular tunes, and professional dancers demonstrated the latest steps and danced with the guests.” – www.thesavoylondon.com

 

Afternoon tea at The Savoy with a range of JING teas, finger sandwiches, homemade scones with clotted cream and jam, and a range of delicate and imaginative pastries and signature cakes, London, England

Afternoon tea at The Savoy with a range of JING teas, finger sandwiches, homemade scones with clotted cream and jam, and a range of delicate and imaginative pastries and signature cakes, London, England

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat local — Ottolenghi’s Deli, Belgravia, London, England

Ottolenghi's Deli in the Belgravia neighborhood (13 Motcomb St.) of London, England

Ottolenghi’s Deli in the Belgravia neighborhood (13 Motcomb St.) of London, England

We were very excited during our short visit to London to find that Ottolenghi operates a deli in Belgravia, near where we were spending the day exploring that neighborhood and the Knightsbridge area (which includes Harrods Department Store).  Now based in London, the Jerusalem-born chef and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi has become very popular in the United States as well as Britain and the European Continent.  Ottolenghi’s cooking style is rooted in, but not confined to, his Middle Eastern upbringing: “a distinctive mix of Middle Eastern flavours – Syrian, Turkish, Lebanese, Iranian, Israeli and Armenian – with a western twist”.  We have enjoyed many dishes that we and our friends have prepared from his cookbooks, including Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, Jerusalem, and Plenty.

Salads selection at Ottolenghi's Deli, London, England

Salads selection at Ottolenghi’s Deli, London, England

Roasted aubergine (eggplant) with walnut tahini yoghurt, pomegranate seeds and coriander at Ottolenghi's Deli, London, England

Roasted aubergine (eggplant) with walnut tahini yoghurt, pomegranate seeds and coriander at Ottolenghi’s Deli, London, England

Biscuits and cookbooks at Ottolenghi's Deli, London, England

Biscuits and cookbooks at Ottolenghi’s Deli, London, England

While this location of one of Ottolenghi’s restaurants features primarily take out, we were able to order luncheon plates of a combination of salads plus drinks for lunch.  Our favorite (which we’ve cooked at home) is the roasted aubergine (eggplant) salad.  The pastry selection was difficult!

Pastry selection at Ottolenghi's Deli, London, England

Pastry selection at Ottolenghi’s Deli, London, England

After our lunch at a courtyard table behind the restaurant (there is no interior table service), we enjoyed exploring the Knightsbridge neighborhood, as we headed to some exhibitions at the “V & A” (Victoria and Albert Museum).

The typical residential architecture in the Knightsbridge neighborhood near where Ottolenghi's Deli is located, London, England

The typical residential architecture in the Knightsbridge neighborhood near where Ottolenghi’s Deli is located, London, England

No visit to the Knightsbridge neighborhood is complete without a visit to the Victoria and Albert (

No visit to the Knightsbridge neighborhood is complete without a visit to the Victoria and Albert (“V & A”) Museum, London, England

As an addendum to this blog post, here’s a sample recipe for one of Ottolenghi’s savory salads, from the Ottolenghi.com web site:

Roast butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za’atar

Ottolenghi salad: Roast butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za'atar. Photo by: Colin Campbell, courtesy of the Ottolenghi.com web site

Ottolenghi salad: Roast butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za’atar. Photo by: Colin Campbell, courtesy of the Ottolenghi.com web site

If you want a vegetarian dish to make an impact on the table, this does the job – it looks great and has really complex flavours. Serves four.

1 large butternut squash (around 1.1kg), cut into 2cm x 6cm wedges

2 red onions, cut into 3cm wedges

50ml olive oil

Maldon sea salt and black pepper

3½ tbsp tahini paste

1½ tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp water

1 small garlic clove, crushed

30g pine nuts

1 tbsp za’atar1 tbsp roughly chopped parsley

Method

Heat the oven to to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Put the squash and onions in a large bowl, add three tablespoons of oil, a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper, and toss well. Spread, skin down, on a baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes until the vegetables have taken on some colour and are cooked through. Keep an eye on the onions: they may cook faster than the squash, so may need to be removed earlier. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Put the tahini in a small bowl with the lemon juice, water, garlic and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Whisk to the consistency of honey, adding more water or tahini as necessary

Pour the remaining oil into a small frying pan on a medium-low heat. Add the pine nuts and half a teaspoon of salt, cook for two minutes, stirring, until the nuts are golden brown, then tip the nuts and oil into a small bowl.

To serve, spread the vegetables on a platter and drizzle over the sauce. Scatter the pine nuts and oil on top, followed by the za’atar and parsley.

http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/recipes/salads/roast-butternut-squash-and-red-onion-with-tahini-and-za-atar-shop