Borough Market is London’s oldest fruit and vegetable market. But it is so much more. It houses approximately 100 food and produce vendors in an open air covered arcade environment. We were surrounded by a plethora of vendors—fruit and vegetable stalls, artisan bakers selling tasty breads and cakes, exotic tea sellers with a variety of teas from Sri Lanka, and lots more. Just across the street, we found the most exquisite coffee, made in small batches and brewed through hand-poured drip filters. Then there are the food vendors cooking up tasty treats from every imaginable local and ethnic cuisine you could dream of.
Clever travelers that we are, we planned our visit to coincide with lunchtime. We chose typically British fare that day. Bill got a steak and mushroom pie and I picked sausage rolls—lovely plump British sausages wrapped in flaky pastry. While we ate our lunch, we experienced sunshine, rain, and hail within the span of about an hour. That old saying that goes “if you don’t like the weather, wait a bit and it will change,” must have been coined in London.
Borough Market is most definitely a must see when in London, especially if you are feeling just a bit peckish. And even if you’re not, you soon will be as you wander past all the tempting treats that await you. For more information including opening times, events taking place at the market, and maps/lists of all the vendors, be sure to check out their website: http://boroughmarket.org.uk/
Hello treasure hunters! We were recently in London and I wanted to share a little info on a couple of the markets we encountered. First is the Apple Market at Covent Garden. Vendors are there in the arcade all week and they sell lots of fun stuff for just about every budget. Local artists sell handmade jewelry and greeting cards; others are loaded with vintage phones, antique typewriters and military memorabilia. But every Monday a collection of additional booths is set up and they peddle lots of nifty stuff. Dealers sell everything from cigarette cards to vintage china and so much more. Items and prices run the gamut from dirt cheap to take-out-a-second-mortgage expensive.
It’s close to the Covent Garden tube station. Then it’s just a very short stroll from the Market Building at the end of James Street. Covent Garden is on the Piccadilly Line. If you want to check out some of the vendors and get more information, here’s the link for the Apple Market: https://www.coventgarden.london/markets/apple-market
Next it’s the famous (and super crowded) Portobello Market in Notting Hill. I don’t like crowds as a rule, but at the Portobello Road market, I don’t seem to mind the crush. I think it’s because I get lost in the thrill of the hunt. Be sure to wear your most comfy shoes, because this is really
huge. They have vendors selling a wide variety of antiques and collectibles. The street is lined with quirky shops and some outdoor vendors throughout the week but Saturday is the BIG day. You (along with a few thousand other people) squeeze your way through the maze of antique shops, multi-vendor antique arcades, clothing stores, and
outdoor booths on both sides of the street. You feel a bit like a salmon swimming upstream. The market opens officially at 8:00 a.m., but you might find some nice deals while they are setting up. In my experience, it’s best to go early—not only to possibly get a great price on that vintage cricket bat, but also to avoid some of the crowds. It’s fun, exciting, and colorful, and you just might find a lovely treasure. My hope was to come home with an English toast rack. This is a staple at any English breakfast table. I was happy to find not one but two! One was a nicely detailed example from the Victorian era and the other looked like a swan from the early 20th Century.
You can get to the market via Tube or bus. We took the 390 bus from our hotel in Bloomsbury but most people probably arrive via the Notting Hill Gate underground station (Central Line). It’s a 5-10 minute walk to the near end of the street market. Unless you arrive really early, you will probably be able to follow the crowd. Check out the Market’s online site (http://shopportobello.co.uk/) under the “Where and When” pull-down menu for all the choices.