Visit London Blog » borough market Enjoy the very best of London Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Guest Editor: Gordon Ramsay Thu, 16 Jan 2014 11:45:53 +0000
We asked world-famous, London-based chef, restaurateur and TV personality Gordon Ramsay to share his London Story. Watch the video above.

During our interview Gordon mentioned more of his favourite London things and experiences and we’ve used this to populate our homepage for 16-19 Jan 2014

Experience London the way Gordon does with his five top tips on what to see and do in London.

Albert Bridge

The Grade II-listed Albert Bridge over the River Thames was built in 1873, connecting Chelsea to the north with Battersea to the south. The bridge is sometimes known as “the trembling lady” in reference to the effect caused when large numbers of people walk across it, and indeed there are even signs warning troops to break step when crossing (although since the nearby Chelsea Barracks closed in 2008, the bridge is no longer regularly used by soldiers). An extensive, multi-million pound refurbishment in recent years included the installation of thousands of LED lights that illuminate the bridge at night. As Gordon Ramsay rightfully opines, Albert Bridge: “Looks stunning during the day and at night is picturesque.”

Brick Lane

“Whenever we’re returning from a long journey, the first thing we do is go out for a curry. I’ve been to India but I find curries in Brick Lane better; it’s that good.” This is Gordon Ramsay’s glowing recommendation for the area of London that is famous for its Indian, Bangledeshi and Pakistani curry houses. Stretching from Bethnal Green Road to the north, through Spitalfields and onto Whitechapel High Street in the south, this bustling East London street includes more restaurants than you could ever dream of visiting in one lifetime (including Sheba, the Best UK Curry House in Cobra’s 2013 curry guide). Decision making is often down to which curry house has the most persuasive staff member and best special deals as you saunter along the one-kilometre-stretch of Brick Lane.

Borough Market

Borough Market’s gourmet food market consists of up to 70 stalls and stands that open from Thursday to Saturday. Producers from all over the country bring a range of fresh produce to the market, including fish, meats, vegetables, ciders, cheeses, breads, coffees, cakes and patisseries; while other stalls specialise in produce imported from abroad. The market’s proximity to London’s newest icon The Shard, and the popular tourist area of Southbank, give it “must see” status on any London visitor’s itinerary.

Boris Bikes

The Barclays Cycle Hire scheme – known playfully as Boris Bikes – stretches across Central London from Shepherd’s Bush (and the Westfield London Shopping Mall) in West London, to East India DLR station in East London. The network extends as far south as Oval Cricket Ground and as far north as the Stable Markets in Camden. Since the bikes’ introduction in 2010, more than 24 million journeys have been made, averaging 18 to 28 minutes. Further extensions to the cycling scheme are planned for Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth, Kensington & Chelsea, and Wandsworth, which should prove welcome news to Gordon Ramsay, who lives and works in these key areas. Gordon says the scheme, “has transformed London, given it so much more flow. What an exciting thing to do when you’re coming to London for the first time: see this beautiful city on a bike, the wind rushing through your hair.”

Vingt-Quatre, now known as VQ

Vingt-Quatre is French for 24, so as the name suggests, this café-restaurant on the Fulham Road in west London is open 24 hours a day. Gordon Ramsay’s “secret place for an amazing fry up” offers a mixed menu of traditional restaurant food (mainly served before midnight) and dishes that can be ordered at any time of the day or night. Beans on toast at 2am? No problem. Burgers at seven in the morning? But, of course. The food here, in Gordon’s eyes, is “to die for”, and has recently proved popular enough to convince the owners to open a second 24-hour VQ Bloomsbury near Tottenham Court Road Tube station.

You’ll discover more stories and enter a competition to win a fantastic stay in London at #TheLondonStory

What would you recommend to visitors to London?

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London’s Top Five Street Food Trends Tue, 17 Sep 2013 13:56:23 +0000

Calling all foodies! If you want to sink your teeth into one of the latest food trends, visit one of London’s fabulous food markets.

Biskie inventor and London food market insider Annabel from Cutter & Squidge has spilled the beans on what’s hot on the London street food scene right now.

