As you have all probably caught on, I have an unhealthy obsession with markets. I absolutely cannot walk past one without stopping and checking out every stall. I couldn’t even tell you the number of times I have found myself walking to the market here in Prague, I’m surprised they don’t know me by name. Anyway, it was only natural that I check out some markets in London while I was there last week. On the top of my list were Borough Market, Camden Market and Portobello Market. That’s a lot of ground to cover, but you bet your bottom dollar I made it to all three.
Round one was Borough Market aka the best food market that I have ever seen. This market had anything you could imagine from pheasant to shark to apple cider to fresh vegetables. I just wandered around taste-testing everything from cheese to fudge, enjoying every minute of it. I also stopped to get some cider and didn’t realize it had alcohol in it until my tummy was warm and my legs were tingly. Thanks for the warning people!
Long story short, this market was fantastic. Not only was the food absolutely delicious and just waiting to be devoured, but the chalk boards, the green wood and people made the environment so enjoyable. I probably could have spent all of my day and all of my dollars just wandering around that place, but my waistline is glad that I didn’t.
Round two: Camden Town/Market. Oh my word. I want to live here and I’m not even exaggerating. This part of town was so funky and neat and there was something unique to see almost every step of the way. Really, Camden Town is a compilation of many different markets, my favorite (and the most impressive) being the Stables.
The Stables were actually old horse stables, and a lot of the little stalls are actually housed in stables, which was so neat. On top of that, many of the products are antiques, hand made or just really out of this world. I did walk out of the Stables empty-handed, but it wasn’t for lack of interest or things to buy, that’s for sure. I just had my heart sent on some Banksy products and I was holding out for them.
The market was absolutely HUGE! There were so many little alleys to wind and get lost in and I made sure I covered every square inch of that place. Of course, it took up the better half of my day but I definitely wasn’t complaining. I also had some of the greatest pizza there for lunch – they make it right in front of you and sprinkle the top with fresh basil leaves. Perfection.
After the Stables, I carried on to the Camden Lock Market and the Camden Village Market and also hopped into almost every touristy shop on the street, I just couldn’t help myself! But when the market looks like that, can you really blame me? Camden Market definitely takes the cake as my favorite European Market that I have seen so far. There was just something about the atmosphere that really took a hold of me. Hopefully I’ll make it back one day!
Round three: Portobello Market. After spending almost all day in Camden Town, I just hit the very tail-end of the Portobello Market when all the stands were beginning to close up shop. However, I did get a brief glimpse at the market and I wish I had more time to spend there. Portobello reminded me more of a flea market if anything, with antiques and collectors items stationed up in the streets.
Basically, I had an amazing couple of days attacking the markets and wandering mindlessly through the twists and turns of the different marketplaces. I don’t remember seeing any of these places from our trip to London ten years ago, so I’m definitely glad that I was able to make it to all of them! Of course, I would have never even known about them if it weren’t for my lovely pal, Alex who studied in London last semester. I owe almost all of my trip’s successes to this lovely lady, couldn’t have conquered the city without her guidance. One of these days we will manage to get in a trip together!