Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Morning glory

I'm still recovering from the weekend.

Not because I was out dancing all night or at some glamorous event that trailed on into the early hours. No, I was up at 4am on Saturday morning visiting Billingsgate Market, home to 1001 species of fish - about half of which I'd never seen before.

Billingsgate is located slap bang next to Canary Wharf. It's an incongruous piece of old London still alive and kicking in London's financial hub, a fish-gutsy anomaly amidst all the gleaming glass and steel of the city. Everyone loves a survivor don't they?

I was lured out on this uncharacteristically early jaunt by a friend with new-found culinary zeal and the promise of buying sweet, juicy crabs. But like true shopaholics, we ummed and ahhed our way through the bewildering range before eventually coming back with a pair of crabs, a kilo of enormous unshelled prawns, 2 kilos of mussels and and a cluster of oysters. Something to nibble on while we prepared the crabs apparently.

Ok, I wasn't that hard to convince.

Some tips for visiting the market:

1) Wear sensible shoes. Definitely don't wear ballet pumps like I did, as you will find yourself followed by a mysterious fishy odour for days afterwards...

2) Take an ice pack for keeping things cool on the journey home

3) Don't name the crabs that you will have to plunge a knife into later on. The look in Freddie's eyes as we lifted his tail to deliver the killing blow...I will take it with me to my grave.

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