Visit London Blog » markets Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 London’s Top Five Street Food Trends Tue, 17 Sep 2013 13:56:23 +0000

Calling all foodies! If you want to sink your teeth into one of the latest food trends, visit one of London’s fabulous food markets.

Biskie inventor and London food market insider Annabel from Cutter & Squidge has spilled the beans on what’s hot on the London street food scene right now.

1. Go Local
What? Growing numbers of market traders are using ingredients sourced in and around London, including honey made from city-dwelling bees and cheese made using Home Counties milk.

Where? Spitalfields Produce Market sells locally sourced vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, bread and cakes. The market is open every Friday and on the second Saturday of every month. Buy Picco Salumis at Partridges Food Market every Saturday.

2. Authentic Oriental Street Food
What? Londoners love munching on authentic Oriental street food, from Gua Bao (Taiwanese steamed milk buns filled with meat) to Jiao Zi (pan-fried Chinese dumplings).

Where? Brixton Village Market where Mama Lan serves up Beijing street food, including handmade dumplings, noodle soup and street snacks. The Dumpling Van at Partridges Food Market serves up Jiao Zi, while you can try Gua Bao by Bao London at Netil Market.

3. Real Street Food
What? Forget over-processed fare, people are turning to premium comfort food: think gourmet hot dogs and hand-dived scallops. “There is a real focus on gourmet honest food in London because people are tired of over-processed sub-standard food,” explains Annabel.

Where? Borough Market is chock-full of tempting lunch-time treats. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

4. The Biskie
What? This culinary hybrid combines a biscuit, cake and cookie to create a crisp, soft and chewy taste sensation. Exotic flavours range from bakewell tart to green tea. “We believe in letting the natural ingredients speak for themselves; we use fresh whole fruits and never use artificial flavourings or colourings,” says Biskie creator Annabel.

Where? You can buy Biskies at Saturday Food Market at One New Change (first Wednesday of the month and every Saturday) and at Partridges Market every Saturday.

5. Gourmet Snacks
What? From handmade popcorn to frozen yoghurt, marshmallows to doughnuts, gloriously decadent snacks can be found at most London food markets.

Where? Portobello Road Market sells gourmet marshmallows from The Marshmallowist every Saturday from outside The Portobello Star pub. Exotic flavours range from blueberry and Portobello Road gin to raspberry and Champagne. Feast on churros and chocolate courtesy of Churros Garcia at Portobello Road Market every Saturday, and the Real Food Market every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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Five Facts about Camden Lock Tue, 18 Jun 2013 11:00:28 +0000

Caitlin Davies, author of Camden Lock and the Market (published by Frances Lincoln), tells us five facts about Camden Lock.

“Camden Lock is one of the busiest tourist destinations in London, famed for its shopping and entertainment. Yet 40 years ago the place was just a rundown timber wharf on the banks of the Regent’s Canal.

“I worked here as a teenager in the late 1970s, when there were just a few rows of stalls set on a dirty cobbled yard.  Now it’s part of the UK’s largest street market.

“How did it get so big? What happened to the original craftspeople and stallholders? As a novelist and non-fiction writer, I thought it would be a good idea for a book.

“So I found as many traders as possible who’ve worked here over the years. What I discovered was a story of dereliction and rejuvenation, of fortunes made, careers forged, and lives changed forever.

“Here are five things I never knew about Camden Lock….

1. There is no Camden Lock!

It’s the most famous canal lock in the world that doesn’t exist! Instead there are three dual locks in the area, built in the early 1800s as part of the Regent’s Canal. The nearest to the original market is Hampstead Road Locks, where you can watch the owners of colourful narrowboats operate the lock by hand – adjusting the water level to allow vessels to pass through..

2. Camden Lock is 40 this year

It began as a collection of craft workshops housed in Victorian horse stables, officially opened to the public in April 1973. Now Camden Lock is one of London’s most popular free attractions drawing five million visitors a year. There are 280 stalls, 54 retail shops (including Oddballs, England’s oldest juggling shop), 20 offices/studios, and four eateries/restaurants.

Camden Lock Fridays, which run through the summer, feature 30 stalls in the Middle Yard showcasing hand-made arts and crafts, while a summer Night Market runs until 10pm with global street food, cocktail bars and a pop up cinema.

3. Dingwalls Dance Hall is one of Camden’s first music venues

Dingwalls opened in 1973 in an empty packaging warehouse, and soon attracted customers from the world of music and art. Acts have included Frank Zappa, Bo Diddley, the Clash, the Stranglers and more recently Mumford & Sons. The four-level venue has a capacity for 500, with bands Sunday to Thursday and comedy every Friday and Saturday.

Other entertainment venues are Highlight Comedy, with four bars over three levels, and Lockside Lounge, a bar and restaurant with club nights, DJs and live music.

4. Famous fashion brands started at Camden Lock

Some famous fashion brands started out with a single stall at Camden Lock, including Red or Dead and BodyMap. The Lock has always attracted fashionable visitors, from David Bowie to Amy Winehouse. Spend a morning browsing racks of designer items and vintage one-offs, whether shoes, knitwear, unique t-shirts or vibrant accessories.

