Saturday morning at Borough Market

Pumpkin & ginger. Chestnut & cauliflower. At the foot of the Shard, the glass skyscraper by Renzo Piano, Borough Market is a world apart. Sounds, smells, colors seem to come from a bygone era. The hot soups warm the heart but also the hands, chilled by the cold winter. Although the building dates back to the mid-XVIII century, the area has had a market for 1000 years. Each week, from Thursday to Sunday, under glass skylights & cast golden spires, gourmet Londoners are attracted by over 70 low miles food artisans. Or nearly so.

From salami lamb by Joe & Sean Cannon, coming from Norfolk to organic fruit juices of Chegworth Valley, a farm in Kent. From organic cookies of London Cinnamon Tree Bakery, to cheeses refined by Arthur Alsop & Nicholas Walker in East Sussex. The best of British foods. Symbol of a people still firmly anchored to the country. But also a result of the London crossover. In Green Market you can find Tyrolean speck and Sardinian cheeses, jamon serrano and French paté. All in a colorful and confused atmosphere, so different from the sterility of the shopping malls. A place to stop for chatting. Where it’s possible to speak with a trader who knows a few words of Italian in Sardinian slang. Or with the butcher, in a bowler hat and red apron, who explains all the differences in meat pie, quite a mystery for Mediterraneans.

Borough Market is not just for shopping. At lunch time, the market offers the best street food in London. In the pots are ready soups and stews, while on the grill sizzling kebabs and sausages. Served with a pint of English stout at the local pub, open from early morning and loved by all the traders. Drinking in the street, better in a t-shirt, despite the zero degrees C. Like a Londoner, born and bred.