Smithfield market ☆☆☆
The main meat market of London, where the butchery happens in the wee hours of the morning
You don't come here for shopping—unless you're in the market for a couple of sides of beef.
This is London's main meat market, two long Victorian buildings with an open loading dock in the middle, making for a weird bit of early morning sightseeing (you soon get used to the smell)—things are already winding down by 7am.
The Museum of London has announced long-term plans to move into one of the market's unused buildings.
History and film buffs will be happy to know that the roundabout square off the S side of the market was where William "Braveheart" Wallace was drawn-and-quartered on 23 August 1305 (there's a plaque on the wall of St. Bartholomew Hospital).
The real reason to visit, though, is the Fox & Anchor pub at 115 Charterhouse St., which has a special exemption to the local liquor licenses allowing it to serve beer at breakfast to hungry meat cutters knocking off the early shift at work (it costs about $26, but it'll last you through to dinner, trust me—two eggs, bacon, pork and leek sausages, minute steak, beans, calves liver, fried bread, mushcroom, black and white pudding, a tomato, unlimited tea, and—of course—a pint of stout). » more