While many restaurants and eateries remain closed following government guidelines, some outdoor food markets offer London foodies a bounty of good food, keeping you eating well and remaining safe during lockdown.
As Coronavirus still rampages throughout Europe, and the United Kingdom recommences with a secondary lockdown, the concern for most communities in London is where and how to enjoy leisure activities within the government guidelines.
The customers who arrive to Maltby Street Market in Bermondsey, London, are present not only to pursue light outdoor exercise during the weekend, but also to enjoy delicious meals that are provided by their local eateries. Even during lockdown, street food purveyors are allowed to remain open, but they can only offer take-away food. It is a harmonious exchange; one that is ever aware to make sure as to respect lockdown protocol.
Catherine Manser is a local resident and loyal customer of Maltby Street Market. Once a week, she visits the food stalls despite having worries about many people gathering in a public space.“It’s good because it means you can get out of the house these days. I may question how safe it is maybe because people are all crowned together but that would be my only concern.”,she said.
Maltby Street Market is among fifteen street food markets that are still offering Londoners a place to purchase takeaway food during this lockdown period. In order to maintain safety measures, customers are instructed to routinely wash their hands, wear face masks, and stick to a one-way system around the site. Dining within food establishments is strictly forbidden.
“I think it’s good. It’s outdoor. It’s quite safe. They are doing all the social distancing and everyone is wearing masks. I think it’s nice to get people out of the house. It’s not necessarily socialising, but coming out and enjoying some nice food.” said Nat Chaudhurly – a customer.
Keeping bellies full with delicious, wholesome food all within a safe, open space is not only a treat for Londoners, but it’s also supporting local businesses in such trying times.
Keith Bagley has been running his own restaurant, The Walrus and Carpenter for seven years. Thanks to the continued patronage of local customers, Keith is managing to keep afloat during this difficult time. “I am surprised to have many. It’s not as many as it’s used to be when it’s all eating and drinking, but what is very noticeable is that more and more local people are coming, people who live locally.’’
“We are getting busy and busier. So, I think it’s a good thing. It’s working well. We have a restaurant and we have to close that, so all we have is the fish sales. But in fact, the fish sales have gone up. So, we take less money but the fish sales are going up.” Keith added.
As the nation waits for lockdown to come to an end, we all question how life will continue after Covid-19 and what activities we can resume to enjoy. These pockets of food markets remain to provide, not only freshly made food, but also a sense of normality and unity in a time where the future shrouds itself in uncertainty.