1. Go Local
What? Growing numbers of market traders are using ingredients sourced in and around London, including honey made from city-dwelling bees and cheese made using Home Counties milk.

Where? Spitalfields Produce Market sells locally sourced vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, bread and cakes. The market is open every Friday and on the second Saturday of every month. Buy Picco Salumis at Partridges Food Market every Saturday.

2. Authentic Oriental Street Food
What? Londoners love munching on authentic Oriental street food, from Gua Bao (Taiwanese steamed milk buns filled with meat) to Jiao Zi (pan-fried Chinese dumplings).

Where? Brixton Village Market where Mama Lan serves up Beijing street food, including handmade dumplings, noodle soup and street snacks. The Dumpling Van at Partridges Food Market serves up Jiao Zi, while you can try Gua Bao by Bao London at Netil Market.

3. Real Street Food
What? Forget over-processed fare, people are turning to premium comfort food: think gourmet hot dogs and hand-dived scallops. “There is a real focus on gourmet honest food in London because people are tired of over-processed sub-standard food,” explains Annabel.

Where? Borough Market is chock-full of tempting lunch-time treats. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

4. The Biskie
What? This culinary hybrid combines a biscuit, cake and cookie to create a crisp, soft and chewy taste sensation. Exotic flavours range from bakewell tart to green tea. “We believe in letting the natural ingredients speak for themselves; we use fresh whole fruits and never use artificial flavourings or colourings,” says Biskie creator Annabel.

Where? You can buy Biskies at Saturday Food Market at One New Change (first Wednesday of the month and every Saturday) and at Partridges Market every Saturday.

5. Gourmet Snacks
What? From handmade popcorn to frozen yoghurt, marshmallows to doughnuts, gloriously decadent snacks can be found at most London food markets.

Where? Portobello Road Market sells gourmet marshmallows from The Marshmallowist every Saturday from outside The Portobello Star pub. Exotic flavours range from blueberry and Portobello Road gin to raspberry and Champagne. Feast on churros and chocolate courtesy of Churros Garcia at Portobello Road Market every Saturday, and the Real Food Market every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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London Restaurant News: Union Street Cafe, Marianne, Boulestin, Grillshack and Berners Tavern Fri, 06 Sep 2013 15:00:04 +0000 Food lovers are in for a treat this month with a huge number of new London restaurants to try, including new launches from celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay, Marianne Lumb and Jason Atherton.

Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Café

Gordon Ramsay will launch his latest venture, Union Street Café, near Borough Market on 16 September. The restaurant has already seen huge demand for bookings (perhaps due to a rumour that David Beckham was a business partner). Italian chef Davide Degiovanni will head up the kitchen, serving Italian dishes made with artisan produce from his home country, as well as nearby Borough and Maltby Street markets.


BBC Masterchef: The Professionals finalist Marianne Lumb will open her first restaurant on 10 September in Notting Hill. Marianne will be one of London’s smallest restaurants, with just five tables seating 14 diners. The intimate setting will draw on Lumb’s experience as a private chef for celebrities and politicians. A three-course meal from the seasonal menu costs from £48 for dinner or £30 for lunch.


Boulestin is the latest venue from Joel Kissin, who, in partnership with Sir Terence Conran, helped change the face of London’s foodie scene with restaurants such as Bibendum and Le Pont de la Tour. The new restaurant is inspired by the cookbook writer and restaurateur Marcel Boulestin who was one of the first celebrity chefs. There’s a luxury bistro serving classic French food and Café Marcel, a café offering lighter dishes.


Grillshack has just opened in Beak Street, Soho, offering grilled food to eat in or take away, from early till late. Call in in the morning for a breakfast of grilled sourdough with scrambled eggs and maple bacon, or visit from 11.30am to sample the all-day menu, which includes a 100% British beef burger. You can order from the counter assistants in industrial denim aprons, or via touchscreens or a Grillshack app.

Berners Tavern

Following the recent launch of Social Eating House, Jason Atherton is set to open Berners Tavern on 12 September at the new The London Edition hotel. The restaurant will serve contemporary British dishes such as Orkney scallop carpaccio with avocado, radish, jalapeno and lime, and Buccleuch Estate beef cooked on a charcoal grill. There’ll also be “fish Fridays” and Sunday roasts.

