LDN Lunch Break Challenge: Borough Market free samples

Each week LDN Lunch Break Challenge will set and complete a timed task and wants you to do the same. Get involved.

The challenge

You’re broke, short on time, shameless and love London delicacies. You have 15 minutes to get as many free samples at Borough Market as you can. No such thing as a free lunch?

Let’s talk tactics

Pick and choose your stalls. Head out west side of Borough station to land straight at the truffle oils, salami and cheese stands. Snack stalls like these are ideal for free sample hunting, as they tend to have dips and slices ready and waiting. For your mains, avoid long queues and think about what sorts of foods might lend themselves to a ‘taster’ sample. Don’t even bother with the burger stalls as, short of asking for a bite of someone else’s, this is impossible. Charm may be required at these stations as they are unlikely to be proactively offering free spoonfuls. Ask for a taste, look pensive, smile and say you’ll pop back in a bit once you’ve had a look elsewhere. Don’t just wolf it down and bugger off. But remember: time is of the essence. Idle chitchat is folly.

LDN Lunch Break attempt

1pm: Leave Borough station, west side exit.

1.02pm: Crusty bread dipped in truffle oils and balsamic vinegar. Easy pickings: plentiful and delicious.


1.03pm: Cheese stand two paces right. No time to check kind. Tasted vaguely like gouda but I’m no expert. Nutty.


1.04pm: Adjacent salami stall to finish off your starters. Free sample slices on board. Classic.

1.06pm: Things get trickier in the hunt for a proper main. The old school, shouty market guys at the paella and Malaysian curry stand are good to go, thrusting piping hot spoonfuls into your face as you walk past. LDN Lunch Break did two laps of this stall and they either didn’t care or notice.


1.08pm: Having exhausted the west side, head through the tunnel to ‘Green Market’. It’s busier here, but plenty on offer. More salami before heading to the crab stall. Had to ask politely for a taster but they didn’t mind.


1.10pm: For the benefit of the vegetarians, head to the hummus and ‘cobbi vattana’ (cauliflower and peas).

1.13pm: Time for dessert. Fudge and Moroccan pastries freely available. Must dash now, tempus fudge-it.

1.15pm: Exit

Feasibility: 7/10
Satisfaction: 5/10 delicious but not particularly filling. Had to pop out for a sandwich at 4.
Cost: 10/10


Think you can do better? Give it a go and send in your results. Got a better suggestion? We’d love to hear them @LDNLunchBreak.


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