Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Living without Supermarkets

Blog readers will know that I am giving up shopping in supermarkets for Lent. Just three days into the challenge I am shopping at local stores, finding local producers and shopping at markets. Today I visited Borough Market in London. The market is situated underneath the railway at London Bridge station, right next to Southwark Cathedral. You can see the windows of the houses in the background of this photo. This was used for the location filming of one of the Harry Potter films, it was the setting for 'Diagonalley' - next time you watch the film look for it. Wonderful, fresh produce can be bought here and it is getting a well deserved reputation as a 'foodie heaven'. You will usually see a camera crew somewhere round the market.
Fishmongers and butchers sell the best quality produce and such variety you will see nowhere else. Today I bought half a pigs head and some pigs trotters! My Mum grew up not far from here during the Second World War, and she was thrilled when I presented her with her favourite comfort food. Pigs head and trotters are used to make 'brawn'.

Lots of city types come to Borough Market to buy lunch. Perhaps a toasted 'Raclette' cheese sandwich from Switzerland, Spanish chorizo sausage in a ciabatta roll, and ostrich burger - yes ostrich burger!, Lebanese felafal with tabbouleh salad, or perhaps just a good old fashioned English pie and mash. You won't go hungry at Borough Market and there are plenty of free samples to keep the wolf from the door as well!
So, am I missing those tasteless tomatoes from Sainsburys? Those pale, pathetic chickens from Tesco?
Er... no.


At 10:48 PM, Blogger Crafty Gardener said...

I used to love going to the markets in Britain and I really miss them. We have markets here, but on a much smaller scale and of course only in the nice weather.

At 2:46 AM, Blogger kate said...

The market looks like a wonderful place to go and buy food... and just wander about.

You are lucky to have a market like this about ... we'd freeze if we tried this here ... which leaves the darn supermarkets.

At 4:52 PM, Blogger Digital Flower Pictures said...

I am not sure if I could give up the convenience of shopping at my supermarket but it looks like you are doing well with it. Thanks for the pictures of the markets, those were very enjoyable.

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Sue Swift said...

I'm a South Londoner but am ashamed to say I've never visited the market. It's on my list for the next time I'm home in London.

Just to let you know that the Garden Bloggers' Carnival is now on, and your nomination was posted today.


At 11:56 PM, Blogger Petunia's Gardener said...

Hey, I've been there. Very nice indeed. Came home with some lemon curd jam I believe. I will look forward to more tours as you continue your alternative shopping. Thanks for sharing!

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

Good for you Matron to stay clear of those pesky supermarkets. ;-)

What a lovely market Borough market is. What a lot of food they have on offer and it all looks so very appetizing too. Must go there too when I'm in London again.

At 8:20 PM, Blogger HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS ... said...

That pig's head looks familiar! My dad was a pig farmer and my mum would often have a pig's head braising away in her preserving pan to make brawn. Cooked in this way the meat is very succulent, not so keen on the nostrils and hairy ears though! x

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Martin said...

The Gibbons' family have banned supermarkets. . . .for ever.

I am surprised that there aren't more people like us. Here's my blog post on the subject.


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