One of the many things I have come to enjoy in London are the various weekend markets. To my knowledge, we don't have these exact markets, but we do have events that are similar. The markets here would be a cross between an American farmer's market and a fair. They sell locally grown produce, as well as food, clothing, jewelry, sometimes antiques and any other nick-nacks they may have! I have enjoyed walking around on cool mornings, browsing all of the different items vendors are selling and chatting with them about London. Below are the markets I have visited so far in the order I have visited them.
Bloomsbury Farmer's Market
My suite mate, Kylie, found this market only a few blocks away from Russell Square early on in our semester. It is quite convent because it is only a bit away from out home. We have made it a weekly event to go there on Thursdays to gather our produce for the week. Kylie usually stocks up on a bag of apples, while I grab a bag of pears. We occasionally pick up breads or cookies from the bakery shop, Flourish, that also provides products for my favorite shop, The People's Supermarket. There are quite a lot of specialized vendors, and over time we have been here we have managed to pick up scrumptious cheese, venison, veggie pies, and even spicy sauces. One Thursday, we ventured there for lunch and I picked up a mushroom and cream pasta. It was quite good. The people here are very kind, and the weather has always been nice. If you've got an hour on a Thursday, it is definitely worth a stop!
At the suggestion of a friend, Kevin and I ventured uptown in the morning to do a bit of shopping and browsing. We searched through a vintage shop, and found a jeans jacket that Kevin now sports quite often. There are many little stands where you can buy reasonably priced food, and then enjoy it on nifty motorcycle seats. Other than this aspect though, the market is not my favorite. The people and items are quite alternative.
Covent Garden Market
On the same day we ventured to Camden Market, we ventured to Covent Garden Market. What a difference! Covent Garden is in a very posh section of London. The market was quite big. There were entertainment acts going on surrounded by a lot of places selling food, specifically sweets. A lot of the shops there were inside buildings and were permanent, however with all the people bustling around it still felt like a market. We didn't really buy anything (except for a few products I picked up at Lush) because it was on the more expensive side. If you have a few extra dollars to spend, and a few couple of hours, this is a nice place to go- the food, people and general energy makes for a great afternoon!
Just this weekend, my roommate and I ventured over to Portobello Market. At the beginning of the semester, a fellow suggested we try it, and we quickly saw why. The market follows along Portobello Road and the choices of items are endless. They have many vendors selling lots of produce, followed by antique shops selling vintage items. There are musicians playing and people bustling all around. The market itself is quite enjoyable, except for the people who find it completely normal to shove and push to get past. There are also lunch vendors- my roommate got falafel, while I got a chicken paella (which was extremely tasty). I would like to venture here again in the morning to avoid the lunch crowd and get a good look at all the antiques they are selling. The only downside was that we took a bus, and it took an hour to get there. I'm pretty sure that there is a faster bus, and could have gotten there by tube a bit faster as well. Definitely check it out though if you are in the area.
If you have any questions, please leave them in a comment. If you have any suggestions for a London market we should try, let me know in the comments as well!
Until Next Time,