So far so good, although the conceit of sending novelist Geoff Dyer off on a Lawrence tour of Europe with DH scholar Catherine Brown is distinctly less successful. The pair don’t share any screen chemistry whatsoever and Dyer doesn’t even give the impression of liking Lawrence all that much. Still, for the most part, a persuasive reappraisal of the man Rachel Cusk calls ‘the greatest writer of English prose.’
As the hordes of Borough Marketeers stuff their faces while standing up, above them in the elegant mezzanine Floral Hall is the more refined eating option – the staunchly British Roast, which feels like the perfect restaurant to have at the heart of London’s larder. The formal operation (precise service, gleaming tableware on white cloths) contrasts with the generally jolly crowd, who rock up for special occasions and family get-togethers in often casual clobber. It’s a very pleasant place for a long lunch or luxurious breakfast. You’d be disappointed if the roasts themselves weren’t up to scratch – but they’re among the city’s best. Free-range pork belly with apple sauce, Goosnargh chicken with bread sauce, or blackface lamb with mint relish all appear. These are bracketed with sophisticated starters (we had grilled sardines with pickled beetroot and blood orange), and grown-up versions of British puds. Visit on a Sunday, as many do, and the menu is restricted to £37.50 for three courses, which although very filling seems rather steep – indeed, prices across the board aren’t especially economical. Still, Roast is right at home amid the food-focused throng of Borough Market.
Venue says: “It’s mid-afternoon and you fancy a cuppa and a slice of cake (or four). A sandwich? A scone? Join us for afternoon tea, 1.30-4.30pm Mon-Fri.”