Borough Market is by far the best farmer’s market in central London and it’s no exaggeration to say that it owes its vitality to Cumbrians. Of these the most vital is Peter Gott. Peter dominates the meat side of things in the market, is good friends with Jamie Oliver and has become a bit of a celebrity in his own right (Jamie catches some of Peter’s glory). In a way, Peter was responsible for me starting to keep pigs, and later to buy a farm, because I wanted him to supply my hotels with his meat but he told me that the toffs at Borough Market were taking all his produce. They pay a much better price than I can afford. But Peter is by no means the only Cumbrian presence there. I was delighted to see a large and very busy stall operated by Furness Fish and Game. Their proprietor, Les Salisbury, was my first ever fish supplier when I started in the hotel trade in Ulverston. Les began by fishing for shrimps in Morecambe Bay going out on a horse and cart. Another local presence at Borough Market is Cumbrian Speciality Meats, owned by Steven and Joanne Airey, who also operate the abattoir near Newby Bridge where most of the Cumbrian rare-breed cattle are killed, including mine.
It’s good to see that Londoners can get to enjoy the best of our local food and I also got a certain amount of pleasure at seeing, from a glance at the price tags, that they pay about double what we do.