London is amazing. It has the most beautiful and impressive sites you could ever wish to see. Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square… The list is endless. But if you fancy doing something a little off-the-beaten-track, where you’ll see a side of London that your average, track-suit-wearing tourist won’t see then consider London’s eclectic and ever-so-cool London markets.
Here, I present to you three of the best London markets that will give you ultimate London kudos when presenting your holiday slide-show to enthralled family and friends on your return home: Broadway Market, Maltby Street Market and Columbia Road Flower Market.
Broadway Market in the heart of Hackney, East London, is as much a hipster fashion catwalk as it is a food-lover’s paradise. I come to Broadway Market to catch the latest fashion trends of East London’s achingly cool residents, while simultaneously stuffing my face with the most delicious delicacies London has to offer. Think mouthwatering burgers, old-school grilled cheese sandwiches, delightful crepes, fresh oysters, Mexican, Spanish, Indian. And the cakes. Oh the cakes… There is something here to satisfy every taste (and hangover craving).
Broadway Market is not just food stalls, however. Here, you’ll be able to trawl through well-curated vintage clothes stalls, gorgeous jewellery stands, ridiculously hip indie cafes, eclectic book stores, music shops, pubs and bakeries which line the market.
My broadway market Top Tips
- El Ganso: for fabulous tapas and Spanish wines.
- Artwords:for a unique selection of books and rare fashion and art magazines.
- Flowers: check out the flower stall outside the Off Broadway bar and café – great value blooms.
Broadway Market is open every Saturday 9:00 to 17:00.
maltby street market
Malty Street Market on the Ropewalk running between Maltby Street and Millstream Road in Bermondsey is a London market that is close to my heart. I love its unexpectedly vibrant and a tiny bit quaint atmosphere, its off-the-chart gastronomic delights, and the charm of the under-arch bars, cafes and bakeries. In your first visit to the Maltby Street market, you feel like you’ve discovered a rare gem amongst tourist traps of London’s Southbank and London Bridge.
The crowd here is unassuming, laid-back and knows its food. Come early (it is getting crowded now that its reputation has spread) and with a healthy appetite!
my maltby street MARKET TOP TIPS
- Little Bird London: Little Bird gin is wonderful, and its gin cocktails are fabulously refreshing. If you are lucky enough to get a table here, enjoy a lazy G&T in the sunshine. It doesn’t get much better that this!
- Maltby & Greek: Best. Halloumi. Wrap. Ever. Team it with a crisp white Greek wine (pared by one of the Maltby & Greek experts), and you’ll leave feeling so very happy with yourself.
- Lassco Furniture: Lassco Furniture has an eclectic and inspiring collection of vintage, industrial furniture. Well worth a mooch around.
Maltby Street Market is open Saturdays 9:00 to 16:00 and Sundays 11:00 to 16:00.
columbia road flower market
Columbia Road Flower Market is set on Columbia Road in London’s East End. Yes, it’s a flower market, but it is also so much more.
Wander along the market and choose your flowers – its a veritable explosion of vibrant colour and gorgeous smells. Listen in to the banter of the flower sellers, who personify that irresistible East End charm. Only these guys can call out to passersby with a cheeky glint in their eyes, “Ladies, come and smell my lovely roses!” and manage to make it sound both dirty and hilarious at the same time (and cause eruptions of laughter through the crowd).
After checking out the flowers, explore the fabulous little independent stores that line the market and surrounding streets and courtyards – quirky art and stationary, vintage jewellery, quaint garden supplies, delicious old-school cake shops, bric a brac. Its all here.
my columbia street MARKET TOP TIPS
- Cafe Columbia: for its delicious bagels.
- Brawn: for the perfect Sunday lunch (book your table in advance).
Columbia Street Flower Market is open on Sundays from 8:00 to 15:00-ish. Arrive early as it gets incredibly crowded!