My first flat in London was on Bermondsey Street in London Bridge. At that time you couldn’t buy milk on the weekend within a 15 minute walk of the place. Now you can sip sherry, eat high class Italian fare, stare dumbstruck at the Shard and look around wondering “What the hell happened to the last nine years?!”
That could be just me though.
It’s an understatement to say the area has changed but I’m not here to reminisce about old times (like when a drunk friend fell out of a cab into some garbage bags out the front of our flat or when my flatmate made bacon sandwiches at 4am for the guys in the bakery opposite and then just left them on the street outside their door), this is not the time or the place.
Walking down Bermondsey Street last Friday evening I was on my way to what I remember to be a carpark and home to the antiques market twice a week. Bermondsey Square has transformed into a communal square housing a supermarket, hotel, apartments, cinema, bar and, for one night only, The StockMKT night market.
A giant tip of the hat to Lorna and her team for getting this market up and running after a false start in August, it’s a testament to the conviction that these types of events are a really great way of bringing communities together. Despite the chilly winds and randomly malfunctioning lights, the market had a convivial and friendly atmosphere with a buzzing energy of a regular event, a difficult thing to achieve.
Familiar street food stalls dotted the square, Bhangra Burgers, Kimchi Cult and Big Apple Hot Dogs all doing a roaring trade, as did unfamiliar stalls Santana Grill, Sweet Tooth Factory and Chrissie Makes. A variety of other vendors were selling everything from lingerie to Christmas hampers, leather goods to curry culinary lessons.
For me The Egg Boss was the biggest revelation. A regular at Venn Street Market, these scotch eggs are like the Bear Grylls of culinary adventure. Salt fish and akee scotch egg anyone? Burmese curry? Shaved black truffle? Follow the Boss on twitter for updates on the weekly changing flavours.
I’m looking forward to seeing where The StockMKT lands next, with a wider variety of stalls I think this one could run and run.