First things first, welcome to London! If you’re ready this I assume you’ve taken up your spot at QM and you’re getting ready to explore! This little post is designed to serve as a whistle-stop tour of London’s best markets. From weekday to weekend, clothes to food and everything in between, this is a nose around the best of what London has to offer. I’m including my personal favourites with little tips, secrets and recommendations to make sure you get the most enriched inside-out experience. We are not associated with these businesses, just wholly enthusiastic about sharing the good stuff.
First things first: Broadway Market (Saturday)
This little gem is tucked away in our own East End. A twenty to thirty-minute stroll north from uni straight up Regent’s canal, it is super easy to get to and is set up to be explored on a slow and lazy Saturday. I recommend getting there around 10am to explore the vintage clothing stalls and grab the best bargains (one of my most loved and definitely over-worn sweatshirts came from here for a fiver. I live and die by this jumper and there’s a 99% chance of you catching me in it hunkered down in the library). Amble round the records stalls, spend your pennies on some second-hand books and get yo’self prepared for the gastronomic feast laid before you. Hand on heart, Girl Scout’s honour and triple pinky-swear, the mushroom risotto stall is life changing. A lil sweep of truffle oil and a wee dusting of parmesan, you’re good to go and you’ll be full ‘til dinner. It’s located at the far end of the market, near the Cat & Mutton. Just follow your nose.
Next up: Borough Market
Yes, this is a down-and-dirty tourist spot that is often crammed to bursting and too busy to enjoy. However, head down here on a weekday and you’ll skip most of the crowds and have your pick of the feasts. This sweet little spot offers up quite literally everything from fresh oysters, juice stalls, baked goods and vegan brownies to heavy barbecued meats and thai food. So worthy of a good afternoon exploring. My personal faves? Koshari Street (thurs-sat) – Egyptian pots of hearty wholesome deliciousness – and Khanom Krok (Sundays) – for super fresh pad thai that is made before your eyes and smells like an absolute gift.
Also: Colombia Road Flower Market
Head here early on a Sunday morning to experience the most photogenic and affordable blooms this side of the Thames. Arrive early to escape the crowds (around midday it gets super busy) or boogie on down around 2-3pm for your pick of the leftovers and knockdown prices as traders offload their stock. Take a camera, a healthy dose of perseverance and sharpen up your best haggling skills. A nose for a bargain here will take your far, but it may just get side tracked by the blossoming fragrance of just-in-season peonies (my favourite). Also worth noting, the stall holders are super friendly and if you have any burning botanical questions, they are THE brains to pick. They’ll dole out nuggets of wisdom with a side of classic East London wit.
Happy exploring my lovelies,
Photo source: Colombia road