• stephenjrountree

Borough Market

On hot London days, when the London streets offer no relief from the sauna of the tube, there’s a better than not chance I’ll stop for a cold Sangria at Borough Market. I pair it nicely with a venison burger from some grass fed farm an hour’s train ride north, or a curry, or paella.

You can see why the Vikings suffered sea spray in open-air, wooden economy seats to reap the rewards of the English countryside:

“Tell us more!”cry the little Viking children, teeth chattering in a barren Norwegian permafrost.

“Cheese!” answers the Viking invader, tossing out blocks of yellow cheese as part of his presentation to convince the Viking council to set up a more permanent colony in England and not just random invading parties. “Enough Cheddar, Stilton, and Wensleydale, all classically British Cheeses, from cows as fat from the rolling grass of the English countryside as your fat little Vikings bellies!” He then yanks the black cloth from a table like a magician, revealing summer strawberries piled six high.

A faint gasp starts from the children, but like a snow ball down a Norwegian fjord cliff, rumbles into a roar. “Strawberries!” The Viking children chant, jumping and weeping.

But the elder Viking Councilman, who likes things the way they are and is always skeptic of change, stands, using his battle ax as a cane. “And if we don’t like Strawberries?” His voice has the silencing effect of those unfortunate enough to gaze over the horizon, only to see a slow moving Viking ship coming for their precious lands.

The Viking, who is the main advocate of colonizing England on a more permanent bases and not just random invading parties, kicks over a wooden box. Currents, blackberries, plums, apples spill from the bowels of the treasure box. Yorkshire puddings and mince pies and roasts roll to the feet of the spectators, who are licking their lips.

The elder Viking, who likes things the way they are and is always skeptic of change, scoffs at this chameleon’s bag of tricks. “You prove my point, brother. These are all unquestionably the spoils of England, but we Vikings have a more….exploratory pallet. We like to get around. Go from wet country to wet country, never getting stuck with just one.” The double entendre gets a courtesy chuckle.

Without looking, the Viking who wants to colonize England on a more permanent bases and not just random raids, pulls the black silk sheet from the last table, revealing paellas yellow that are stuffed with peas and topped with shrimp, and chicken curries sourced from England.

The Viking, who likes things the way they are and is always skeptic of change, picks up a strawberry that has rolled to the toes of his boot. He holds it high in the air. “We colonize England!” he shouts, to the roar of the children whose faces are red with strawberry juice.

After Borough, I take my venison burger, or curry, and get a coffee from Monmouth coffee company, which is across the street from Borough on Stoney Street, continue down Stoney street, take a left at Clink street, and then take a Right on Bankend, which runs into Bankside pedestrian walkway on the River Thames, and I enjoy my Borough Market pull on the side of the water.

Oh, and if you need a refill on your sangria, Borough Market just happens to be where they filmed the exterior of The Leaky Cauldron in “Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkaban.” That means that the place does have magic, and all you need is a wand, and to follow the simple photographic instructions below.

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