Spending a Sunday wandering through the drizzle, eating exotic foods, and fondling market produce, is pretty much my idea of heaven.
One day three in London, Andy and I made the market circuit.
Our first stop was Petticoat Lane- but it was less of a stop and more of a ‘rush through’.
The place was filled with cheap clothing (presumably from somewhere in Asia), which my 15 year old would have loved- girly dresses for 10 pounds, ball-style wonders for 20- but my 25 year old self had barely a residual interest in. Besides, it was getting pretty wet, so we hurried on to Spitafields.
Which was indoors, and, although it also contained the standard mix of chains and pretties, additionally contained some points of greater interest…
Props to The Last Stop For the Curious- a seller of top hats.
Firstly, they had a sign on the table recommending saying ‘please DO take photos- we appreciate the publicity’.
Secondly, the man working the stand was a wizard- filled with knowledge and tales of the history of his hats, and totally willing to spend 20 minutes of his Sunday sharing that knowledge.
Thirdly, I really, really, really want Andy to get a top hat.
Although in the end, Andy was less convinced.
There were also cupcakes- almost un-heard-off in Deutchland.
Unfortunately, they turned out to be ridiculously sweet:
I was lured by the gold sparkles and peanuty promise of a ‘Snickers’ cupcake, but it turned out to be too dry at the base, and so very very sweet in the icing (I’m pretty sure the sugar was crystallizing out with every bite) that I couldn’t finish it.
In addition to the crappy cupcake, I bought a little leather cardholder, and a reversible skirt from this impressively pushy asian girl who had made everything in the shop herself.
And I say Pushy in the most positive way- she had an amazing ability to get the product onto your body while discussing its merits and telling you why one thing suited your body and not the other (in quite a frank way). In the end, I bought the skirt 50 % out of my respect for her abilities- not only as a seamstress but also as a sales woman. Anyway, her brand is GUM- but I can’t find an online link. You might have to check it out for yourselves if you’re ever at Spitafields.
We popped out of the markets, and headed up the road towards Bricklane, where we spent the rest of the afternoon stumbling in and out of markets, second hand shops and random stores.
Rather conveniently for us, we entered the ‘international food hall’ market, just as our tummies began to rumble.
Meat on a stick:
My school friends, A and I, had mothers who respectively made the world’s best Wontons and Gyoza. I love anything in a dumpling form, but 9 times out of 10 my attempts to procure the little beasts results in massive flavour failure,
These fellows, on the other hand, were delicious:
Some sort of South American corn-bread with various types of slow cooked meat and several ‘fresh’ relishes/guacamoles.
We stopped in at some vintage shops too, but they were of the ‘trendy let’s all look different in exactly the same way’ style.
The side streets also contained a bit of beauty- in the form of Pink and Blue Elephants…
There were more crazy stores…
One of which was filled to the brim with (rather beautifully displayed) chocolates:
The choccies looked to pretty (and possibly pricey!) to eat, so I went for a hot chocolate instead. Which, to my delight, turned out to rather literally be Hot Chocolate:
We stopped off in a very OTT bar/theatre to have a drink (do any of the ex-Londoners know where this is?), before heading up to Carnaby St for a little looksee.
And that’s when the blue piccadilly took us away from the city 😉