14 December 2016
I’ve had many adventures since I moved to London. On Wednesday night, I had one of the best so far. I had an evening of cheese. After work, I met a friend and walked for about a half hour from Holborn to Borough Market – by London Bridge tube station. We were going for the “Evening Of Cheese” event that was being thrown there that night.
We arrived at about 7pm, an hour after it started, and were met by a huge crowd of people pushing to get into the area of the market where several cheese stands were situated. The event was free and wasn’t ticketed, which meant it was super busy. It didn’t help that, for some reason, the stalls were all situated in one small part of the market.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the evening. I didn’t know if it would be a lot of different stands with various cheeses, or whether there would also be street food stands, selling cheese based dishes. I hoped it would be the latter. Partly just because I hadn’t eaten dinner and also because Borough Market is home to Kappacasein – an amazing place that serves up raclette (melted cheese on potatoes) and a grilled cheese sandwich which I haven’t actually eaten before because I always go for the raclette but I’ve seen the sandwich queue and it is immense. That must mean something.
It turned out that street food wasn’t on offer but Kappacasein was there with a stand, selling their cheeses. So that’s where we started. We had to queue for quite a while to get to the front of the stall. I use the term “queue” loosely – it was more of a crush, like being at the front of a gig. A better queuing system really was necessary. Anyway, we got to the front of the masses and sampled a couple of pieces of their cheeses.
I was tempted to buy some but we decided to brave the crowds and try elsewhere before we settled on a cheese. This stuff wasn’t cheap. We could only afford one purchase. We spent a while trying other cheese samples – we only made it to two more stands because there were too many people to make it to any more. By that point, we actually couldn’t face more crowds so we headed away from the cheese market in search of something for dinner.
But then we decided we should brave it and actually get some cheese to make the night complete. We headed back to Kappacasein and bought a £7 slab of the first cheese we tried. I have no idea what it was but it was tasty. My friend had overheard someone saying they were going to find some bread and eat their cheese for dinner so we decided to steal that idea.
Unfortunately, there were no bread-selling stalls open so instead we walked down Borough High Street until we found a Sainsbury’s Local. We picked up a couple of rolls each and some drinks and then went back to Borough Market and found a quiet piece of curb next to a Christmas tree and spread out our cheese and bread picnic. It was perfect. And delicious.
Fed, watered and completely content, we finally left Borough Market for the last time that evening to go for a drink. On our bread hunt, we’d passed a place called Katzenjammers – a German-styled bar with a beer hall in the basement.
Downstairs, the basement has been filled with long wooden tables, which were nearly all filled. Thankfully, we managed to spot a space for us. There was German food on the menu (read: a lot of sausage based dishes) and a lot of German beers as well, served up in steins. These were about £10-£12 and huge so we decided just to go for halves. I mean, they called them halves but I’m pretty sure they were still pint-sized. It was a great place to end the night but next time I will definitely before dinner as opposed to after it.