5. The first food stall was run by an Olympic medallist

Known simply as The Stall, Olympic sprinter June Carroll (nee Foulds) opened the Lock’s first food outlet in 1974. Soon there were queues down the street!

Now the West Yard is devoted to stallholders selling food from all over the world and there’s something for every taste. Among the most popular are Sonita’s Kitchen, serving North Indian curries, and When Mac Met Cheese, selling macaroni and cheese and deep-fried Oreos. In the nearby Dingwalls Gallery is Kim’s Vietnamese Hut, two-time winner of the King of Camden Best Food award.

More about Camden

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London Video of the Week: Hackney Markets by Destination Hackney Fri, 24 May 2013 14:17:22 +0000

Hackney in East London has an array of vibrant street markets selling food and products from all over the world. The video features three of Hackney’s best markets: Broadway, Ridley Road and Chatsworth Road.

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London Video of the Week: The Definitive Guide to Columbia Road by Kylie and Patrick Fri, 10 May 2013 14:16:49 +0000

We love this guide to Columbia Road by Kylie and Patrick. As well as the famous flower market, the area has loads of independent shops and cafés such as Printers & Stationers, Jones DairyCampania Gastronomia and Marcos & Trump, all recommended in the video.

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London Shopping News: Carnaby Shopping Party, Greenwich Market, Seven Dials, Soho Flea Market Wed, 24 Apr 2013 14:44:36 +0000 From glitzy shopping parties to glamorous flea markets, here are this week’s top London shopping news stories.

Carnaby Shopping Party

Anyone with a serious interest in fashion should hotfoot it to Carnaby Street on 2 May when it will be hosting a 20% Off Shopping Party. From 5 to 9pm, shoppers can enjoy a 20% discount in more than 100 shops, restaurants and bars in and around Carnaby. Register for a free ticket here.

Designers at Greenwich Market

A glittering collective of designers will be showing off their talents at Greenwich Market as part of Craft & Design Month. Wood turners, jewellers, knitters, quilters, print makers, felters and blacksmiths will all be available to give inspirational advice and show you how it’s done at A Subtlety of Designers. If you’re feeling creative, you can have a go yourself! 4-6 May

New Shops at Seven Dials

New pop-up shop alert! Accessories and jewellery brand Moxham is hosting a temporary shop in Monmouth Street, Seven Dials in Covent Garden from 29 April until 24 May. Expect leather and metal cuffs, necklaces and body pieces, all of which will be handcrafted at the store. Open on 27 April is Spanish menswear shop El Ganso, which will be stashed with bright shirts, shorts, tailored blazers and smart suits.

Soho Flea Market

Start saving up your pennies for the Soho Flea Market on 2 June, where you’ll find creative stalls aplenty. Hyped as “London’s most glamorous flea market”, shoppers can get their mitts on everything from art prints to vintage clothes, furniture to ceramics. And to top it all off, emerging music and comedy acts will be performing on an outdoor stage. We can’t wait!

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Love Camden’s Top Five Market Hidden Gems Fri, 22 Jun 2012 09:30:22 +0000 With Love Your Local Market fortnight starting this weekend, it’s the perfect time to visit your local London market. The team at Love Camden have given us their top five market hidden gems in the borough of Camden:

1)    Leather Lane

One of London’s oldest markets, Leather Lane, sells fruit, vegetables, flowers and fabric,  but what we really love is the food! Our favourite is Daddy Donkey Mexican grill’s tasty burritos. Monday to Friday

2)    Earlham Street Market

For beautiful, fresh flowers head to Earlham Street Market, off Seven Dials. Here you’ll find both exotic and local flowers on display, as well as second hand clothes, funky T-shirts and bric-a-brac. Monday to Saturday


The newest addition to the Camden street food scene, collective, is a rotating group of food vendors behind King’s Cross station. We can’t go past The Ribman and his special hot sauce without buying some! Monday to Friday

4)    Camden Farmers’ Markets

Camden has three farmers markets: Bloomsbury Farmers’ Market (Thursdays) offers loyal customers a lunch club card which gets you your sixth lunch free. Look for Les Lawrence of Christchurch Fish, who sells fresh fish from Dorset at St John’s Wood Farmers’ Market (Saturdays). Parliament Hill Farmers’ Market (Saturdays) serves up award-winning sausages from Giggly Pig Farm.

5)    Queen’s Crescent

Visiting Queen’s Crescent Market is like stepping back in time! Rumoured to be London’s oldest market, it’s still very popular with locals. One of the first Sainsbury’s stores was at number 159 and Mr Sainsbury lived above the shop.  The market sells discount everything – clothing, flowers, household items and there’s a great selection of food stalls selling international cuisine at very reasonable prices. Thursdays and Saturdays

Find out more about Camden on Love Camden’s website.

What’s your favourite market in Camden?

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Croatia in London: D’Issa at Borough Market Thu, 29 Mar 2012 09:30:55 +0000

Maxine Clayman is a travel writer and editor of the blog My Hidden Gems. In the next in our World In London series she meets Croatian born Ana-Maria Volaric who explains why it’s her mission to bring a taste of Croatia to London.

