Right across the road from my place of work is a fancy little bunch of shops which are collectively known as Borough Market. It lives in the shadow of London Bridge and Southwark Cathedral. It is popular with tourists although I have been a regular visitor for the last 9 years. Once you get to know the place, repeat visits cannot be helped. It has a friendly and informal vibe although the prices are a bit unfriendly.
It boasts of fresh produce from all over Europe. It sells things like special organic fruit and veg, cheeses and wines, artisan breads and chocolates, exotic coffees and ice creams, pesto and harissa, unusual meats like zebra, ostrich and kangaroo, juicy olives and oysters, real parma ham and mozzarella, sausages made of venison and wild boar, drinks with acai berry and wheat germ shots . The staff are fresh too – youthful, talkative and smiley, in colourful aprons wearing headscarves that keep dreadlocks and other forms of untidy but trendy hair in control.
Unlike the rest of London, here everyone has time. People wander around mostly aimlessly, sipping Prosecco from plastic wine glasses, looking closely at the wares, asking questions, tasting samples and discussing options in great details. Even when it is completely packed, the atmosphere is chilled.
For many years we went there every other Friday afternoon. I often had empanadas filled with spinach and ricotta and he had a French duck sandwich. One year my son bought me 2 pots of Jasmine for Mother’s day from the flower shop there. Fragrant and beautiful. As the front of the house gets more sunlight, I put one pot in front of the house and one behind. I also thought it would be nice each time we returned home, and for passers by, to enjoy the fragrance of the tiny white flowers.
The next morning, the pot in front of the house was gone.
Well. I hope whoever took it loves it and looks after it well.
I hope they’re happy wherever they are.