Maltby Street Market

Maltby Street Market is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of my favourite places in the city. Located in the historically rich borough of Southwark, a Saturday morning in the market sees all the flavour of Borough without the relentless tourist hustle and bustle. It also hosts some of the most unique food traders I've come across in London, as well as Lassco, an incredible antiques showroom.

Fresh produce and craft vendors rent out the spaces under the railway arches. 

My favourite stalls, though, are to be found in the open market along the 'Ropewalk'. Festooned with world flags, it buzzes with traders selling everything from Hansen & Lydersen smoked salmon (the best) to excellent espressos and cake, with tables spilling out on to the promenade for punters to sip cocktails and wine in the early afternoon. Yes, even if it's drizzling. We're British - what do you expect? 

Right in the middle of it all is the Lassco Showroom.

The showroom is filled with curiosities and ephemera from all corners of the world. Bunting and chandeliers, decommissioned theatre lights, antique taps polished to an enviable sheen, covetable furniture and vintage pamphlets are just some of the objects on sale here. Also on sale? The medieval monstrosity, the Hamburg Hydra, gracing the front cover of a magazine from the '80s, below.

Print typewriters...

...real typewriters...

...and early festive decorations. A far cry from the tinsel we wind round our trees or the bright lights along Oxford Street, these quaint hand-blown glasses hail from the Victorian era. Filling them with candles at Christmas would turn them into 'fairy lamps' to be hung in the windows or placed in the porch. So enchanting and simple.

After wandering around the showrooms we sat down for lunch at St John Bakery Room. Our family loves Fergus Henderson's cooking so much that my mum celebrated her 50th birthday with a private meal at St John! Above: fried sprats with a horseradish cream.

Squid in black ink. 

A kohlrabi salad.

And an old-fashioned pâté with perfectly crisp cornichons. I'm pretty sure I polished off 80% of this hunk all by myself.

For dessert, tempting brownies and pastries from the St John bakery just around the corner. And sourdoughs that kind of resemble giant chocolate biscuits in the picture below...Mmm. 

Also for dessert: a bag of these chocolates masquerading as cocktails, dusted with cocoa powder. Indulgent, rich and extremely addictive.

I love Maltby Street! Can't wait to go back again soon to visit the excellent fruit and veg grocer's at the Dockley Road end of the market, as well as pick up some of the mouthwatering desserts from Poppy Smadja. If you're a foodie at a loose end on a Saturday morning, Maltby is a must.

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