Nothing like a good cup of coffee for a Monday morning!
If you happen to find yourself in Borough Market, near London Bridge (and you should), be sure to check out the coffee at Monmouth Coffee Company on the corner of Park and Stoney Streets. Much like Blue Bottle Coffee in San Francisco, this is a place that takes coffee seriously (although, apparently, unlike Blue Bottle, they will deign to grind beans for you). Be sure to get the special pour-over filter coffee of the day and not espresso. Delicious.
Borough Market is open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and is well worth the detour. Maybe I’ve been watching too much No Reservations, but, these days, this is the type of place where I prefer spending time on vacation, rather than any monument or museum. There are people selling all kinds of produce, as well as fish, meat, dairy, bread, and tons of prepared food. In fact, it was seeing all the spices available here that made me go a bit overboard when I was later in France. Stall vendors change depending on the day, but there are a number of permanent traders as well, so, if you are in the area, feel free to check it out any day but Sunday.
If you like cheese, I highly recommend Neal’s Yard Dairy, right next to Monmouth Coffee on Park Street.
When I was there, they were very generous with samples and explanations about the different kinds of cheeses. I tried a few kinds of Stilton and Cheddar and all were to die for.
Also incredibly delicious are the chorizo sandwiches made by Brindisa Spanish Foods. Their store sells all sorts of meats and products from Spain, but make sure to stop at the Chorizo Grill outside to pick up their specialty, a ciabatta roll filled with grilled chorizo and piquillo peppers, and topped with arugula. Lunch heaven.
*Both the Borough Market and Covent Garden (27 Monmouth Street) locations of Monmouth Coffee Company, as well as Neal’s Yard Dairy, are open Monday-Saturday. Brindisa Spanish Foods is open Tuesday-Saturday. Unless indicated, photos are from each store’s official website.