More New Openings

Coal Vaults – new restaurant and bar in a former coal store in Soho, serving a selection of small dishes with matching cocktails

Gin Joint – Searcy’s will launch a new brasserie and bar at the Barbican on 9 September, offering a choice of 40 gins

Rosa’s Thai Café – enjoy homemade Thai cuisine at this new eatery near London’s iconic Carnaby Street

Smiths of Spitalfields – new restaurant and bar from John Torode’s Smiths of Smithfield, on the site of his former venue The Luxe

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London Shopping News: Selfridges Christmas Shop, Urban Outfitters, Y-3, Konditor & Cook Fri, 16 Aug 2013 10:05:37 +0000 From the opening of Selfridges Christmas shop to the launch of Urban Outfitters in Camden, here are the latest hot shopping happenings in London this week.

Selfridges Christmas Shop Opens

We might be in the midst of a balmy summer, but Selfridges has now opened its famous Christmas shop. Located on the fourth floor, the Christmas shop homes more than 1000 different types of baubles, wreaths and festive trees. For real wow factor, those with cash to splash can snap up a 6ft polar bear for £1,599. If you’re seeking a gift with a difference, 120 advent calendars are  sold across beauty, fashion, food and home. Harrods has also opened its Christmas shop.

In other Selfridges news, the department store has opened a new toyshop, also on level four. To make it easy to navigate, the toyshop has been split into seven zones that cover everything from the coolest tech gadgets to a girl’s emporium. Toys are priced from a pocket-friendly 99p to an eye-popping £24,499.

New Urban Outfitters for Camden

Hipster-favourite Urban Outfitters has opened a store in Camden. Sited in a former cinema opposite Camden Town tube station, this is the American retailer’s eighth store in London. Decked out with reclaimed wood floors and exposed brickwork walls, the warehouse-style shop is chock-full of homeware, own brand fashion and gifts.

Sports Shop for Covent Garden

Snap up some stylish sporty garb at Covent Garden’s newest shop Y-3, Yohji Yamamoto’s fashion line with Adidas. Situated in a grade II listed building, the shop stocks clothes, footwear and accessories.

Happy birthday, Konditor & Cook!

Finally, we would like to wish a very happy 20th birthday to luxury cake bakery Konditor & Cook. Founder Gerhard Jenne opened his first shop in 1993 in the backstreets of Waterloo. Famed for its scrumptious chocolate vanilla Curly Whirly cake, highly decorated cupcakes and well-stocked brownie bar, Konditor & Cook now have six London stores: in Borough Market, Curzon Soho, Chancery Lane, Waterloo, the Southbank and The Gherkin. Why not celebrate with the bakery by scoffing some sweet treats? After all, birthdays are simply nature’s way of telling us to eat more cake…

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Croatia in London: D’Issa at Borough Market Thu, 29 Mar 2012 09:30:55 +0000

Maxine Clayman is a travel writer and editor of the blog My Hidden Gems. In the next in our World In London series she meets Croatian born Ana-Maria Volaric who explains why it’s her mission to bring a taste of Croatia to London.

“Last year my husband Chris and I decided to set up D’Issa, a company selling exclusively Croatian produce.

“I’ve lived in London now for 24 years and I’m married to a North Londoner. I’m originally from Zagreb and I still feel incredibly connected to my roots. I wanted to draw on my knowledge and passion for Croatian culture and introduce Londoners and visitors to the capital to Croatian food.

“Currently we’re the only Croatian retailer in the UK. We have a stall in Borough Market and we also sell to Fortnum & Mason and a couple of specialist delis in London. Our merchandise is quite high end, which may surprise a lot of people, as Croatia isn’t a country that’s necessarily associated with quality cuisine.

“There are only around 2,000 Croats living in London so our food is still relatively new to people. My aim is to educate Londoners about one of the best-kept gastronomic secrets Europe has to offer. For instance, it might come as a surprise to discover that some of the finest truffles in the world can be found in Istria, Croatia.

