Insider knowledge: Borough

With a famous food market that brings in punters from across the Capital and beyond, one of the world’s greatest modern art galleries, plus a thriving riverside location that mixes tourist attractions, dramatic new architecture and atmospheric Dickensian backstreets, Borough can lay claim to being one of the city’s most exciting locations.
And excitement has long been Borough’s stock in trade – a settlement outside the jurisdiction of the City authorities across the water, in the 16th and 17th centuries it became a playground famed for its inns, theatres and the notorious Southwark Fair – shut down in 1762 after it was deemed too debauched.

Borough is an atmospheric south London neighbourhood

Shakespeare’s Globe stands close to the site of its Elizabethan original, while the dark side of 600 years of life at its rawest is remembered at The Clink prison museum.

In 2000, Borough gained its most spectacular landmark when the former Bankside Power Station, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, was converted into Tate Modern. It is now almost dwarfed by Renzo Piano’s pointy skyscraper the Shard which, as well as offering the highest residences in the UK, will have viewing platforms open to the public.

Borough market
Borough market is a popular destination for foodies
On a trading site that can trace its lineage back to 1014, Borough Market blossomed into a destination selling gourmet fast food and organic produce back at the beginning of the foodie-obsessed noughties, and its Thursday to Saturday market has been going from strength to strength ever since.

Caffeine junkies sing the praises of Monmouth Coffee, while lunchtime treats might include a chorizo roll from speciality Spanish supplier Brindisa or hand-dived scallops and bacon from seafood shack Shellseekers.

Bars and restaurants cluster around the market, but those in the know tend to head to nearby Bermondsey Street. There you’ll find sherry and tapas bar José, sister restaurant Pizarro, and classy gastropub the Garrison – complete with its own cinema room. More cultural nourishment is provided by the White Cube gallery and the Fashion and Textile Museum. • Janetta Willis

* By Tube Borough is served by an eponymous Northern Line station while London Bridge is on the Northern and Jubilee lines.
* By rail London Bridge is also a major railway interchange, with trains going into the City, and also to stations on the south coast.
* By bus 17, 21, 35, 40, 43, 47, 48, 133, 141, 149, 343, 381, 521, C10, RV1


New and old in harmony
‘Borough is the “Camden of the south”, an area that still retains enormous character in its buildings, roads and shops, which, refreshingly, are not over-supplied with the usual high-street names. Not only does it offer a unique atmosphere, it is well placed for the Thames and the fashionable South Bank and Shad Thames districts. You are never more than a brisk walk from wonderful pubs dating back to medieval times, the hugely popular market or fine dining. The added appeal of Borough to those living or working in the area is that London Bridge is an excellent transport hub.’

Stephan Mouzouri, Sales manager, Borough (020 3465 9230;
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Photography: Adrian Briscoe
Source: KFH 'Completely London' magazine

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