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Friday, October 2, 2009

London Markets

At Camden Markets © Nina Buesing

Commerce is intrinsic to urban living. And one thing I liked very much about London were the markets. From food to antiques, there is a market for everything and everyone.
The small shop seemed alive and well in London too.

Indian Throws & Hungarian Linen Sacks @ The Cloth Shop © Nina Buesing

London is expensive, and I did not shop. But if I did I would have picked up a Tartan blanket at The High Land Store, some fabrics and another Kantha throw at The Cloth Shop - both in Notting Hill. If I had wanted to really splurge I would have checked out The Portobello Print & Map Show . For little trinkets Chloe Alberry is great (the actual store has more stuff than their site shows) - both of those stores are also on Portobello Road in Notting Hill.

One of Many Horse Sculptures @ Stables Market © Nina Buesing

My husband of course insisted that we went to the 'birth place' of the Clash: Camden Town. And thus our illustrious hosts Chad & Jason took us to browse the Stables Markets -which a part of the Camden Markets. Like St.Marx place in NYC, many stalls in Camden have lots of tchotchkes to offer, but you can also find some great stands with plenty of exquisite goodies and some cool stores with robot toys and more (Glitter gun anyone?!). One mother-daughter team had great stuff from East Africa and I actually regret not picking up an intricately beaded African necklace reminiscent of a Kirdi apron that they were selling.
The Stables Market used to be stables and a horse hospital -- which is commemorated by recently added large bronze Horse sculptures throughout the market. As Chad remarked, it is great that such artistic commissions are still awarded and for me these sculptures are a beautiful example of public art.

'The Fromagier' & Fresh English Strawberries @ Borough Market © Nina Buesing

I love to go on about how great our Farmer's Market is, but I (also) gotta give respect (as a certain Staines native would say) to the Borough (Food) Market. Chad & Jason took us there on our first morning in London and we had an exquisite picnic with our bounty from the market.
The produce was amazing (especially the cheese!) and the sellers are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I highly recommend checking the market out -- in fact the whole area is pretty cool and I think somewhat underrated. London Bridge is close by, as is London Towers and I love the architecture of nearby Butler's Wharf. North-West London is more fashionable, but there is plenty good stuff to find South-East as well. Sometimes as an outsider you get a better view.

The View from Near Butler's Wharf © Nina Buesing


Jane said...

This makes London look so exotic and exciting! I live here all the time but sometimes you need to see it through someone else's eyes to appreciate it!

nina said...

thanks Jane!