Broadway Market, London

Since we started this little blog, there has never been a day or a moment where we’ve looked at each other and declared simply, ‘We must write about this on the blog.’  If you read our little space on the internet regularly you already know that it’s mostly a hodge podge of random stuff, usually woefully behind in time when we actually do things, with very little rhyme or reason.  We also often wonder if something is interesting enough to share with our friends and family.

A blog expert might say that we’re still searching for ‘our voice’ but that’s a topic for another day.But today, literally 6 hours ago, we ventured out to a street market that we’ve heard about recently, Broadway Market near London Fields in NE London.  A few weeks ago Drew’s regular tennis opponent mentioned the market because he lives nearby and goes regularly.  Not more than a week later we were walking in this neighbourhood and other friends asked if we had ever been by on a Saturday because the market is great.  Two mentions is enough to put it on the list and so we went.

In addition to produce, meat, cheese and bakery stalls (for people who want to do actual shopping), the market also has 15 or so food vendors making prepared items to eat while you walk.  There are also a handful of clothing and jewellery outfitters that you might find in abundance at some of London’s other street markets.  As we did a cursory scan of the place, the words tumbled out of our mouths: ‘we gotta write about this on the blog.’ And out came our cameras.

broadway market bread

We are both fierce Vietnamese food lovers, and pho is arguably my favourite food ever.  I’m not going to swear to it, because of course, that would be cruel to my other favourite foods, meatballs and dumplings, but you get my drift.  The neighbourhood around London Fields has at least one street of predominantly Vietnamese restaurants and they’re well represented at the market.  The screaming hot banh mi sandwich was appetizer number one.

Appetizer number two was this little lovely.  Hansen & Lydersen is an old school Scandinavian shop in town that sells famous smoked salmon for a reasonable £40 ($60) for a ‘half side,’ which according to their website feeds 5-7 people ‘as a starter’.  Yeah, we’ve never been to the store either.  We actually didn’t realize they had a stall here at the market and of course, we had to try it. Just £3 for a little taste.

broadway market salmon

And then we bought a whole pizza*

Dessert was a little combo of Vietnamese iced coffee, that amazing mix of super strong coffee and sweetened condensed milk, and baby cupcakes from Violet.  Another local favourite which also have great chocolate chip cookies.

Friends, please don’t judge.  I am doing my best to still fit into the bridesmaid dress that I’m scheduled to wear in one month and five days.  I promise I will only visit Broadway Market twice more at the most before the dress goes on.  Sometimes you just gotta go with it.

*I didn’t share details because the single sentence feels so much more impactful but this is from Franco Manca, yet another local regularly raved about institution that is known for long queues, which is London code for good and cool because they don’t take reservations.  I’d say it’s great pizza for London, but doesn’t beat the best of New York.  And the picture makes it look bigger than it was.

  • May 6, 2014
    Uncle Dan

    My brother John came to visit recently for about a week. While we have nothing like Broadway Market here in Huntsville, we did squeeze in a trip to the National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, about an hour from here. No smoked salmon, but plenty of cornbread salad, cornbread with cracklin’s, etc. The little town is home to a historic forge that makes cast iron cookware, essential for making southern cornbread. I do enjoy reading your blog. Of all the places I have been over the years, London is probably the place I would most like to visit again and spend more time. Or, I can read your blog instead. Because you all are doing exactly the things that I would be doing if I were there.