Last night was the official grand opening of Mercato Metropolitano, an Italian market in the heart of Elephant & Castle on the site of an old disused paper factory. But, this is more than just a market, and the vision they have is one of community and culture.
Walking in through the gates, the yellow communal benches and scattered greenery provided an immediate boost of vibrance and colour, and the buzz of people eating, drinking and socialising already began to live up to what I had pictured. There are stalls selling everything from pizza, arancini, gelato and the freshest mozzarella (there was even a stall where they were making burrata right in front of us – swoon!), to Spanish tapas and British beef. I opted for a delicious pizza with spicy salami, and an Aperol Spritz. I can highly recommend both!
I spent a lot of time browsing the Italian food store, full to the brim with all sorts of goodies. They have a whole wall of Italian wines, giant legs of ham, a range of pastas, cheeses, breadsticks, olives, anchovies… They’ve got the lot! If you’re looking for an interesting gift or an experimental treat they have a selection of chocolates with intriguing flavours like red wine and jasmine. Try the lasagne from the deli too – delish!
They’re even hosting Backyard Cinema, an experience cinema where you’re immersed in a jungle-like setting to watch films such as The Jungle Book and Jurassic Park. Check out their site for listings.
The highlight of my evening had to be watching the live band and swing dancing. People were having such a great time and it was impossible not to catch some of that infectious energy!
The finale of the grand opening was a display of fireworks from the top of one of the buildings!
Mercato Metropolitano is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 11pm (how good is that?!) and the nearest tube stations are Borough and Elephant & Castle. Let me know if you pay them a visit!