The foodie and tourist heaven of Borough Market is a great place – lively, ram-shackled, and bustling. As least it is on the true market days (Thursday, Friday, Saturday). On a Wednesday morning the vacuous stares of the camera-clutchers show either realisation they have come on the wrong day or bewilderment over the lack of much happening in this ‘must see’ destination.
Bedales was one of a handful of places open (a couple of fruit and veg people, Monmouth coffee, Brindisa…). I couldn’t decide if Bedales shabbiness was by design or accidental; it certainly fits in with the general air of the market, perhaps more so given the general lack of much happening. One good thing about going on an off-market day is the wide choice of seats!
Bedales doubles as a wine shop (with a hefty concentration on Europe and New Zealand – I didn’t spot an Aussie or a Chilean wine at all) and is one of three in a chain (the others being in the city). More than one bottle though is graced with a little Bedales Ladybird sticker which, according to the Bedales blog, denotes a biodynamic wine.
An unplanned chat with the wine-buyer/managing director, Arnaud Compas, just ‘passing through’ gave a little background to the range – “education by trial”, “to entice the non-connoisseur with the unusual”, “fall in love with the oddities”. In the brief chat you figure he greatly prefers wine tasting and befriending the wine-makers over spreadsheets and signing cheques… even if, in his own words, Bedales is “run like a car-boot sales. wine in – wines out”.
“Whilst we import much of our produce ourselves, we also maintain an impeccable army of artisan suppliers. We source our charcuterie and artisan cheeses, many of which are unpasteurised, from France’s famous ‘Rungis Market’, the world’s largest larder (it in fact covers more land than Monaco). Many of our finest bins come from boutique producers unearthed during globe-trotting research trips. For sapid support, we utilise some of the finest, most dedicated purveyors in the capital including fellow Borough Market traders.”
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