On Southbank, a few minutes away from London Bridge station, Borough market is one of London’s oldest food markets – dating back, according to various sources, to the 18th century, the 13th century and even the Roman times. It is also one of the largest and a must for the foodies. Its 70 stalls and stands offer everything that a gourmet can dream off – vegetables and fruits of any kind, fish, meats, cheeses, breads, coffees, wine, cakes and patisseries, in colourful collections. Many also display products coming from abroad, the adventurous market-goers having for instance the possibility to taste kangaroo or ostrich burgers at the Australian stand (though they both taste surprisingly like beef).
Borough Market is open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, although I wouldn’t recommend coming on a Saturday – since it has featured in Bridget Jone’s Diary and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, it is also one of the busiest markets of London.
Don’t forget to come hungry to take advantage of the free samples, be prepared to queue in the most famous stalls, and when you have finally chosen your meal, take it to Southwark Cathedral’s backyard – the market is located just behind it and it’s a pleasant place to enjoy one’s lunch.
Nearest Station : London Bridget
The Unilever series is an annual exhibition where an artist is invited to create a work of art for the Tate’s monumental Turbine Hall. The installations are among the most innovative sculptures of recent years – previous artists include Louise Bourgeois (2000) or Anish Kapoor (2002) – while their playful nature means that they are still accessible to the layman.
Last year installation, TH.2058 by Dominique Gonzales-Foerster, depicted a nightmarish vision of London in 2058, filled with Sci-Fi books on colourful bunk beds, giant animal skeletons and a massive screen showing strange films.
This year, Polish artist Miroslaw Balka has designed a huge box of 13 metres high and 30 metres long, filled with darkness, where visitors can enter. The pitch-dark interior is designed to alter the sense of space and create a sensation of excitement and unease.
View from the inside of the box:
The Unilever series change every year and works are displayed from approximately October to April every year. Access is free.
Nearest Tube Station: Southwark
Tate Modern Unilever Series website
The Tate Modern is, of course, an outstanding museum with world-renowned collections and some of the most popular exhibitions in London. However, one thing that this museum’s aficionados seldom forget to mention is that it offers one of the more spectacular panoramas on the Millennium Bridge and Saint Paul’s cathedral on the other bank of the Thames.
The entrance of the museum is free and you just need to take the lift to Tate’s café on the 7th floor – there’s no need to order anything – to enjoy the view. I think that this is definitely a place to keep in mind since most buildings with a good view on the city can be quite expensive – just think about the London Eye!
Nearest Tube: Southwark
If like me, you never quite managed to understand how to make the skateboard move when standing on it, or if your career as a skater stopped at the tender age of 8 with a broken limb, you may find a consolation in South Bank.
There, skaters come in packs, with their Baggy trousers and customized backpacks, to train and perform their moves, and you can enjoy the show while walking by – or even try to have a go at it.
Nearest tube: Waterloo – Southwark