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Billingsgate Fish Market and Seafood School

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by Ian Marshall (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer and yogi living in Tepoztlan, Mexico where I'm running www.casadelcorazon.mx with my girlfriend. You can keep up with my other writing on www.bollocks2thewellingtons.com/ or www.spiritualheartjourney.com
Published January 22nd 2013
Catch of the Day
One of the oldest fish markets in the world, Billingsgate, near Canary Wharf, still does a roaring trade although deliveries are down these days from around 400 tonnes of produce a week to 100.

The original location on Billingsgate Wharf was first registered in 1699 as a trading place for fish but the market has been in its current location since 1982.

Billingsgate Fish Market, Isle of Dogs, Canary Wharf, Fish, Billingsgate,
Billingsgate Fish Market


The large market building stands just behind the towers of Canary Wharf on the Isle of Dogs and contains all sorts of fish and seafood from around 40 traders.

Fish, Billingsgate Fish Market, Isle of Dogs
A fine display of fish


The market opens from 4am and trading stops at 9.30am, meaning it takes an early start to get the cream of the catch, indeed some of the more popular stalls had sold out by around 7.30am and were already packing up!



The market is open from Tuesday to Saturday with fresh catches coming in particularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I was here with the Billingsgate Seafood School, being shown around and told a bit about the various sea creatures available. It was a Christmas present from my girlfriend and they are a charity, so for every paying customer a child can come and learn about seafood for free.

We were shown live eels, razor clams and langoustine amongst all the fish!

Live Eel, Billingsgate Fish Market, Isle of Dogs, Canary Wharf, Fish, Billingsgate,
A live but thankfully docile eel in the cold


Razor Clams, Billingsgate Fish Market, Isle of Dogs, Canary Wharf, Fish, Billingsgate,
Razor Clams
Langoustine, Billingsgate Fish Market, Isle of Dogs, Canary Wharf, Fish, Billingsgate,
Langoustine

 


We then had breakfast of smoked haddock and a poached egg and were shown how to de-scale, gut and fillet the various fish that we bought.

I ended up with a Sea Bass a John Dory and some Monkfish for a friend. These were all relatively straightforward, although getting the skin off the monkfish was a bit tricky - the "deep cut" method proving hard to master.

I came away with some Lemon Sole and a Grouper as well from some of the other participants, so felt like I had got a really good deal from the day.

When I got home I prepared a lunch of Baked Sea Bass with Roasted Vegetables which was delicious!

It may not be an every week opportunity to come down here for most but I'd definitely recommend it as somewhere to check out and you can get some real bargains as well!

Just watch out for the Conga Eel!

Conga Eel, Billingsgate Fish Market, Isle of Dogs, Canary Wharf, Fish, Billingsgate,
Conga Eel

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Why? Fresh fish at a great price
When: Tuesday- Saturday 4AM-9.30
Phone: 020 7517 3548
Where: Isle of Dogs, London
Cost: Cheap fish!
Your Comment
Glad you enjoyed it.. I definitely want to check it out next time.
by SophiesNotinKansas (score: 2|120) 2282 days ago
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