Borough Market is London’s oldest food market, but it’s more than just a place to buy or sell. It’s where people come to connect and awaken their senses. Its inimitable atmosphere attracts visitors from around the world, making Borough Market a major London landmark.
As far back as 1014, and probably much earlier, London Bridge attracted traders selling grain, fish, vegetables and livestock. In the 13th century, traders were relocated to what is now Borough High Street and a market has existed there ever since.
Today, Borough Market is a first-class food market where people can discover the unusual, and rediscover the familiar.
Its atmospheric mix of Victorian, Art Deco and modern architecture hosts a range of attractions, from cookery demonstrations to a monthly Cookbook Club. But the greatest draw is, of course, the food.
Borough Market is synonymous with quality. It is home to over 100 traders selling outstanding British and international produce. People come to buy fresh carrots pulled from the Kent soil just the day before; cheeses the flavours of which reflect the environment in which they were made and which evolve in character day by day; sweet, firm scallops, plucked by hand from the Dorset seabed; beautifully marbled beef from rare-breed cattle, raised on a family farm by one brother, butchered at the market by the other.
A commitment to the environment by reducing waste is a vital part of the market’s identity. None of the rubbish disposed of in the market goes to landfill – cardboard, paper, plastic, glass and wood are all recycled and food waste is sent to an anaerobic digester. In 2017, the market installed three public water fountains – the first in Britain to do so – to help phase out single-use plastic bottles. World-wide media attention ensued, with Borough becoming the inspiration for an industry-wide trend against using plastic bottles. The packaging provided by traders is almost entirely bio-degradable and compostable and the market’s surplus produce is distributed to local charities rather than being thrown away – an initiative that has to date led to over 100,000 meals for those in need. Every year Borough Market also produces its own sustainable beer, brewed from hops grown on site.
Borough Market is a striking venue, making it an outstanding setting for film shoots. Perhaps, most famously, it was home to Bridget Jones in all the film adaptations of her diaries. Bridget’s blue soup may not make it onto the menu at Borough, but for those seeking inspiration, The Borough Market Cookbook has just been published.
Borough Market is a dynamic, ever-changing institution: an incubator for start-ups and social enterprises, a platform for the wider debate around what we eat and where it comes from and an influencer in the world of sustainability, food-waste, ethical farming and education.
Customers are encouraged to eat with the seasons, to consider the social and environmental impact of their purchases, to buy only what’s needed and to eat every bit of it. Their aim is to show that delicious food and deeply held convictions can go hand in hand.
BOROUGH MARKET 8 SOUTHWARK STREET, LONDON, SE1 ITL
+44 (0)20 7402 1002