I expend an amazing long weekend in London, Olympics included, and of course I did some bread tourism.
First, I was in the beautiful Borough Market around the corner of London Bridge, and luckily for me it was opened everyday during the Olympic games, so I visited it a couple of times. Borough market has been in the same location since 1755 and before that there was a market in the Borough since the XI century. So a bit of a tradition here. You can find loads of different food, great food from meats to vegetables, juices and wines, cooked and ready to eat and of course pastries, sweets and all kind of baked food. so breads. I think I counted at least 3 different stands with breads, sourdough, rye, Italians bread, loafs, soda breads, etc. Some of the big names of London sells their breads here, like Saint John.
And that's the second place where I visited, Saint John Bread and Wine. I was literally 5 minutes from where I was staying, in Whitechapel (yeah, that place where Jack the Ripper used to be active) so decided to go to this one and not to Saint John Restaurant. As you probably know, Saint John is not famous only for their food but also for their breads. Very close to Tower Bridge they have the bakery but unfortunately it was close when I went to see it. Not a big thing, as I could try their bread in that restaurant. Because everything I ordered in Saint John came with bread, toasted, white and brown. My friend Victor and I shared 3 dishes: beetroot and egg salad, cheese plate and smoked mackerel and pickle red cabbage. Breads were the perfect combination. Some of the customers bought some bread and jams after paying the bill, and that's the philosophy of this place: dinning rood, wine and bakery shop.
Finally, apparently I am not able to go anywhere and buy some books. I don't know if it's more a tradition, a obsession or an urge, but anyway I bought a few books in London, 2 of them bread related books.
First one, The bread Revolution, by Duncan Glendinning and Patrick Ryan, founder of The Thoughtful Bread Co in Bristol (and Bath) the first one and from The Firehouse Bakery-Bread School in Skibereen (West Cork).
And the second one, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Tom Herbert and Henry Herbert. Tom is a master baker who runs the famous Hobbs House Bakery that has been the family business for five generations. His brother Henry is the acclaimed chef who runs the Hobbs House Butchery right next door.
So as I said, lets warm up with this two good books and...let's bake!