If you live in London, love fresh fish and seafood and waking up at 3am doesn't phase you, then a trip to Billingsgate Market really ought to be done at some point!
I am frightfully cantankerous in the mornings so this is not something that I often do. In fact, I only went as our pregnant friend had a persistent craving for octopus and had been frequenting the market over the previous few weeks unsuccessful in her attempts to secure her catch!
Despite the ghastly early hours, the market is bustling with activity and I had to wake up fast and keep my wits about me. There are buyers from top London's finest restaurants, shoppers, porters, sellers and more dashing here and there with buckets of fish scented water being unceremoniously splashed about the floors. Wellies and your lesser loved clothing is a good idea.
The sellers are full of banter and happy to engage in some bartering and a bit of chit-chat. They all seem very proud of their stock.
The fish looked very fresh and the reward for the early adventure is a pick of the freshest at very reasonable prices.
If you are of a sensitive disposition (or vegetarian) then you probably won't enjoy this experience, but I would definitely recommend a visit at least once to any Londoner.
If you do decide to partake in this adventure, then do take the following with you:
- Bin liners to carry your purchases home without stinking out your car.
- Newspaper to line your car floor with.