You know that feeling that you’re the last to know about something? I hate that feeling. Like on Popbitch when someone would post ‘corn’, a scathing response to some gossip that was as old as the repeal of the Corn Laws. (I secretly liked ‘corn’ as a diss – it meant those two years doing GCSE history weren’t wasted after all.)
Maltby Street’s been on my radar for ages, since my old flatmate Slash (not that Slash, though I did meet that Slash in LA years ago and he was terribly nice) mentioned it, in a ‘I’m surprised you don’t know about Maltby Street when all you ever do is talk about your next meal,’ kind of way.
Strictly speaking I’m probably not the last to know, as Maltby Street still feels like a well-kept secret and is joyously un-rammed, unlike Borough Market, which now permanently feels like Thorpe Park on August Bank Holiday weekend.
The nearest tube is London Bridge, home of THE MASSIVE CHARMLESS SHARD, which is not any prettier close up than from a distance.
Maltby Street actually refers to two stretches of railway arches about 5 minutes walk from London Bridge, which house some fantastic food retailers / wholesalers.
We started with a coffee in the sunshine outside Monmouth Coffee. There’s such a relaxed atmosphere – it’s very low-key and communal – couples, families, grannies, fashionable Scandinavians, the odd super-hipster with silly glasses and pale pink pedal pushers.
We walked past these rather impressive goat’s curd and garlic confit crostini, 50p a pop, at 40 Maltby Street.
and past various arches owned by Lassco, the architectural salvage company, with random things like these old radiators
and these cinema chairs for sale:
Among these arches are fabulous little shops like Mons, which sells delicious French cheeses
and Fern Verrow
who sell biodynamically farmed seasonal produce like these plump, perfect broad beans
and these slim fennel, which look almost alien:
If you then walk through to Druid Street, you get to this lot:
More fantastic meat, sausages, cheeses:
Most exciting for me are these guys:
The St John Bakery, which is only open to the public on a Saturday, sells their fabulous bread:
but more importantly one of my favourite things in the world, the St John custard donut.
I know it’s pathetic to post two such similar pictures, but I honestly love these donuts so much I couldn’t bear not to put both on here…
I’m coming back next week to spend some time here with the King of Donuts, Justin – if I don’t die of excitement in the mean time.
After our little adventure, we rushed back over to Bermondsey Street for 11.55, to queue outside Jose in time for midday opening, more of which forthwith…