Everything I heard people say about London has been, so far, true. London is beautiful and covered in brick. The weather is cold (sometimes, too cold) and it rains a lot. It rains a lot. Of course, they weren’t right about everything. If there was one thing people got wrong about London, it would have to be the food.
On my first day in London, my sisters took me to the weekend market (actually, it’s from Thursday to Saturday) near the London Bridge.
First impressions, it seemed like a bigger Mercato. The market was divided into three markets, not necessarily sorting the stalls into any specific categories. The first section I walked in was the Middle Market, where I could instantly smell something cooking–and it smelled really REALLY good.
The sign said, “Duck Confit Rillette Sandwich”, and it was apparently one of my sisters’ favorites, so we bought one to share, and along with mulled wine in a paper cup.
They put a heaping amount of braised duck meat on bread (which I think is Ciabatta, not sure haha) that had mustard and a couple of rocket leaves. It all sounded fancy and pretentious, the duck sandwich and the mulled wine. I had no idea what to expect, but when I took my first bite, I swear, it was like everything went in to slow-motion.
It was so good.
So good that I can actually conclude that this was probably one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.
We stood there for about five minutes, sharing the sandwich, and passing around the mulled wine. The heat off of the mulled wine made the cold for me a little bit more bearable, and it tasted good. Mulled wine is basically hot red wine, mixed with spices. Sounds weird, I know, but it isn’t bitter, and it felt so good to drink in that weather.
We then walked and looked around for a bit, and everything was so overwhelming. I got so excited to see fennel, artichokes, lavender, and all the other things that I would always see on food shows, but could never find in the Philippines. The mushrooms didn’t come in cans, or tiny little packages, they looked as if they were dumped in the stall displays, one kind next to another, next to another. There were baby carrots, French carrots, tiny tomatoes, big ones, and I laughed at myself for pointing out the ones Gordon Ramsay uses with his egg omelette to my sisters.
Then we loitered around the other markets and found more interesting stalls. I found stalls that sold foie gras, lots of cheese wheels, and sausages. It was so surreal! There was a place that sold Turkish Delight and Baklava. There were stalls that sold bread and brownies stacked in tall piles. There was so much to try—just not enough money to try them all. (The food in London is expensive)
After going around the other two markets, we walked back to middle market, and purchased a glass of Prosecco. We carried the plastic flute to the Green Market to buy oysters, where the man shucked it right in front of us, and gave us lemon and vinegar. We settled down at one of the tables in the next market, and ate it together.
The oysters were cold and fresh, and tasted so good with either the vinegar or lemon.
At that point, I was so happy. All the exhaustion from my eighteen hour trip and two hours in immigration was quickly washed away by the Prosecco and oysters.
I was still pretty tired though, and we still had a long walk home, so we bought a potted Lavender plant, a bottle of Bordeaux at a nearby wine shop, and we finally went home, with my tummy full and happy.