“I always thought something like this could never happen in Borough Market. It’s a food market. It’s sacrosanct. Kind of a bubble that could not be penetrated.”
You can hear the emotion in Nadia Stokes’ voice as she recalls the events of last weekend that claimed eight lives and injured dozens more.
“It kind of feels like someone has gone into our house, our home,” she continued, “for a lot of traders, Borough Market has been their home for many years.
“People may think it’s a spot for tourists, but at its heart is a bunch of crazy traders who feel very happy and secure there.
“It’s more than just our working environment. It’s a place where there’s a lot of passion and energy. It’s heart-breaking what happened.”
Nadia, a chef, runs the food stall Gourmet Goat along with her husband, Nick. Borough Market has been their home for the last three years.
Last Saturday had begun like any other Saturday. Nadia was at home in Enfield, while Nick was manning the food stall in Rochester Walk.
Nick had stayed on late to see to a broken water heater, missing the attack by a couple of hours. One of their staff was not so lucky, escaping the attack by running into a nearby restaurant.
A dish to remember lives lost
In the wake of the attacks in Manchester and London, the British Red Cross launched the UK Solidarity Fund. Donations will help victims of terror attacks anywhere in the UK, and right now in London.
As part of a fundraising drive, the British Red Cross is urging people to come together tomorrow during a ‘Saturday Night for London’ to support the victims of terror attacks.
Theatres, restaurants, hotels and businesses have all pledged to support the campaign, including Gourmet Goat.
“It was earth shattering. We felt helpless,” said Nadia. “We wanted to take back control and do something constructive to help.
“Joining up with other people in London felt like the most natural thing in the world to do. We want to show that the good in the city far outweighs the bad.”
While London Bridge station and the bridge itself reopened on Monday, Borough Market has remained shut.
As soon as the market reopens, Nadia, who grew up in Cyprus, will be cooking up a traditional east Mediterranean dish known as Koliva to support the UK Solidarity Fund.
Each ingredient symbolises something different, as Nadia explained.
“The wheat berries represent human life, and our ability to grow and regenerate,” she said.
“The aromatic spices, cinnamon and aniseed, symbolise the sweet sense of our existence in the world.
“The mint represents the wish for a green, happy heavenly existence once life has passed. The idea is to offer the dish to remember those who have passed and to celebrate life and kindness. It’s the least we can do.”
Gourmet Goat will be giving out Koliva to customers for free and asking only for a donation to the UK Solidarity Fund.