People are very quick to write off south east London, and proclaim it a no go area; unsafe and dangerous with nothing here worth visiting.
Well, yes, there are places around here that I would not want to particularly walk about on my own at night but there are areas like that all over London. On the plus side, there are the wonderful villages of Greenwich, Blackheath and Dulwich that are beautiful, with gorgeous houses (yes, and very expensive to live in!), and parks providing a vast amount of greenery in an often ignored area. You should explore them sometime.
This morning, I walked up the road to Brockley Market, a vibrant food market five minutes from where I live. It has a good mixture of food stalls and take-away food. I know that it does not look particularly busy in the photo below, but that was because I got there shortly after ten, when it opens. Get there a little later and it bustles with local people and families and the air fills with the smells of the hot food – wraps, burgers and fresh ground coffee – and the happy murmur of people talking amongst themselves as well as talking to the stall holders.
I love that there are so many of these markets and good quality delis around London these days. Supermarkets are soulless creatures I think, and if I can afford it, I prefer to buy a few good quality things direct from the producers and give them my money, rather than let a supermarket take the lion share of the profits. I don’t care that my vegetables are dirty; that is how they are when you pick them! And I’m not bothered if they are not a uniform shape; nature is wonderful like that and perhaps we should re-educate ourselves to embrace misshapen fruit and veg!
I mean look at these muffins! I can’t wait to have them for breakfast tomorrow.
I got them, a wonderful soda bread loaf and young, fresh goats cheese…
…from these stalls…
I also bought some purple spring onions, a knobbly red pepper, mushrooms and eggs as I fancy making an omelette this evening. I didn’t have breakfast before I left, so bought a banh mi sandwich from these people. They originate from Vietnam, and use French baguettes (a left over from when the French were there) which are then stuffed with all manor of delights. I chose the Imperial BBQ (sliced pork marinated in caramel and lemongrass then grilled) with salad and hotness in the form of chili sauce and chopped green chilies. I ate this when I got home and it was delicious!
So, if you are in this area, come check it out sometime.
Now, when is the little market at Hillyfields next open…?