One of my favourite things about London is its markets, especially those found in the East End.
1. Columbia Road Flower Market
The most famous flower market in London. Columbia Road is flooded with bouquets, pot plants and virtually every flower under the sun. If you visit close to the Christmas season, the market is full of Christmas trees, holly and pine cone decorations. There are also other quaint gift shops and cafes surrounding the flower stalls.
Beware though, it can get very busy and even a little claustrophobic. It’s not uncommon for the crowd to come to a standstill as they walk down the narrow street. But the smell of the flowers makes it all worth it. Strolling down Columbia Road on a Sunday is guaranteed to uplift your mood.
2. Old Spitafields Market
Open every day, except Saturday.
Spitafields is a bustling marketplace with many specialities and is the busiest on Sundays. Think clothes, handbags, jewellery and food. It is housed in an old Victorian market hall and is almost like a maze with all its little shops set up side by side. My favourite shop there is Collectif Clothing which sells vintage 40s and 50s inspired outfits and accessories.
3. Brick Lane Market
Brick Lane is a very edgy and original market selling antiques, vintage clothing and other knick knacks. There are often street performers who add to the market’s upbeat vibe. Plus there is a huge variety of international food stalls.
Don’t forget to look out for the street art dotted throughout the lane. It’s also worth mentioning that Brick Lane is famous for its curry houses, making it the perfect place for an authentic Indian dinner.
4. Broadway Market
Broadway Market is a foodies’ paradise. Fresh fruit and vegetables, cakes, cookies, pies, quiches, salads, sausages, juices, oysters, olives, croquettes… it would be impossible to name everything. There are also stalls selling leather goods, funny cards and clothes.
Held on Saturdays, it is the perfect spot to spend the morning and buy some delicious food for the week ahead. It is located right on the Regent’s Canal – which can be a nice place to take a stroll among the house boats and walk off all that yummy food.
5. Roman Road Market
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
This is the market for those who love fashion, but aren’t willing to pay top dollar for designer and vintage goods. Roman Road offers an exuberant amount of clothing choices, including brands such as Top Shop and ASOS.
They also have some higher end brands that are a lot cheaper because they are sample items. Every piece of clothing that I have bought from there has been under £10. There are also lots of great cafes along Roman Road to eat at after a successful shopping escapade.