“Our fig products are proving incredibly popular with Londoners. Smokvenjak is a traditional Croatian fig cake made from dried figs, almonds, lemon juice, raisins, rosemary and sage. It’s packed with natural energy, so it’s good for athletes, and you can use it as a base for canapés, with cheese or ham.

“Pumpkin seed oil is another unique item that we stock. It’s got a wonderfully nutty flavour and is great for roasting and marinating meats. But my top tip is to drizzle it over vanilla ice-cream. Delicious.”

Visit D’Issa at Borough Market on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the Jubilee Market area.

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Video of the Week: The UKCB Curious London Bike Tour Fri, 25 Mar 2011 13:00:47 +0000

The chaps from VisitBritainTV have taken a tour of some of London’s more unusual places using Boris bikes.

Check out their video above, and learn more about Nelson’s Column, the Hunterian Museum, Lincoln’s Inn Field, Borough Market and more.

Have you got a favourite “curious” attraction or museum in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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Video of the Week: London in 1955 Sun, 12 Dec 2010 14:00:22 +0000

This old footage is from the Huntley Film Archives. It follows an American tourist around Central London as she tries to find The Globe Theatre, then visits Borough Market and other London  attractions including pubs and bars and some late-night cabaret. Enjoy!

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Launch of The Folly Fri, 05 Nov 2010 15:00:28 +0000 The Basement Bar The Dining Room The Deli

Following in the footsteps of  The Anthologist, The Folly bar launched in East London last night.  The huge two-floor venue was packed with City workers, who will no doubt be back for more.

The Folly is open seven days a week with a huge range of food available; brunch, sandwiches, sharing plates, and hearty dinners are all on the menu. Taking advantage of its proximity to Borough Market, the ingredients are locally sourced – enjoy a Neal’s Yard cheeseboard or fish of the day.

The new bar offers beers, wines, cocktails (including “skinny” options), sharing punches and “wine flights” should you fancy tasting a few of The Folly’s fine wines.

There’s also a pop-up shop with changing stock – although we didn’t manage to fight our way through the mass of opening-night revellers to take a closer look.

I liked the garden-inspired décor and flattering low lighting. And full marks to the waiters who expertly negotiated the nooks and crannies of The Folly to keep everyone topped up with canapés – wherever we stood or sat, they found us!

Given The Folly’s location, just 10 minutes walk from VL Towers, I’m sure I’ll be returning. I’m very keen to try the Black Forest knickerbocker glory – something you don’t often see on a menu!

The Folly, 41 Gracechurch Street, EC3V 0BT

NB: The Folly is closed this weekend (6-7 Nov) but open for business as usual on Monday 8 November.

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Argentina in London and Gaucho International Polo Fri, 05 Nov 2010 09:30:32 +0000

Argentinean polo player Oscar Manchini will represent Team Argentina at the Gaucho International Arena Polo match at The O2 in February 2011.

Alongside Argentina captain Nacho Figueras (pictured above) and Adolfo Casabal, Manchini will battle it out for the Bryan Morrison Trophy in a gladiatorial grudge match between Argentina and England.

Oscar Manchini and Nacho Figueras (who is also a Ralph Lauren ambassador) took some time out of their busy training schedule to answer a few questions about polo and Argentina in London for our World in London series.

Visit London: Polo seems to be having a resurgence of interest lately in London, why do you think it’s so popular?

Oscar Manchini: Polo has definitely become more popular over the last few years. Events like The Gaucho International have made polo more accessible to the general public and attracted a new audience to this ancient sport.

Arena Polo is a truly exciting form of polo played on a reduced-size pitch and with only three players per side rather than the usual four. I would encourage anyone who has not ever seen or understood the game to look into it. You don’t know what you are missing out on!

VL: Are you looking forward to competing at The O2?

OM: I’m really looking forward to playing at The O2 as this will be the first time arena polo has ever been played there. I’m hoping that with over 10,000 people expected to come to the event, the arena will be full of cheering supporters in a truly festival atmosphere.

NF: Polo is growing so quickly now and the introduction of such a great tournament to the UK during the winter off-season is a welcome addition. Arena polo is an exciting form of the game and it will be truly special to play it at such an iconic venue.

VL: Who are you expecting to see in The O2 audience?

