London is chock full of markets. And walking is the best way to discover these. Lazily strolling through them, you would be surprised the kind of unlikely treasures you are likely to chance upon here. What better way to spend a day than going to the market in a more traditional sense instead of chain stores or shopping at Amazon. London with its numerous hotchpotch markets is just perfect for days on end of discovery, indulgence and of course food. You bet London has many more markets than what we mention here, but these are the ones we personally explored and loved-
Portobello Saturday market in Notting Hill exudes charm. Every bit of the market which stretches two miles all along Portobello Road is deliciously exciting. It is said that connoisseurs pick up valuable antiques from here either for keeps or to later auction at disproportionate prices. Prices seem to drop as you delve further into the market The blue door from the movie Notting Hill has long been removed (it was sold), though you will still find the book store if you look. There is also Hummingbird bakery here for the yummiest cupcakes. The arcade here has for years been the trading grounds for over a hundred antique dealers. Almost every ethnic community in London has a presence here bestowing on the market a somewhat bohemian feel.
Borrough market, by London Bridge operates under railway tracks and is great for wine and cheese, not to mention giant ostrich eggs and unusual cider. This is a great place to indulge the gastronome in you. You can also pick up all kinds of fresh produce here. Tate modern and the Globe are both just a hop, skip and jump away.
Seven Sister’s market is a distinctly Latin American market. The market’s a hidden gem. It’s an indoor market with about a dozen or so shops but if you are looking for anything South American you’ll be sure to find it here. Many attempts have been made by bigger corporations to pull it down but Londoners as always have rallied around to squash multinational greed.
Try quintessential Latin American grub like black beans and fried plantain with sticky rice and a salad side for less than £ 5 for the entire platter. The pastels we tried were also as good as any. Music, dance, food and a laid-back air permeates this market. Occasionally, conversation gets more slurred and furniture thrown around and broken. But do not fret, the hot blooded latino spirit quickly abates just as easily as it gets roused.
Camden market- is not a single market but a series of markets. You can get lost browsing here. From vintage stores to cheap knick knacks there is something for everyone in this bohemian space. It is also well known for its curios and crafts. Lost `N` Found is a vintage shop here that we absolutely loved. The store sells all kinds of vintage clothing. It wont burn a whole in your pocket and if you look hard enough you are liable find some pretty snazzy wear or accessories either as theme party wear and even for everyday use from 50`s cocktail gowns to 70`s denim. Look and you will probably find. Something cool.
Covent garden market is probably on the check list of every tourists itinerary. If retail therapy entails jumping from one chain store to another, this is the perfect place for you. If this strikes you as being not so exciting or way too commercial, don’t worry the market still has some old world independent stores like Segar and Snuff specialty tobacco and cigars. The apple market in the Piazza is not a bad place to wander around shopping for touristy knick knacks. For a little more eccentric market madness, try Jubilee market in South Piazza. Different wares from antiques to clothing is sold on different days.
Brick lane market is where iffy meets chic crossed with retro. This exciting market has fast been expanding. Blink and it will probably have groan bigger than the last time you saw it. From curry houses,-to offbeat stores selling antiques or bric a brac – to upmarket fashion clothing- to retro themed tea houses- to kids selling stolen goods, this eccentric market is a mishmash of sights sounds and smells. You never know what you will discover here. Go see for yourself.
Feature image- Fresh produce being sold at Borough market. Image courtesy- pcruciatti / Shutterstock.com