Tag: london shopping

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

The Oxford Street Experience

The Oxford Street Experience
Oxford Street, located in the City of Westminster, existed from Roman times until the 17th century primarily as a westwards route out of the City of London towards Oxford, hence its name. Today, Oxford Street is one of the busiest shopping districts and the world’s largest shopping street, having more than 300 shops that attract annually around 200 million of consumers. The development of Oxford Street as a prime shopping area began at the start of 20th century, when the first furnishing specialists, Waring & Gillow, opened its doors in 1906. In recent years, Oxford Street represents the heart of London’s West End shopping, running for approximately a mile and a half from Marble Arch at the north east corner of Hyde Park, through Oxford Circus to St Giles’ Circus, at the intersection with Charing Cross Road and Tottenham Court Road. Opposite to the Tottenham’s tube station, the recently refurnished, “The Tottenham” pub claims to be the only pub on the whole Oxford Street. But, with numerous clothes shops, record shops, like the famous Virgin Megastore and the HMV unit, which is the largest music store at 50,000 square feet, multiple computer games shops and department stores, including Selfridges, Oxford Street is an ideal location for those on leisure travel and time to browse through its colorful shopping windows. But although the street has multiple stores for one to choose from, these are not the most fashionable or the most expensive in the city of London. For those interested in other principal shopping areas, Knightsbridge is an excellent choice, especially because it is there where the famous Harrods department store is located. Famous for its celebrity launches and promotions, Oxford Street becomes the focal point during the Christmas period because of the wonderful Christmas lighting tradition that began in 1959. Decorated with thousands of festive lights Oxford Street celebrates the Christmas spirit at a heavily publicized “turning-on” ceremony in mid-to-late November, when a chosen celebrity flicks a switch that illuminates the rays of light that go on until January 6. Plans have been announced for what could be an audacious new move to change Oxford Street from its current traffic clogged state into a pedestrian paradise. Proposals to end the gridlock feature closing the street entirely to all traffic, even buses and build a new monorail stretching from one end to the other to transport people along. Critics however have pointed out that a monorail simply caters for shoppers too lazy to walk down the entire length of the street and that this is already well served by tube which would simply require improved accessibility to existing stations and perhaps a new station half way up the street. ....read more