Tag: london attractions

To Market To Market: London’s Borough Market

To Market To Market: London
There is nothing quite like the sights and smells of a bustling market. London’s Borough Market, located in Southwark, just a few minutes walk from Tower Bridge, literally smacks the visitor in the face with its abundance of culinary choices. Be it hard to find Indian spices, or the best bangers and mash in the country, all manner of exotic pleasures can be found at Borough Market. A long, long time ago… In 43ad Roman legions arrived at the south bank of the Thames on their way to the city of London and came across the early Borough Market. In order to reach the city, they needed to build a bridge to cross the river. The bridge they built was the first incarnation of London Bridge, and it is probably no coincidence that it was built nearby. Bridge building is hungry work. There has been a market in the area ever since. Changing times Having enjoyed a kind of renaissance in recent times, “London’s Larder” has tended towards more up market and exotic produce, and with prices to match. However it retains the feel of a village market, helped along by the locals who come here to shop for weekly supplies. Today the market is considered one of the countries most important retail centers for fine foods. Drawing over 70 gourmet food importers, organic farmers, world class bakers and butchers, it is a glorious escape from the masses of supermarket chains offering pre packaged, pre, prepared and pre processed food. It is also a key influence in the recent trend towards organic and locally grown produce. You can browse and “try before you buy” fresh ingredients for the nights dinner, or taste some of the international dishes on offer, as well as some home favorites. Sample cheeses ranging from mature and sharp to young and mellow, or line up for an organic falafel, but be prepared to queue for a while, such is their popularity. Open for business The market is open three days a week, from 11am to 5pm Thursdays, 12-6pm Fridays and 9am to 4pm Saturdays. Saturday is the busiest of all days and has an energy all of its own, where locals and visitors mingle and jostle for position in their claim for the last bottle of virgin olive oil, the perfect oyster or impossible to find anywhere else curry spice. Borough Markets history and swift progress is symbolic of London itself, and its frantic energy is representative of life in such a frenzied city. Borough Market is truly a little slice of London, where the ring of the nearby Southwark Cathedral bell blends with the roar of trains overhead and the shouts of vendors: “Organic sausages two pounds each. Get ‘em while they’re ‘ot”. ....read more

London’s Famous Buildings

If you’ve never been to London, or have even been there several times, there are points of interest throughout the city that are worth checking out. London is not only rich in history, but offers wonderfully famous buildings. Visiting them during your trip is definitely a must. Perhaps one of the most famous buildings in London is Buckingham Palace. The home of Queen Elizabeth II, it has housed Britain’s sovereigns since 1837. Since then it has evolved from a mere town house that was once owned by the Dukes of Buckingham in the 18th century. Other famous buildings that house London’s royalty are St. James Place, Clarence House, and also Kensington Palace. Kensington Palace was started in 1689 when William and Mary purchased the mansion shortly after their ascension. It was then converted to a royal palace by Sir Christopher Wren. Today half of the building is used for royal apartments while the other half is open to the public. Sir Christopher Wren also designed and built St. Paul’s Cathedral following the Great Fire of 1666. It was left in ruins after the fire and Wren was commissioned to rebuild it by London’s authorities. This building is considered to be Wren’s greatest creation. The Tower of London had originally been built for use as a fortress to keep out hostile Londoners and to survey enemies who approached on the Thames river. Since then is has been used as a palace, library, mint, treasury, bank, arsenal, observatory, and, most famously, a prison. Westminster Abbey isn’t just one of the more beautiful of London’s famous buildings, but it is also the final resting place for some of Britain’s most famous monarchs, the setting for coronations, and also other wonderful pageants. Within its walls visitors can see great examples of London’s medical architecture, as well as an impressive collection of toms and monuments. Westminster Abby is perhaps most well-known for being the site of Princess Diana’s funeral. Completed in 1871, Royal Albert Hall is a beautiful structure that was modelled after Roman amphitheatres. Today the hall is used for both classical concerts and other large gatherings. In 1514, the Archbishop of York, Cardinal Wolsey, started Hampton Court Palace with the intentions of it being a riverside country residence. But in 1535, with the hopes of gaining royal favour, Wolsey offered it to King Henry VIII. As with other famous buildings in London, Sir Christopher Wren once again had a hand in it when he was hired by William and Mary in the 1690′s to create its beautiful baroque landscapes. The No. 10 Downing Street houses Britain’s Prime Minister, who currently is Tony Blair. It began its service to Britain’s Prime Ministers when George II gave it to Sir Robert Walpole in 1732. Lastly is Harrod’s Department Store, and one of London’s most famous buildings. It began in 1849 when Henry Charles Harrod opened a small grocery store. Throughout the years the store’s quality and service has allowed it to expand and become what we know it as today. Of course there are many ....read more