I visited Maltby Market and Spa Terminus for the first time just before Christmas. I arrived there in time for lunch after enjoying coffee and croissants in Borough Market. The close proximity of the two markets make them ideal for merging breakfast into lunch.
While that may be so, they are no way in competition. Maltby is smaller yes, but still maintains an element of surprise which Borough does so effortlessly with its nooks and crannies. The characterful arches in Maltby have a lot to do with this. You see, Maltby Market is perfectly placed on Ropewalk, close to an area known as Spa Terminus: a series of railway arches which allows food businesses to operate with the comfort of long-term tenure. They operate as wholesale traders during the week but at the weekend, swing their doors open to the public. The area is deeply rooted in food production which makes it great to see a full market operating and feeding off that established energy.
I feel I have many visits ahead of me before I feel fully au fait with Maltby and Spa Terminus. That is what is so intriguing about it all: this air of mystery. Is it a market? Are they the same or two separate things? Or is it a market showcasing the produce in the area? I’m not sure, but the not knowing keeps me coming back.
Like many other living and breathing humans, I find the sight of a toasted cheese sandwich hard to resist. Even though the toasted cheese sandwich is becoming a bit of a commodity in itself, with a toastie café having just opened in Soho, these guys are one of the originals.
The Maltby branch of St John is housed in one of the quaint arches which makes for a relaxing sit down after battling the market crowds outside. Justin Gellatly of Bread Ahead was previously Head Baker and Pastry chef here, so you might find you recognise those doughnuts famous for their pastel hues and air-like consistency.
There is just something so cheerful about this little arch that really sends my Saturday into a swing. Even on the cold December day of my first visit I was drawn to the warm ambience at this cute gin bar. The spirit itself is made in small batches locally in South London, drawing on grapefruit and orange botanicals. The kitsch menu features such wonders as Rhubarb Robin Negroni and the Early Bird Breakfast Martini, should the mood strike you before noon.
Mark, of Monty’s Deli guards the secret recipe of his delectable sandwiches very closely. The food is described as ‘Jewish soul food’ and a lunch break here will soothe your soul and cradle your very being. The bagels, the salt beef, the mustard-everything, is all produced by hand. A real honest to goodness sandwich.
Maltby Street Market
41 Maltby Street,
Dockley Road Industrial Estate,