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Spitalfields Market: A Winter Wonderland

Published 11 January 2010

Tired of stressful shopping over the Christmas period?  I suggest you stop off at Liverpool street and check out the hidden gems at Spitalfields Market.  Less compact and hassle-free than others, this market creates a pleasant browsing arena with a little something for everyone.

This market has come a long way from its beginnings in the 1600’s, when it was set up by King Charles I as a market for meat, fowl, and roots to be sold. Since then, the market has been modernised with a Norman Foster office building on the west side of the market, but it still retains many of its character as a lively market.

Many unique shops and stalls line the area, extending from the main Spitalfields area, across Commercial street, right down Brick lane and towards Petticoat Lane which also rightly boasts a great market.  Thursdays specialise in vintage and antiques, Fridays are perfect for fashion and art, but Sundays are by far the best days to catch everything.  You’ll find wonderful wooden hand-carved furniture, beautiful hand-painted china sets, a wide selections of vintage and designer clothes at a smidgen compared to high street brands (I mention no names), fascinating artwork and photography (with the artist usually there to talk to), stunning hand-crafted jewellery and unique accessories.

If you need a break or some nourishment, take your pick from the quaint cafes, trendy pubs or cultural food stalls (e.g. Ethiopian, Caribbean, Sri Lankan) en route.  Commercial street is bursting with quirky boutiques and clothes shops, and Brick lane is a fantastic place to wind up your shopping experience, equipped with relaxing cafes, shisha bars, and lively street music.  With the fashion stalls bringing out their winter collections and the food stalls putting mulled wine and minced pies on the menu, this retail pathway through old London really does feel like a winter wonderland packed full of goodies!

To find out more about Spitalfields Market, get directions, and find out when and how to get there, click here for the official Visit Spitalfields website.

Article written by Sarah O’Gorman