So we are back in London and being unemployed I have been utilising all London has to offer (for free). SO after the past few weeks of frantic freeloading I thought it was about time to put up some thoughts on the various locations
First lets start with Markets:
Broadway Markets (Sat)
Relatively small market with various excellent produce (think borough markets in miniature without the tourists). Also it has a range of vintage clothes and little designer gifts. Good shops to look around too. Not worth going out of your way for but excellent place to hang out if your in the area. Gab and I walked from here to Kingsland road, along the lovely canal, for some tasty Vietnamese. Yum!
Camden Markets (Sat)
I headed here with Luke, my cousin’s son (so my second cousin??), a few weeks ago to show him the awesomeness that is Camden and pick up some clothes for him from Cyberdog for his upcoming ‘Nu-Rave’ party. Camden is an awesome and overwhelming hive of humanity. Source of endless array of clothes, jewelry, and nick nacks. Excellent for people watching. Cyberdog is is a must see withing the ants nest of must sees. It is a pulsing flashing neon complex of caves filled to bursting with rave paraphernalia. Luke took home a t-shirt complete with equalizer along with programmable belt. He was the bell of the ball i bet.
Shorditch and Spitifields Markets (Sundays)
Spitialfields markets is a very touristy markets that is fun to look around but i find generally overpriced and overly polished (too clean an experience).. some good clothes items can be picked up and an excellent place to grab lunch. I recommend the pastry stall and the square pie shop – specially for those Australians out there that miss the ol’ meat pie. A short walk from here on Brick lane is one of my favourite places and markets – Shorditch. Its crammed with little local designers showing their wears (again it can be expensive but there are cheap gems to be found) but it is a great place to see some really unique stuff. all along brick lane north of these markets the street is lined with designer shops. Its really is brilliant. At the very end of te street (just further than you think is actually the end) there is is a few gems – Tatty Devine (http://www.tattydevine.com/) home of everything perspex and a hat store called Bernstock Speirs (www.bernstockspeirs.com) that during winter do awesome beanies complete with veil.
Also on brick lane check out the 2 bagle shops for some excellent salt beef or cream cheese bagles cheap and brilliant!
I went to these famous antique markets for the first time recently with Gab one wet and dreary Saturday morning. Since arriving in London they had been on my long list of ‘to do’ and several times i have been to portabello road but missed the markets (ie it wasn’t sat morning). But this time feeling like a real tourist (still had my holiday glow) we set off.
First impressions: it was a hemorrhaging tourist like there was some black hole that joins the London eye directly with the markets. The antiques were varied and there was some lovely stuff but it was all just so expensive that it felt like ‘tourist prices’. That said there are gems to be found if you have the cash to spare and I did like the markets and will go again as it was a good window shopping (i Love Antique jewelry) and there are some excellent gastronomic options in the area. If you do make it here make sure you get into the Humming Bird Cafe. I have two words for you- RED VELVET. Pick up some cupcakes and head out. I have also heared that ‘Tom’s Cafe’ (226 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2CH) is good and it is on my list to check out. If your into Burlesque/ 1950’s lingerie then check out the boutique store ‘What Katie Did’ (http://www.whatkatiedid.com/) that is down the end of the markets where the antiques thin out and it turns into a vintage clothes mecca.
Camden Passage Markets (wed and sat)
Excellent source of vintage and antique clothes and jewelry. Cheaper and much less touristy than portabello markets in a very ambient cobbled lane close to angel station. These used to be my local haunt and I would walk through them every wednesday on my way to work wistfully scanning the wears keen to pick up a steel. They shall always be close to my heart.
Petty Coat Lane markets
This is a traditional east London markets. Good locations for cheap (in price and in quality) clothes but home to the occasional gem. Also home to some traditional ‘Greasy Spoons’ where you can get some good strong tea.
Chapel St Market (Fri and Sat)
Ordinary local street farmers markets that mirrors farmers markets around the city. There is a good cheese and good olive stand. In summary its got various fresh food stalls but nothing gourmet.
Borough Markets (Thursday – Sat)
The ultimate home of food porn. Come with a full wallet and empty stomach. I highly recommend the chorizo bbq roles, the roast beef/pork stall and the french pastry stall. To much goodness to fit into one visit (as i discovered when i worked walking distance from it last year). I can’t recommend it highly enough.