I found it extremely difficult to choose where to spend my precious free time while in London. How do you see the highlights of one incredible city between 6:30-10pm on weeknights and in just one single weekend? The obvious answer is that you can’t. I could have spent months in London and still not have even scratched the surface.
For me, though, there was one no-brainer. I did some of my own research in the few days before my trip and read about Borough Market, and then it was hammered home when pretty much everyone I met told me it was a must-see for anyone with the slightest interest in food. Safe to say, I have a SLIGHT interest in food. Lucky for me, it was right up the road from my flat in the London Bridge area, so I was up and at ‘em bright and early Saturday morning to beat the crowds.
Borough Market lived up to the hype, and then some. It was opened in 1851 (dates like this are pretty rare stateside!) and sits off of Borough High street just south of the river at London Bridge, twisting its way through multiple buildings and open areas. Vendors sell flowers, fresh produce, meats and poultry, fish and seafood, cheese, baked goods, more cheese, and then more baked goods amidst restaurants hawking their best of the best – chorizo burgers, fish and chips, English sausage rolls.
If I hadn’t done my research, I most likely would have been paralyzed by indecision on the food front and possibly have ended up in bed all day with a fish and chips induced stomach ache. And in all transparency, when I say “research,” I mean noticing this interesting little Google nugget when looking it up:
Grilled cheese, you say?
So THEN I did some research and found rave reviews by foodies all over the world, touting the toasted cheese at Borough Market “the world’s best grilled cheese.” I was armed with a plan, a latte from Monmouth Coffee Co., and prepared to wait in any length line.
I found my way to the Kappacasein stall after a few loops through the market both by the identifying the long line and the smell of cheese from about 50 feet away. I paid my 5 pounds, was handed a ticket, then spent about 5 minutes considered changing my order to the raclette, a melted cheese that they were burning and shaving off into big gooey piles of it onto roasted potatoes.
I managed to hold strong only after noticing the sign stating that they add grilled leeks and garlic to their grilled cheese, and then noticed the case of “raw” sandwiches, waiting to be grilled – shredded sharp white cheddar on sourdough with tiny hints of purple peeking out from the leeks.
Like the market, the grilled cheese met every single ounce of my expectations… buttery, crunchy, salty, gooey… and I’m pretty sure I’ll never again want a grilled cheese without the added punch of leeks and garlic. I will find SOME way in this lifetime to return to the Borough Market to experience this glory again.