I wanted to dedicate this weeks blog post to the markets throughout London, as one of my favorite things to do since I’ve been here is explore the different ones. Where I am from back home, markets are not prevalent, so it has been really fun for me to see what each market has to offer here and London and compare them to each other as well. The ones I have been to so far have come in a wide variety, some are filled with antiques, others artisinal food, and some a combination of new and old pieces, handmade items, and food vendors. Each one comes with its own unique charm that I love!
I don’t think I can talk about markets in London without bringing up Camden. This is by far the largest market I have been to and it has just about anything you could want there. It spans through many buildings with little booths set up to outdoor vendors to corridors of divided stalls… its HUGE. It also has a two sections that are just food and you can find whatever you are craving there. Speaking of food, I have to mention the cronuts. I’ve been dreaming about them since I went there many weeks ago and will be heading back soon just for them. I had never heard of a cronut (a cross between a croissant and a donut) and was hesitant because I am not a fan of donuts, but it basically just tastes like a croissant in donut form. There was a little stand set up with them, but when we had gotten there right at opening he was already almost cleared out. I ended up with a white chocolate caramel coated cronut with a homemade caramel filling and it was amazing! The whole market itself was amazing just to walk through. I didn’t end up buying anything here, but so many things caught my eye, especially a lot of beautiful jewelry and art!
Another really great market is Spitalfields. Apparently there has been a market here for a very long time with a lot of historical significance, which is now referred to as Old Spitalfields, but the two are kind of joined together now. This market is inside a large building, and again, has a lot of great food. I have to shout out the Indian stand because they have the best naan I’ve ever had, and luckily they give out free samples every time you pass by. This market is a bit more modern, with a lot of handmade, slightly higher end stalls with really cool items for sale. I was tempted to splurge at a couple spots, but ended up settling for a cute pair of zipper earrings that were only £8, what a steal! I might be heading back soon though because I think it would be a great place to find some unique souvenirs to bring home to my family and friends. The atmosphere at Spitalfields is very cool too because its surrounded by and also contains a lot of nice stores and restaurants, its unlike any of the other markers I have been to.
The last market I think I have to mention is Borough Market, another very famous spot in London that you can’t miss out on. This market is all food vendors and spans a large building and an outside area. I really like this market and have been multiple times because of the variety they have. There are a lot of stall where you can order meals, I’ve tried pulled pork, tacos, Mac and cheese, and ravioli here and all were delicious. But then they also have smaller stands that sell tasty, homemade baked goods like ginger cake, fudge, cookies, filled croissants, bagels, and shortbread. Everything is so fresh and all the people are so nice! Inside the building is more of an everyday market that caters more to locals looking to buy their fresh produce, meats, cheese, and spices. I wish I lived near a market like this so that I could shop for such fine food instead of having to go to the grocery store. Everything I’ve gotten at Borough Market has been a 10/10!
Those are probably the three main markets I would recommend checking out if ever in London as each one is so different than the others, but all offer so much. But luckily, since I’ve been here for many weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to venture off and find smaller more hidden markets by just walking around or doing some research. The locals here are so lucky to have these hidden gems at their finger tips. I even sought out a market while I was in Scotland because I love them so much, and it did not disappoint! I’ve found that no pastries compare to market pastries, so if you ever find yourself in a market in London, please treat yourself to a nice pastry, you usually can’t beat the prices anyways, so its a win-win!