“Last year my husband Chris and I decided to set up D’Issa, a company selling exclusively Croatian produce.

“I’ve lived in London now for 24 years and I’m married to a North Londoner. I’m originally from Zagreb and I still feel incredibly connected to my roots. I wanted to draw on my knowledge and passion for Croatian culture and introduce Londoners and visitors to the capital to Croatian food.

“Currently we’re the only Croatian retailer in the UK. We have a stall in Borough Market and we also sell to Fortnum & Mason and a couple of specialist delis in London. Our merchandise is quite high end, which may surprise a lot of people, as Croatia isn’t a country that’s necessarily associated with quality cuisine.

“There are only around 2,000 Croats living in London so our food is still relatively new to people. My aim is to educate Londoners about one of the best-kept gastronomic secrets Europe has to offer. For instance, it might come as a surprise to discover that some of the finest truffles in the world can be found in Istria, Croatia.

“Our fig products are proving incredibly popular with Londoners. Smokvenjak is a traditional Croatian fig cake made from dried figs, almonds, lemon juice, raisins, rosemary and sage. It’s packed with natural energy, so it’s good for athletes, and you can use it as a base for canapés, with cheese or ham.

“Pumpkin seed oil is another unique item that we stock. It’s got a wonderfully nutty flavour and is great for roasting and marinating meats. But my top tip is to drizzle it over vanilla ice-cream. Delicious.”

Visit D’Issa at Borough Market on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the Jubilee Market area.

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An Insider’s Guide to Columbia Road Flower Market this Christmas Tue, 22 Nov 2011 16:34:53 +0000

We asked Independent Shoreditch for some highlights and advice on how to get the best from Columbia Road flower market this Christmas:

1) Closing time bargains. Although you – quite literally – get the pick of the bunch when the market opens at 8am, swoop in at 3pm for the best bargains. The louder the barrow boys shout, the better the deals.

2) Independent inspiration. There’s a total absence of high street chains on Columbia Road, giving your Christmas gifts the independent edge. Try Nelly Duff for art, Vintage Heaven for antiques, and Treacle for as many cakes as you can carry.

3) Christmas trees to make the neighbours blush. The market is a brilliant place to pick up a Christmas tree because of the variety on offer, from tiny potted trees to Trafalgar Square-worthy wonders. Check your ceiling height before you leave home.

4) Mouth-watering Sunday lunch. If you get peckish, try either Brawn or The Royal Oak. Brawn offers strictly seasonal fare, with as much as possible coming from local suppliers, while The Royal Oak still carries some kudos from its days as an early-morning watering hole for the market’s traders.

5) Strong arm tactics. All the plants and presents can add up. Be prepared to flex your arm muscles on the way home if you’ve over-committed yourself. Or alternatively, hope that Santa has also done his shopping on Columbia Road.

Columbia Road flower market and shops are open from 8am until about 3pm every Sunday. The shops will also be opening late every Wednesday in the run up to Christmas, on 30 November and 7, 14 and 21 of December, accompanied by festivities, seasonal food and live music.


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Malaysia in London: Malaysia Night, Trafalgar Square Thu, 21 Jul 2011 09:00:30 +0000

London is home to plenty of Malaysian restaurants and once a year, you can experience the best of them in one place.

For the second year running, Malaysia Night is transforming Trafalgar Square into a Malaysian Pasar Malam (night market) where a selection of the capital’s Malaysian restaurants will offer up authentic Malaysian dishes from stalls on the square.

Sample Malaysian street food-inspired dishes including laksa, nasi goreng, satay and beef rendang. You can even buy Malaysian ingredients if you’d like to recreate some of the dishes at home.

You can also enjoy some traditional Malaysian entertainment with performance, arts and crafts.

This year’s Malaysia Night is taking place on 23 September  so put the date in your diary now.

See what happened at last year’s Malaysia Night:

Malaysia Night, 23 Sep 2011, Trafalgar Square

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Covent Garden this Easter Fri, 02 Apr 2010 12:00:48 +0000 Easter weekend at Covent Garden is going to be jam packed.

Saturday sees the arrival of Covent Garden’s first creative-in-residence as part of the 180th anniversary celebrations. Award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams will be gathering the sentiments and memories of those who visit the area and transcribing them into short stories, video blogs, poems and drawings. He”ll also be on Twitter and Facebook, so you can share your Covent Garden stories remotely. 

The Covent Garden Real Food Market returns to the Piazza this Easter but it has moved to Saturdays, 10.30am to 6pm, meaning local residents, as well as the wider public, can do their weekly food shop at the market.

Visitors to the Real Food Market can buy the best ingredients and fresh produce to cook at home, from choice traders such as Mons Cheese, Sporeboys, Polish Deli and Woodwards Farm, plus food blogger favourites including Eat Like A Girl.

To celebrate the return of the Real Food Market, Covent Garden London is running Tasty Hour this 3 April, from 3pm to 4pm, during which time you can sample the delicious produce from the market for free!

Follow Covent Garden on Twitter for more updates

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