A historic extension to Borough Market will give foodies a mouth-watering new restaurant as well as more fresh produce
Good news for London foodies. Their favourite market at Borough in South London has just been extended to make room for more stalls selling top quality meat and veg.
The new Floral Hall at Borough Market was designed by Southwark-based architects Greig + Stephenson. The centrepiece of the two-storey building is a handsome wrought iron portico that once formed part of Covent Garden Floral Hall.
The portico was put into storage in Wales when it became surplus to requirements following the renovation of the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in 1995. In an inspired move the Borough Market Trustees brought it back to London for a £1 and Greig + Stephenson incorporated it into the market’s regeneration plans.
While the Victorian portico may have been lost amid the grandeur of Covent Garden’s Georgian buildings, at Borough it stands out from its surroundings and gives the market an identity that it previously lacked.
Ken Greig, director of Grieg + Stephenson said: “The portico gives Borough Market a real sense of place and a strong identity that reflects grander structures that were demolished in the 1850s and 60s by the coming of the railways”.
To celebrate the completion of the Floral Hall Greig + Stephenson recently hosted an evening showcasing the best of Borough Market’s food and drink. The guests washed down spiced meats and organic burgers with tasty organic beer and a traditional jazz band oompah’d the night away.
Guest of honour was Griff Rhys Jones who took time out from his Restoration TV series to praise the project and the craftspeople who contribute towards the restoration of Britain’s heritage. Rhys Jones' speech proved that he could still cut it as a comedian, and his best aside was his description of the portico – he said it was the best thing he had seen sine Cliff Richard’s holiday home in Barbados. A lesson there for anyone opening a new building - more comedy, and less complicated architect-speak please.
Later this year a restaurant called Roast will open on the first floor of the new building. Specialising in the best of British food, the restaurant is bound to be a hot ticket – not only will it be in one of the most interesting new spaces in London, it will also be run by the Indian team behind the award-winning Cinnamon Club in Westminister. Yum, yum – queue here please.