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London’s Borough Market

Situated just south of London Bridge is Borough Market, one of London’s many culinary treasures. As the city’s oldest food market, it oozes tradition while celebrating British cuisine and international culinary delights. Think mouth-watering produce; mix it with great surrounds and a friendly atmosphere and it’s no surprise that Borough Market is a favourite with OrganicFoodees and chefs alike. But are the proposed plans for the overhead railway leaving the markets outlook in the balance? Here, Rosie Dyer investigates the speciality foods on offer, and considers Borough Market’s future.

Wandering through the twists and turns of Borough Market on a cold crisp morning I feel as though I have stepped back in time. Hidden between the cobbled streets of South East London, it’s a stones throw away from the hustle and bustle of the modern financial district of this ancient city, and yet it still possesses the old-fashioned charm of a Dickensian novel. To my left a weathered-looking fruit and veg seller bellows in a thick cockney accent “Avocados!!!! two for paaand!!!”, while to my right is a stunning display of real ale bottles, their olive green necks glistening in the morning sunlight. Deeper into the market lies Maria’s café where gingham-dressed tables are jam-packed with hungry customers tucking into their steaming hot bubble baps, a traditional British sandwich filled with mashed potatoes fried with cabbage. Looking around at their cheery faces I become aware that this is not just any market - to people who appreciate good, real food this is THE British market.

Despite having just celebrated its 250th birthday, a plan for rail development at London Bridge Station poses serious problems for the future of the Borough Market. If the estimated £3.5 million (US $7 million) funding for the scheme is raised, much of the original structure and surrounding areas could be destroyed, leaving the future of the market in the balance. British Rail’s plan is to build a concrete and steel viaduct through Borough High Street and destroy over 20 Grade II listed and unlisted historic building