Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Oysters and porter

click photo to enlarge
In recent years I've visited Borough Market in Southwark fairly regularly, often to grab something to eat or to have a drink. I've developed a particular liking for the pork, stuffing and apple sauce sandwiches from a stall that's been a regular fixture since I first went there. As a place to watch people, browse for food, listen to street musicians and generally soak up the character of London few places can beat this market and the surrounding streets.

However, one thing I have noticed, and found curious, is the way in which up-market eateries and high-price fast food joints in this part of London often affect a beat-up, artisan look. Places where a coffee costs £3 think that price will be more easily prised from the punter if the tables have an artfully battered look, the seating consists of communal benches and the decor harks back to what a costermonger of c.1910 might have experienced. Or so it seems to this provincial.

Take the oyster and porter house shown in today's photograph. There may have been a time when such an establishment used barrels instead of tables - but I doubt it. Yet today many people see this as desirable attribute, "authentic" in some way or other, and a reason for paying high prices. I think it most strange, but then I suppose I'm not the target market, either for the oysters or the barrels.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 105mm
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/125
ISO: 1600
Exposure Compensation:  -0.67 EV
Image Stabilisation: On