Excuse me for beginning my London blog posts with an exceptionally cliché location, but I haven’t been here for very long so, right now, I’m still thriving off all of the touristy spots! Portobello Road Market is a complete contrast to its surround streets and like a step back in time. It’s just great.
I took a wander down the road, thankfully on a very sunny day, and just snapped my way along the market. It’s a spectacle even if you’re not there to shop! From antiques, to book shops, to fresh produce and pastries, to ornate jewellery and clothing – you’re bound to find something that stops you in your tracks.
The market is open everyday expect Sundays, and each day hosts a different theme – Saturday is a full market day, where everywhere is open and selling! This is great to see the market in full-swing, but I must warn you about the busyness of it. By this I mean, you are quite literally herded like cattle, which definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea! So, perhaps visit on a quieter day to enjoy more of a leisurely browse.
Aside from the market, the street itself and its vibrantly coloured houses are stunning, especially when the sun hits them and it’s almost like an optical illusion… I’m so glad that they respect and maintain the street’s authenticity. However, one thing that really amused me is the amount of tourists having pictures right outside people’s front doors. I can only imagine how much the people who live in these houses must laugh and be tempted to open the door on them.
There are so many niche items that you can buy from the array of antique stalls. Some items that you would probably wonder why you would ever need it or where you would even put it in your house, I thought this too, but what’s a house without a bit of character?! One stall had some enormous silver dome lid cover serving dishes, a totally impractical purchase, but imagine serving up a Sunday roast on one of those…
Visitors know good food when they see it because one minute you look at the stall and it’s full of food and the next minute it’s as though a plague of locust have swarmed the stall and taken it for all its worth… You’re drawn in by the smells, mesmerised by the variety, sold by the look, and shocked by the price! I anticipated unnecessarily high prices because of the market’s esteem, however, I was pleasantly surprised to discover some of their produce is actually cheaper than most supermarkets. If that doesn’t sell me to shop here, what would?!
Clothing & Jewellery
I absolutely love a one-off piece, something that you can wear and you won’t see 834763 people in it as you walk down the street. One shop that really tempted me was brimming with vintage Burberry pieces at prices that had me collecting my jaw from the floor. I could have brought them all. Who knows, maybe one day I will… Remember though, this is definitely bartering territory so, don’t settle for the first price they give you – be brave and stand your ground!
There’s no surprise why Portobello Road Market is a London treasure and, for me, it won’t just be a one-off tourist visit. With its ever-changing stock, you’ll be bowled over by something new every time.
I hope you enjoyed reading my post, plenty more London discoveries to come!