Borough Market is a foodie institution with worldwide fame. Better than your average market, it’s the ultimate place to sample British and international produce when in London. From British charcuterie at Cannon & Cannon and English cheese at Bath Soft Cheese Co, to fine truffles at Tartufaia and fresh French-style breads at Olivier’s Bakery, there’s so much to sample. And who better to take you on a tour than the traders themselves? Here, we speak to some of our favourite stall owners about what makes their produce so special and the must-try foods that every visitor should sample.
Cannon & Cannon is at the forefront of the British charcuterie industry. Famed for its creative, British cured meats, it’s stocked full of produce that will make you rethink the next time you go to pick up a pack of sausages. Market Manager Nikoline Nielsen take us on a tour of the stall.
What do you sell at Cannon & Cannon?
At Cannon & Cannon we sell British cured meats and artisan products made by small farmers all around Britain, including sustainable meats, rare breeds, heritage breeds and proper English meat. We’ve got around 12 different producers on the stall, sourced from everywhere from Inverness to Sussex and Wales.
What’s so great about British cured meat?
The good thing with Cannon & Cannon and British cured meat is that there are no rules. We don’t have any legislation like you do in Italy. We’ve got the saucissons that you go out and buy, but we give a little bit more of a twist to it. The creators are very inventive.
Any recommendations to sample?
Seaweed and cider from Cornwall or duck and Sichuan pepper from Trady Farm – I think these would be my go to if you want to look for something a little bit different. Or if you want to try something traditionally British, we do a venison chorizo.
Trading: Monday to Saturday
If you’re a connoisseur of truffles (the mushrooms, not the chocolates), make a beeline for Tartufaia. The stall imports truffles from around the world, which it sells alongside truffle-based products such as olive oil, butter and honey. Assistant Manager Stefania Sautto has the low-down.
Truffles are trendy in the culinary industry right now. Have you noticed people have become more interested?
Yes. People are approaching truffles differently now. It seems like they’re responding well to it and really like to use it in their food. They’re getting quite famous as well.
What do you sell at the stall?
We specialise in white mushrooms and truffles, which is unique in Borough Market. We’ve got different species of truffles from all over the world. At the moment, we’ve got Spanish and Italian. We even have Australian truffles when they’re in season. The boss is a cook so he also makes foie gras and liver paté with black truffle. One of the best sellers is our white truffle honey, which I think is very special.
What should visitors sample?
The first thing we always invite them to do is smell the truffles (on display at the front of the stall). We always recommend the fresh truffles when they’re in season because that’s the best way to approach the truffle. If they’re travelling and can’t take fresh truffles home, we suggest the truffles with sea salt – a natural preservative that makes the truffles last a bit longer.
Trading: Wednesday to Saturday
Olivier’s Bakery is a carb-lover’s paradise. Offering freshly-baked bread, tasty cakes and French pastries – the stall offers the ultimate flour-based indulgences. Sophie Bertucat, stall manager and sister of baker Olivier Favrel, shows us around.
What makes Olivier’s Bakery unique?
Everything is made fresh daily and we use only organic English flour. We’ve got many different breads and pastries, but everything is made in a French way, so with mustard, chocolate, and so on. I think that’s what makes us different.
Tell us about Olivier
Olivier is my brother. He’s always loved baking because he bakes with his heart. He’s always trying to make it the best of what he can. It’s his life. He really loves to play with the dough and creates so many different things.
What do you recommend people try when they come to your stall for the first time?
The brownie, which is made with 70% Belgian dark chocolate. It’s very intense. And our almond croissants – they’re the best. They’re very moist, very tasty and very French. But I love everything on the stall. Everything is so good it’s difficult to tell them what to try!
Trading: Wednesday to Saturday
When it comes to cheese, go local at Bath Soft Cheese Co. The stall’s award-winning organic cheese is made at Park Farm, outside the city of Bath, using milk from its own herd of cows. Stall Manager Will Nash tells us what to sample.
What makes Bath Soft Cheese Co stand out from other cheese stalls in Borough Market?
We have our own farm and our own dairy. This is a family business, run by four generations. The first cheese they started making was the Bath Soft Cheese. They discovered a recipe in an old grocery in Bath, dated 1790, so it’s one of the oldest recipes of English soft cheese there is.
Do you have any personal favourites?
It’s seasonal for me because cheese changes from batch to batch, as all organic cheese should. If it’s colder, people tend to go for blue cheeses and stronger flavours because it’s too cold to taste anything else and it warms you up a bit, in the summer you may go for more a soft cheese you can picnic with and spread over bread. The farm cheese is a staple as it’s available all year round and is great for cooking with. I probably eat the most of that.
Any insider tips?
We’ve just started working with an Italian chef, Tom, who makes fresh mozzarella and burrata at the stall literally right in front of people, so people can now try British and Italian cheeses in one visit.
Trading: Tuesday to Saturday