You may have noticed there are one or two rather special events taking place this year. There’s been the Queen’s Jubilee and a scattering of events for foodies. The most eagerly awaited event though is a small matter known as the London Olympics 2012. There have been one or two things in the press about it here and there.
They are officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad. It’s the largest sporting festival on the planet, and it’s coming to London. After a tour of the United Kingdom, the Olympic Torch will kindle the Flame on 27 July. This kicks off nearly two months showcasing twenty six sports. In total, ten thousand, five hundred athletes will be taking part with a world-wide audience.
On its own, that would be impressive enough, but it’s just part of the story. Across the United Kingdom, there are twelve thousand events and performances planned as part of the London Olympics 2012 celebrations. London itself will be playing host to the biggest of them all – the London 2012 Festival. Lasting from 21 June to 9 September, this will see artists from around the world assembling. The whole capital is already beginning to buzz.
A huge part of the draw to London has always been its food markets. With so many people descending on the capital, it’s a prime opportunity to showcase them. Across the capital there are food stalls representing as many types of cuisine as we have nations competing at the games. This should not be surprising to any foodies. London has always been a melting pot of cultures as an international hub. As communities have settled and evolved, food markets have sprung up. With the upcoming Olympics, what better way to celebrate this international environment than by visiting London’s cosmopolitan food markets?
At first they were there to serve their local communities, like Ally Pally Farmer’s Market. This North London market is in a neighbourhood of Hornsey, you will find a farmers market when you travel there on a Sunday morning. Each Sunday you can find 30 to 50 food stalls set up to delight you with the local fares. There is a large range of produce, plus pressed juices, fresh fish, local pork and sausages, cakes, handmade pies and biscuit. You will also find food from other cultures such as Indian, Italian and Moroccan. Its South London equivalent is Brockley Market, which started out as a college car park event. Again, the focus of the food stalls is on locally-sourced food and drink. Alternatively if you’re after somewhere to try a wider range, try Brixton Village Market. It’s a hub of international cuisine to tickle any foodies’ taste buds. It features Caribbean, African, South American, East Asian and Indian foods and is open late on Thursdays and Fridays. Music and a great community feel make this one of the more relaxed and varied food markets in the capital.
Visitors here for the London Olympics 2012 will likely be staying nearer Central London. For these visiting foodies then, we would recommend Borough Market. It’s the oldest and most famous of London’s food markets and is set in a stunning location. Held on a Friday and Saturday beneath a wrought iron roof it hosts the best variety of foods from around the world. It’s busy and mostly cash only. Alternatively, on a Sunday, try Marylebone Farmer’s Market. This has about forty food stalls and caters to both locals doing their shopping and people in search of quality ingredients. It’s not so well known as a tourist location, so try and visit this secret treasure if you can.
Ranging further around London, a similarly sized gathering can be found all week at Whitecross Street Food Markets. There’s an amazing array of food stalls with offerings that you don’t find many other places. There’s not so much at the beginning of the week, with more stalls setting up as the week goes on, so it rewards repeat visits. Saturdays are also good days to visit Broadway Market which alongside the organic foods also has clothing stalls and a huge array of pubs and restaurants.
No foodies’ visit to the London Olympics 2012 will be complete however without seeing Spitalfields and Brick Lane. Set next to Liverpool Street Station its one of our most eclectic food markets. This truly cosmopolitan market area mixes food stalls, cafes and restaurants with boutiques and stalls of all stripes. These restaurants and cafes serve world cuisine from places as far removed as Italy, Mexico, Indonesia and Thailand. Brick Lane, which is next door, is renowned around the world for its Indian restaurants as well as its coffee festivals. Both places are busy all week, but to see it at its best go there on a Sunday.
The world may be coming for the Olympics 2012, but London has got the world’s cuisine ready for you to fall in love with. Come join us and see why London is one of the best places to eat in the world.