With London right on my doorstep it would be rude not to try and get to know the different vibrant food markets on offer in the capital. I wanted to find a new place to go and just do something different with my friends – plus I love a cheeky bit of day drinking!
Maltby Street Market opened in 2010 and has become very popular. It is only open for business on the weekend and is tucked behind London Bridge on a rope walk. The rope walk apparently bears this name in reference to a notable Bermondsey eccentric named Robert Rich in the eighteenth century who owned one nearby. A rope walk is a long, narrow lane where long strands of material are laid out before being twisted into ropes.
Maltby Street Market is home to some top street food sellers and has a great vibe. It’s busy which is testament to the good quality food and drink on offer there, but at the same time you won’t be squished up against someone’s sweaty back.
The market itself is quite short, but there are makeshift food stalls crammed into every nook and cranny of the alleyway and into the arches of the railway track that runs parallel. On offer is tasty morsels of every variety with vendors selling beef steak, sausages, plant-based slow-cooked food, dhan waffle, dumplings and gourmet sandwiches. All the smoke from the different vendors’ grills melt together which entice you as you walk past each vendor, but it adds to the atmosphere of the market – although you will come away smelling of grilled cheese and meat.
You will change your mind as to what you would like to eat with each vendor that you walk past, but I’m a girl of simple pleasures and when there is cheese involved I am immediately sold (was probably a mouse in my previous life). I opted for a Cropwell Bishop stilton, bacon and pear chutney sandwich from the Cheese Truck and died a sweet cheese-induced death from the first bite – I even asked the guy to scrape up all the cheese melting out of it and put it back on the sandwich – he looked at like I had just asked him if I could smother myself in cheese (although that said… NO).
Gym? Or sorry, I thought you said Gin
To wash down the cheesy goodness, I spotted a sign at the end of the market pointing to “London’s best gin” and the nosey journalist in me just had to find out if this bold statement was true. The self-proclaimed “best gin in London” turned out to be Jensen’s gin – and yes after having one or two (or four) of these I can confirm that it is definitely up there with the best gin & tonics in London. The gin is served with the choice of interesting tonics such as rhubarb, raspberry and lemon and at £5 a pop it was surely one of the more cheap and cheerful gins in London as well, as you got between one and two measures!
If you come here be prepared to sit on a pavement as all of the food stalls with tables and chairs are rammed, luckily there are also some walls that you can sit on. If you arrive from the Tanner Street (if you are coming from London Bridge) end of the market then the rope walk takes you through the natural stages of food, then gin, then sit.
I would definitely come back here again as there are other types of cheese sandwich I have yet to try…