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Borough Market

New York
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Borough Market

We were over in London last year for a few days and were disappointed not to get to Borough Market. We are coming for a longer vacation in a few months. Two questions I would like some impartial views on;

Is Borough Market the best of the London markets. Suppose we are looking for typical London atmosphere. Do the stall holders still shout out in Cockney slang or is that just a huge stereotype now?

Secondly what is the best morning to visit?

Thank you

Solihull
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1. Re: Borough Market

See opening times here. It is not fully open every day

http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk/

I think it is more of a "tourist" market now than a general local market.

Edited: 11 April 2013, 17:49
London
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2. Re: Borough Market

I see the spirit of Oliver/Dick Van Dyke is not yet dead:)

No it is not a 'Cockney' barrow market. It is a posh-ish artisan food market. (Many stallholders are foreign anyway). Not sure where you'd get that these days anyway, frankly.

I think the best time for Borough is Friday between 11 and 12. The most stalls with the - relatively - least crush of people, but I have a low tolerance for crowds, esp those taking endless photos. You may feel OK with that of course in which case Sat is also fine.

There are other food markets - Kerb (Kings Cross), Exmouth market, the Real Food Market on the South Bank and Islington (Chapel) market, probably others. Not as extensive but good for a look if you're in the area (they all have websites with opening times and stall info).

New York
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3. Re: Borough Market

Thank you - real shame barrow markets seem to be a thing of the past - or have they only ever existed in films anyway? We had been told that Spitalfields was a good one but you don't mention this? I think we will stick with Borough and look to go on a Friday morning.

Dallas, Texas
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4. Re: Borough Market

https://www.facebook.com/maltbystreet

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g186338-d3…

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London, United...
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5. Re: Borough Market

The only market I have come across recently where I have heard stallholders 'calling' is Walthamstow. Pretty authentic but not much for tourists . As PW says, many of the stall holders at Borough are really quite posh as they are often small scale producers. Each time I go to Borough there seems to be fewer people actually buying food to prepare and more just there for lunch.

London
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6. Re: Borough Market

Spitalfields is good - I haven't been for a while, maybe a year or more - but while it has some food stalls, it isn't really a food market per se.

Not sure about the Cockney thing. I'm sure there are some 'local markets for local people' as it were like Broadway market. Possibly a bit of local trading floor flavour at Billingsgate, New Covent Garden or Smithfield at 4 am. Maybe depends how dedicated you are!

London, United...
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7. Re: Borough Market

Spitalfields has been completely gentrified and now serves the local high flying finance worker population.

Traditional English markets are probably not much fun for tourists because they sell things of interest to llocal people. I used to work near St James's Park tube station and thought o the lunchtime Strutton Ground market as being fairly typical. The traders are not necessarily cockneys, but the atmosphere is authentic. It's worth stopping by if you're in the neighbourhood (e.g. seeing Westminster Abbey) but not worth a separate trip.

I have a friend who is a retired market trader. In his time he sold underwear at many of the street markets of London. He says they are very different now then when he started out (in the 1970s).

London, United...
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8. Re: Borough Market

By the by, I love Borough Market, but it is definitely an upmarket food market, not a general market. Although many of the visitors are tourists, it is also apparently the visitor attraction most visited by Londoners. Fridays and Saturdays are definitely the best times to visit. The stalls are reduced in number the rest of the week.

London, United...
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9. Re: Borough Market

For more "authentic" markets try Broadway Market, Roman Road or on a sunday the Columbia Road flower market.

New York
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10. Re: Borough Market

Thanks very much. I shall look into Broadway market in greater detail and Strutton market sounds awesome as well.