The Real Food Market, which takes place weekly behind the Royal Festival Hall close to Waterloo station, not only has quality food and drink on sale – it also has a quality atmosphere.
What do I mean by that exactly? Well, let me explain. On the same day I visited the Real Food Market, I also took a look around Borough Market, located further along the river at London Bridge. Now, there's no doubt that Borough Market is indeed also a wonderful food market, but the crowds! The crowds! There were so many people there it was as if every Tom, Dick and tourist in the country had decided to pay it a visit. As a consequence, battling against the hordes of shoppers was, it has to be said, more than a little stressful at times.
So imagine my delight when I happened upon the Real Food Market at the Royal Festival Hall and found that I could actually walk freely about the place without being shoved from pillar to post. Perfect!
While there were certainly plenty of punters milling about on the hunt for some decent nosh, the pace was slower and less frenetic, and so made for an altogether more pleasant experience.
The market is open for business Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and offers a wide range of cuisines at prices to suit everyone's budget. Whether you're after a light snack or something more substantial, it's a safe bet you'll find something among its many stalls.
If you're in central London of a weekend – anywhere near Southbank, the London Eye, Waterloo station, or even Trafalgar Square – do pop along to the Real Food Festival to see what's on offer. With food and drink that 's fresh, of a high quality and affordable, I'm certain you won't regret it.