Charles and Camilla tour a revamped Borough Market
16:23 14 February 2013
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall enjoyed a cup of tea on a visit to a redeveloped Borough Market today,
The Prince of Wales chose to forgo his usual tea with no milk and a spoonful of honey and instead went for a traditional builders’ brew.
Charles wanted a cuppa with two sugars and as strong as you can make it, while the Duchess of Cornwall just wanted one sugar and some milk.
Cafe owner Maria Moruzzi, from Borough, said she was honoured by their arrival.
She worked in her parents’ cafe in the 1960s as a child before opening her own business which is famed for its bubble and squeak.
With the royal visit falling on Valentine’s Day the Duchess found herself receiving armfuls of romantic gifts from traders.
Florist Sharon Crane, 45, from Maidstone, Kent whose business opened today gave away her first flowers for free to the Duchess.
Ms Crane said after the presentation of roses: “I told her ‘I’m giving you a bouquet of flowers in case your husband forgets’ and she said she was hoping to get some.”
A few minutes later chocolatier Hayleigh Bazelya gave the Duchess a large chocolate heart decorated with the words “love from Borough Market”.
The royal couple last visited Borough Market in 2005 before a major three-year development project began that saw traders temporarily relocated when a new railway viaduct for nearby London Bridge station was built.
Market sellers have been based in the area for almost 1,000 years with today’s market tracing its history back to the 1750s.
It is famed for the quality of its produce and in recent years has experienced renewed interest as the popularity of farmers’ markets has grown.
“A real kick”
When they came to a cheese stall Charles jokingly banned his wife from trying a cows’ milk product on offer because it was flavoured with garlic.
He tasted a piece of Belper Knolle, that had been rolled in pepper and garlic salt, but Camilla did not sample the cheese, from Switzerland.
“He liked it,” said trader Anna Boehlen. “His wife was not allowed to try it because it has garlic in it.” But neither royal noticed a nearby cannabis cheese - made with hemp seeds.
Unfiltered olive oil left Charles pulling a face, then spitting it out when he had a sip, but when he tried another made from a different variety of olives, called Carolea, it met with his approval.
Camilla handed over a £20 note to stall owner Giuseppe Mele, 38, for a £14 bottle of the oil and she took her change.
Mr Mele laughed off the prince’s reaction to his oil from southern Italy and said: “He was surprised, the taste was a bit grassy as it’s not filtered. It probably was a bit spicy, it can give you a real kick.”
The duchess went on a shopping spree picking buying a spelt loaf and two croissants, to go with her bottle of olive oil and when she was handed a bag of meat from one store holder she joked the gift meant dinner was taken care of.
A leg of boar was also presented to the royal couple which had a visible price tag of £176.
Charles, himself a farmer and an advocate of organic food, took special interest in the produce being sold at many of the stalls.
The market attracts five million people a year and many of its 100-plus traders grow, rear or create the food they sell.
Before leaving the royal couple rang a newly-cast bell to re-open the market, a tradition which had fallen from use but will now be revived.