London’s street food markets start to reopen across the capital
Food lovers rejoice, sun chasers rejoice, all Londoners rejoice; for even as the days of lockdown stretch on, there is hope yet that the summer might be saved. After an announcement from the government, restrictions have been loosened to allow open-air markets to set up their stalls once again – though admittedly under a more watchful eye. Street food is back on the menu, along with fresh local produce and the smoky smell of the beloved barbecue. Here are some of the markets that are restocking fridges and firing up the grill.
No market is more iconic than Camden, so North Londoners will be pleased to learn that this foodie hotspot has reopened as of today. Of course, the market is not able to operate as usual: the owners recently announced a set of new measures including the implementation of a one-way system, the installation of hand sanitisation stations and the push for card payments where possible. If you can’t make it to the market, a lot of the vendors are also available to order on Deliveroo, JustEat and UberEats so you can recreate it in your garden or balcony.
From today London Bridge’s Borough Market are also reopening some of their stalls, though they have issued a special Covid-19 user’s guide for clientele. The policy of “come, shop, leave” will not be a surprise to anyone; the organisers have likened the site to an “alternative open-air supermarket”, so prepare to be greeted by the all-too-familiar queues. However, the thought of standing in the sun and being greeted by fresh, high-quality produce from some of the nation’s best suppliers might just convince you it’s worth the wait.
Notting Hill’s famous Portobello market is apparently set to follow suit soon – but hopefully in a less bustling fashion. Under a new proposal, the street, which is usually closed to traffic every Saturday, would purportedly also be closed on Fridays, potentially allowing customers to shop more easily whilst maintaining social distance. This plan has angered locals, who fear they will be trapped, but will no doubt help small businesses to get back off the ground.
Soho Summer Street Festival
When it comes to helping local businesses, no areas are more in need of custom than typically busy, built-up areas like Soho. That’s why SaveSoho has been set up in an attempt to introduce open-air service and keep restaurants alive. Those behind the initiative are proposing the pedestrianisation of some of the streets in order to host the Soho Summer Street Festival. For more updates, check out their website, where you can also register your support.
Photo: Cristiana Ferrauti