If your ideal Saturday involves wandering around artisan markets to find beautiful handcrafted or vintage items, then there are few better places to visit than London. Unlike the mass-produced, mass-marketed products that constantly pop up on your social media, finding quality artisan pieces is much more difficult. However, we’ve done our research to help you find the best places in London to find your artisan treasures.
Wood Street Indoor Market
Hop off the tube at Wood Street and head along to Wood Street Indoor Market where you will discover an array of exciting shops selling everything from vintage clothing to bespoke jewellery. The stalls at Wood Street will be particularly interesting for those with an interest in the history of memorabilia and antiques, with Jimmy Mack Vintage and Vinyl Vanguard proving popular spots to dive into and surface with some interesting treasures. You might also want to take a look around Martins Toys and Memorabilia to browse his collection of classic and collectable toys.
A recent trend in antiques and collectables is the acquisition of vintage and retro gaming memorabilia, with the must-have finds now being, for example, antique backgammon sets, vintage chess sets or perhaps beautiful vintage packs of cards for playing traditional card games such as blackjack. Although nowadays, classic games like this are more often than not played online after migrating to online gaming and casino sites, with companies offering blackjack and a collection of classic card games in their catalogue. Before that, however, the game was played by the Spanish and French, who played with ornate, embellished decks. Who knows? You might land a find similar to this, hidden somewhere in the shelves at Wood Street.
Happy Saturday everyone! We’re open and ready to welcome you early birds. Come and take shelter from the sun under our arches and discover a world of sounds, colours and tastes as you do ☀️#weekend pic.twitter.com/UtJwe3OHqZ
— Borough Market (@boroughmarket) September 21, 2019
Foodies, music lovers and fashionistas flock to the thriving Borough Market, just next to London Bridge. It is fair to say that it is an Artisan’s paradise, where you are likely to find antiques, vintage clothing and handcrafted items that you won’t find anywhere else.
This market has been around since the 12th century, so you never know what treasures you might stumble across here. Chocoholics, make sure that you swing by Artisan du Chocolat for exquisite confectionary. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you might also want to make a trip out of it to go visit some of London’s best sweet shops.
Old Spitalfields Market
Weekends in the Market… East London’s ultimate shopping & street food destination. We have #thelondonershome here alongside our regulars, with a great line-up of designers and makers including @siambotanicals @oneandother_io #weekendmarket #oldspitalfieldsmarket pic.twitter.com/cofUx82UF8
— Old Spitalfields (@oldspitalfields) September 7, 2019
If funky Brit clothes are your thing, then you will love Collectif at Old Spitalfields Market. They design and produce 1940s and 1950s clothing and combine the latest fashion trends with classic vintage styles. You’ll find Old Spitalfields in the heart of the East End of London. The Antiques Market is also popular on Thursdays, with the artisan food products especially being a real crowd-pleaser.
You can try delicious foods from around the world such as JiaBa, a traditional Taiwanese street food joint, Chirashi Japanese sushi bowls or, if you like your seafood, you must eat at Wright Brothers for the ultimate seafood dining experience.
Portobello Road Market
A walk along Portobello Road is one of the best ways to spend a Sunday, especially if you’re looking for free things to do in London. Saturdays are particularly busy, with droves of people heading to the world’s largest Antiques Arcades and vintage clothing stalls. For unique luxury interiors, Virtue and Calibre has some fascinating pieces such as silverware embellished with stunning detail.
Film fanatics can take a seat at the nearby Electric Cinema in Notting Hill, which is one of the oldest working cinemas in Britain and shows most of the latest releases. For travelling to Portobello Road by tube, your closest stations are Ladbroke Grove or Westbourne Park.
Freshly made, homemade and flavour-punching curries are the name of the game at @SonitasKitchen.
Expect no junk, vegan and gluten-free North Indian dishes and guaranteed goodness 👊🇮🇳🍛 pic.twitter.com/72Na3dz0he
— Camden Market (@CamdenMarket) September 25, 2019
With over 1000 shops and stalls brimming with everything from unique jewellery items to chic fashion accessories, you could spend hours walking around here and still not be ready to leave. We’re a big fan of Red Art Camden where you can have a unique gift crafted to impress even the person that has almost everything.
Camden Town Brewery is also a firm favourite with the craft beer devotees, so if you fancy sampling one of the best small craft breweries in London, you won’t be disappointed. You will soon see why it is a popular choice for ale as well as street food.
Whether you are on the hunt for antiques, vintage clothes, unique artwork or bespoke jewellery, these markets are guaranteed to give you hours of fun as you explore their hidden gems. When your searching and shopping is over, there are also plenty of places to eat, drink and be merry too, so why not pencil in a visit to one or more of these markets for your next free weekend?