One of the most common mistakes a tourist will make is to confuse Tower Bridge with London Bridge. I made such a mistake, but thank goodness for learning from Google in the comfort of my blankets.
This post is a continuation from our start in Old Spitalfields Market.
On our way to London Bridge we threaded our way past the London Monument, a memorial for the Great Fire of London. In the distance not too far away we could see the Shard, and soon enough we crossed London Bridge.
You know it’s London Bridge because the plaque reads so. From there you can also see Tower Bridge and this caused quite a lot of confusion and revelation for us all at the same time.
As we passed over the bridge we were confronted suddenly by the sugary sweet clouds of a candied peanut cart, found all over the South Bank. £2 will get you a cupful of crunchy toffee nuts and, although a definite indulgence, the cup is a hot treat that will carry you all the way to Borough Market.
Ah, Borough Market. Found nestled by an old church and partially underneath another bridge, Borough Market is a treat for all senses except for touch, because for a while all you’ll feel is saliva filling up your mouth. The smells were incredible and the area filled to bursting with people milling around tables filled to bursting with food confounded us.
Our first stop was at a German deli stall where they were frying the juiciest sausages I have seen. The thick, nine-inch bratwurst (£4.50) covered in tangy sauerkraut, German mustard and ketchup was our first snack and we stood munching it in glorious bliss as we watched another stall make raclette. Raclette is a Swiss dish where the top part of a wheel of cheese is grilled and then scraped off, in this case, onto a bed of new potatoes and fried onions. That particular stall had amazing grilled cheese sandwiches prepared in their case as well, with at least a full inch of shredded cheddar packed in between thin slices of sourdough.
The next place that really caught our attention was scotchtails’ stall, where following their Instagram account meant £1 off a lovely scotch egg. For those of you who don’t know, a scotch egg is a soft-boiled egg encased in pork, coated in batter and breadcrumbs and deep-fried. Ours in particular was attained after a 10-minute wait (during which I downloaded Instagram, signed up and followed their account) and it came piping hot on a bed of fresh rocket (£3.50 after discount; £4.50 normally).
As we stood there taking turns taking bites out of the fantastic little beastie, we couldn’t help but regret the £15 we had spent earlier on bad pho. London’s good food resides in its markets.
The market was filled with stalls of sweet foods as well as savoury foods, and we bought an immensely rich brownie to satisfy our last need for dessert. We partook of that brownie sparingly, because every bite was enough to spread a rich chocolate taste throughout our mouths. As we walked around we noticed large, colourful meringues, massive face-sized cookies and dozens of delectable tarts and slices.
Finally, finally, our bellies filled, we meandered our way around to a nearby library and then passed through Hay’s Galleria to Tower Bridge. The air was crisp, trees were lit (it was December, after all), the Thames warbled on and the pavement was busy.
Oh London, how you dazzle.