Ropewalk, Maltby Street Market is a lovely little way to while away an hour or two on a weekend morning.
It’s a bit off the beaten track and is set beneath scuzzy old railway arches in Bermondsey, about a 20-minute walk from the heaving Borough market.
When you make it to Ropewalk you’re met with a cute and buzzy, delicious-smelling alleyway of food and drink that makes you want to stretch your stomach to double its size for the morning so you can fit everything in.
Veggies who want doorstep-sized sandwiches of bubbling grilled cheese of all varieties should head to The Cheese Truck. Carnivores who want huge amounts of chic cow between their slices of bread should head to Monty’s Deli, which specialises in “Jewish soul food”. The deluxe reuben is stuffed to the gils with pastrami and salt beef and accompanied by a humongous gherkin. (Julian had the reuben, I had his gherk).
Sweet breakfast-lovers (me) can go to Waffle On for big, fat authentic German waffles drizzled in all manner of teeth-decaying deliciousness, or Comptoire Gourmand for posh coffee and made-right-before-your-eyes croissants and cakes in super sizes.
It doesn’t stop there: you can pick up pork pies, meats and olive oils, designer breads and dirty burgers – all the usual lovely craft food market fare, but without the big old queues you get at Maltby’s good neighbour, Borough.
Then there’s booze. My little party (me, Julian and baby girl in the Baby Bjorn) went on a Sunday morning, in the car, so drinking potential was limited – but oh, how I wanted to settle in at the shabby chic Little Bird Gin bar and try some of their London-made gin concoctions.
Instead I settled for healthy booze from the Polish Punch store: a steaming mug of spiced apple juice with an, um, big shot of vodka. Julian stuck with his Comptoire Gourmand coffee, being the designated driver for this particular trip *cough*. The Polish Punch packed a right old punch, by the way. I slept for an hour on our return.
And if you want a bit of eye candy/retail therapy, head to antique store Lassco with its big Aloha sign that welcomes you in. (Ahhh, Hawaii…) Have a browse around the old restaurant signs, vintage mirrors, doorknobs, mirrors, you name it – and know that even if your budget is tiny you can buy yourself a little handmade soap or cup of joe from the coffee bar inside.
Ropewalk, Maltby Street Market, 41 Maltby Street, SE1 3PA