The Real Food Market, Southbank

One of my absolute favourite things to do on a Sunday, besides having a well deserved lie in and baking cakes, is heading down to the Southbank and spending a few hours strolling around The Real Food Market. It’s always a huge struggle to choose what to have for lunch and I have to do at least 2-3 laps of the market before I feel I can make a properly informed decision. It’s also nice to have a little nibble on a few free tasters with a cup of hot chocolate when it’s chilly (although admittedly I more often go for a mulled wine) or a refreshing juice in the summer months. I always want to buy so many things to take home with me, the piles of artisan breads, cheeses, cakes and even the fruit and veg always look so inviting.

The Real Food Market is open every Friday through to Sunday in the Southbank Centre Square, just behind the Royal Festival Hall. Sometimes there are special events and different festivals on and the market spills out onto the river side which makes it even more difficult to decide what to eat! The World Street Food Festival is coming up on 18th-21st April, I went to this last year and it’s definitely on my calendar this year, it’s incredible. Be sure to turn up with an empty belly because you will want to eat A LOT. Last year I managed to squeeze in a paella, a pizza from those Pilgrim brothers and a Bleecker Street Burger!

Last weekend I had a particularly delicious lamb and chickpea tagine from The Community Kitchen, pictured above. Served with red cabbage, a lovely freshly cooked flatbread, chilli sauce and some sort of delicious minty yoghurty sauce, this was an absolute delight, so warming and comforting. It was a little bit spicy but not anything that’s going to blow your head off. The Real Food Market is a really great place to try new foods, with most dishes priced up at around the £5 mark there’s really no excuse not to give it a go!

 

After having finally picked something for lunch, it’s usually too tempting not to follow it up with a pudding. The churros stall is one of my favourites, but when I’m too stuffed I like to get some baklava or a brownie to take home with me.

 

I took away a few things with me last weekend, the first of which was a selection of fudge as a gift for The Boyfriend who was busy at home revising for exams. I’d not seen Yum Yum Tree fudge at the market before (whether it’s new or I’d just not noticed it, I’m not sure) but it took me a little while trying all the exciting flavours to pick out this little selection. The mango fudge was particularly good, it’s one of those things that just sounds like it shouldn’t work, mango with fudge, but it was definitely my favourite.

I also couldn’t resist buying a little chunk of this delicious Comte cheese (below) from The Borough Cheese Company. I had a little sample nibble a couple of times as I walked past and loved it’s unique, fruity flavour. This didn’t last very long after I got home, the cheeseboard came straight out!

If you’re out and about in London at the weekend or looking for something to do by the river, The Real Food Market is well worth a visit. Whether you’re looking for foodie gifts or just want a bite to eat for lunch, I really think it’s on the must do list for any Londoner or visitor, there’s so much to choose from it’s impossible to be disappointed.

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