OM: I’m hoping the Gaucho International Polo will attract lots of Argentines living over in the UK as we have some of the country’s finest players representing Argentina. However, I am also hoping the event will attract a wider audience of people who would not necessarily have watched polo before.

VL: Is there anything in London that reminds you of Argentina?

OM: Funnily enough, the architecture of typical British housing and some train stations is very similar to what you might find in the city of Buneos Aires. For example there are a number of British streets in West London that particularly remind me of neighbourhoods such as Temperley or Banfield. This is because there were many British engineering pioneers in Argentina at the beginning of the century and therefore the designs are very similar.

VL: Besides polo, what other London-Argentina connections are there?

OM: Argentines are very similar to British people in terms of music choice. Back at home, we listen to a lot of rock & roll by traditional British bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Oasis and Coldplay.

Another connection between Argentine and British citizens is that we are both very passionate about football. It is great that there are more Argentine players who are being recognised in the UK such as Carlos Tevez and Fabricio Coloccini.

VL: Can you recommend some Argentinean experiences in London?

OM: Gaucho obviously is the best place where you can find the same tender Argentine meat that you get back home.
Every Sunday during the summer months it’s really popular for members of the Argentine community to spend the day in Hyde Park and enjoy an asados (traditional Argentine BBQ).

And there is great stand at Borough Market where you can buy Mate, which is a traditional Argentine tea infusion. For all those who have never tried Mate, I would definitely recommend it!

VL: Got any top tips for other Argentinean people visiting or moving to London?

OM: I would advise other Argentines thinking of moving over to the UK to get used to the rain!

The  Gaucho International Arena Polo is at The O2 London on 24 Feb 2010. Get your tickets here.

Are you an Argentinean in London? Tell us your recommendations in the comments below.

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Spain in London: A Day in Spanish London Fri, 01 Oct 2010 09:00:07 +0000

From a Spanish roof garden to Spanish art and the best Spanish eateries, Spain in London blogger Jon Yeomans guides us through the perfect Spanish day out in London for our World in London series.

The last census recorded around 22,000 Spanish people living in London – around 40% of the entire Spanish population of the UK.

London has long been in thrall to Spanish customs and tastes – from the rash of tapas bars in the West End to the Iberian brand names colonising the high street. Zara, Mango and Bershka are among the Spanish stores making an impact on British wardrobes and wallets.

There are few better places to start a day in “Spanish” London than on the west side of town, where generations of Spanish people have settled.

Portobello Road on a Saturday seethes with Spanish tourists. It is also home to R Garcia & Sons, a Spanish deli selling everything from olives, chorizo and paella pans to Fillipino brand chocolate and papery turron sweets. Head to the café next door for great coffee and slow service, or stop by Galicia restaurant further up the street for an authentically grungy tapas experience.

Heading into town, step out of the shopping and eating whirlpool of Kensington and into a slice of Granada. The Kensington Roof Gardens sit atop an old department store and feature a Moorish-influenced garden based on the Alhambra palace. Visitors are advised to phone ahead to check opening times.

Continue the trail of Spanish traces in London with a visit to the National Gallery, home to a fistful of fine Spanish art. Goya, El Greco and Zurbarán are all well represented, while Velázquez’s The Rokeby Venus is one of the highlights of the museum’s collection.

Round off the day with tapas in one of the West End’s plethora of Spanish restaurants. Barrica in Fitzrovia won the Time Out award for Best Spanish Eating and Drinking 2010 for dishes such as pork and oxtail meatballs, and chicory leaves with picos cheese.

Barrafina in Frith Street is a popular and authentic take on a Barcelona tapas bar. (Hispanophile owners Sam and Eddie Hart based it on Barcelona’s legendary Cal Pep) while Tierra Brindisa on Broadwick Street is the Soho outpost of the acclaimed Borough Market deli, which specialises in cured hams.

Or for a more informal atmosphere, try Pix in Covent Garden. This pintxo bar offers snacks at £2.50 a bite along with great wine – a fine way to end the day.

See more of Jon’s recommendations at We reckon this is a pretty comprehensive list, but if you’ve got more tips for enjoying Spanish culture in London, share your knowledge in the comments below.

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