Old Spitalfield's Market.
Located in East London, not too far from Brick Lane, the Market is open each day of the week with a different highlight. Thursday is the Antique Market, Friday is the Fashion Market, and those are certainly fun if you are looking to specifically find fashion or antique gems, but the weekend markets, well, those are my favorites. And Sunday is the biggest and baddest of them all, which also means big crowds, so plan accordingly (read: go early).
Walking into the market, the first thing you notice is the massive size of the old Victorian market hall. There are rows upon rows of vendors, in multiple rooms, surrounded by restaurants and retail stores. Overwhelming? Perhaps. But I was more mesmerized than overwhelmed and I eagerly jumped in to peruse the goods.
In one room, young fashion designers line up in stalls to show their fabrics, fashions and new looks from accessories to clothing, jackets and shoes. Fashion Street is not too far from Spitalfield's, in fact, just a few blocks down the road, so the fashion industry has a decided presence at the Market. There were some very innovative pieces in the mix, and it's always fun to support aspiring talent in any art genre when you appreciate their work. Mixed in and among the fresh work of the designers are stalls of cute, inexpensive clothing for women; shirts and blouses, dresses and more.
There's lots of something old with all the something new, too, as most of Spitalfield's main hall is lined with row upon row of vintage wares, from records and music, to jewelry, trinkets and treasures, to books, shoes leather bags and purses, furniture and household goods, and old vintage fur coats.
I know I'm not supposed to like fur coats, but these vintage beauties were tempting, soft, worn and yet still in gorgeous shape. Don't worry, PETA, I did not buy one. But I wanted to.
I did not get into the mix of the food surrounding the Market, but from what my nose could tell, and what I have read since, the restaurants and food vendors (there were organic baked goods, wines and more) are among London's finest. From gourmet pies and mash, to gourmet burgers, Mexican food, French cuisine and cheeses, to a piping hot cup of coffee, the Market's got it all.
Old Spitalfield's Market is just a five minute walk from the Liverpool Tube Station and is open on Sundays from 9 am- 5 pm. Check their Facebook page for news and updates each day but do yourself a favor on a visit to London and explore the treasure trove that is this Market.