It was Sunday and, as I had a whole lotta nuthin planned, I decided to do one of my favourite things… check out a local market. I’d been hearing great things about the Maltby Street Market, so decided to check it out (even though it meant walking over bridges – twice!). Ever since my surprise panic attack on Friday I was feeling especially vulnerable – right okay, terrified – of going out on my own, but decided to bite the bullet. In this case Tower Bridge wasn’t as “threatening” as I’d feared and catching a glimpse of my Shard also helped me forget I was supposed to be afraid, and I made it across without incident.
The Maltby Street Market is an offshoot of the now super popular and upscale Borough Street market, created by people who used to belong to Borough Street but became disillusioned by the direction it has taken. It is open Saturdays and Sundays and is a short walk off Tower Bridge, in Ropewalk lane. I fell in love with it immediately. Also… note to market organisers. Make sure you have your Wine Guy situated just past the main entrance. This was how I met Philip…
Philip Morton runs M-wines and focuses on specialty wineries with a production of 1000 bottles a year. And as soon as I started talking with Philip I knew I’d found a special place. He was not only very keen on telling me about his wines but, upon finding out I was hoping to try various foods throughout the market, warned me that the portions sizes were usually massive. Then he popped across the way to Lahpet and asked if they could do a couple of sample sized portions for me…
Brothers Dan Anton and Jono serving up fab Burmese street food.
Tealeaf salad and prawn curry. Burmese street by Lahpet
Next I couldn’t resist Bar Tozino… six jamones on offer, sherry galore. I don’t usually opt for Spanish food when I’m in London but I was feeling homesick so I poked my head inside and was immediately welcomed by Juan, who commenced to offer me slices of Ibérico to go with my perfectly chilled manzanilla.
Feeling pretty much stuffed at this point but still curious I made my way over to the Hoxton Beach falafel stall and Moody was happy to make up a “half order” for me, just so I could try it out.
Then I saw these beauties… scotch eggs by Finest Fayre. So I bought a chorizo one to take home for supper (it was not likely I’d be going out again that day).
And then I met Mark, the Gay Farmer. Mark produces a unique 50/50 blend (picual and arbequina) extra virgen olive oil from his family’s groves in Murcia. Such a lovely and passionate man, clearly in love with what he is doing. I can’t wait to try the bottle I took home with me.
Then THESE. Is it a cake? Is it a waffle? Is it a donut? Irene @dhan_waffle is creating one of the most unique desserts in town. You really want to try these Taiwanses eggy delights with tasty toppings.
By now the market was beginning to shut down so I had a last glass of wine with Philip and made my way back towards Tower Bridge… and then I saw a sign for something called the Doodle Bar. Intrigued (and still a bit thirsty) I turned the corner into Druid street and found this wonderful new bar, just opened here the day before, from their previous location in Battersea.
So I sat at the bar for “la penúltima” before heading home and totally loved the ambiance, the friendly staff, and especially that I could recharge my iphone at the bar using one of the many USB chargers.
Finally it was time to head home and I made my way back over Tower Bridge. This was my one “totally on my own day” without meeting up with any friends. But the whole experience at Maltby made me feel so at home, so much in my element (chatting away with everybody) that I never felt like I was on my own. It was a lovely Sunday afternoon, followed by a cosy Sunday evening in.