We visited so many of London's great street markets, I wanted to wrap up my reports on the trip to London with a little 'market report'. From the wonderful and supremely delicious Borough Market, London's oldest food market, to Columbia Road's flower and plant market held every Sunday. We didn't make each and every market in London, but here's a peek at the London marketplaces we did find our way to.
Columbia Road Market is kind of insane. Nowhere on earth have I seen so many people jostling for space to sell, and buy, beautiful plants and flowers. We got a little lost trying to find this spot, tucked away in a somewhat residential neighborhood. I think the best way to find it is to head down Brick Lane and then just ask people with flowers in their hands where to head next, but here's some directions to help you on your way. It's such a wonderful way to spend a Sunday - especially if sunny...and there's a ton of great little shops, bakeries and cute cafes lining Columbia Road, that you'll want to meander into those, too. Columbia Road is certainly not just for plant life.
Borough Market was definitely one of the highlights of our trip, and I'm so glad we made it there. There are just tons of great smelling aromas in this historic location tucked under some railway lines, and Borough Market has occupied its present site for 250 years - since 1756! From sausage makers, to coffee brewers and bakers of about every delicacy you might desire, this is a great way to get fed and enjoy the samples provided by many of the vendors at the same time. We tasted fudge, cheeses, fresh fruits and pastries, and didn't come away a bit hungry. It's truly a don't miss! Here's some directions to help you find Borough Market just across the Tower of London Bridge in Southwark. It's held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Then there's the wacky, crowded and crazy Portobello Road Flea Market which happens every Saturday. Wedged in between vendors selling their antiques and vintage bric-a-brac are fruit and vegetable stalls, with everyone happily squeezing along the hugely crowded Portobello Road. There's great shops all along the road, too and if you end up at the very end you'll hit Golborne Road where you can stop into George's Portobello Fish Bar for a bit of fish 'n chips (it's reportedly one of Jamie Oliver's favorites). Or head back towards the entrance off Chepstow Villas and grab a yummy cupcake at the Hummingbird Bakery.
Lastly, we hit the charming Covent Garden Market with it's pretty arched iron and glass market halls filled with mostly new shops and cafes. On Mondays, antique dealers take over with some new, and sometimes very old vintage trinkets out back in what they call the Jubilee Market. I found some wonderful vintage tins here, but mostly just enjoyed the people watching. Lots of characters here, both buying and selling.