Weekends in London are made for market hopping. As a Londoner I am spoilt for choice too; from Borough Market to Brick Lane; the options are endless. With Aanchal visiting London, it felt wrong not to go market hopping when she was here. So we put on our coats, wrapped up warm and headed out to explore the nearby Borough Market.
I absolutely love Borough Market – as one of the largest and oldest food markets in London, there really is something for everybody here. This year is extra special with the market celebrating being a firm London landmark for over 1000 years. Yup that’s right, one thousand years! And you thought you were old!
Be prepared to encounter tourists galore but it’s all worth it. Borough Market serves up some of the best street food in town. Right from classics like donughts, brownies, burgers and pies to something a little bit more exotic like phav bhaji; they have it all. Incase you are wondering what phav bhaji is; it’s an Indian street food favourite that is well worth a try if you want to mix it up.
We made Aanchal try out a few British specialities including my personal favourite, a wild boar Scotch egg. Don’t think she was the biggest fan but I was more than happy to take that delicious egg of her hand.
The area around the market is also home to some really nice eating joints – great if you don’t want to navigate the crowds at the Borough market for some sustenance. Pick something like Roast or Rabot 1745 (full review here) and you get a great view of the market without the sea of people, Best of both worlds if you ask me. We stopped off at the Le Pain Quotidien for a spot of brunch before heading out to Camden. I don’t normally do chains but the Le Pain at Borough Market isn’t your regular chain restaurant – situated in a converted horses’ stable complete with exposed brick walls and a glass roof, it’s a great little spot. Add to that great food and some genuinely nice staff and you have my heart (and my wallet).
P.S – they also do a great brunch menu and a killer hot chocolate.
Brunch done, it was time to go explore Camden. Camden Market couldn’t be more different to Borough Market if it tried but that’s exactly why I love it – there is a real buzz to the area and you can feel it walking around here. It’s quirky, very trendy and has giant shoes on the wall. What more could you want?
The Camden Locks are great – there are canals, pubs and even pubs on canals! Seb, Aanchal and I made the most of the great weather we were having and went photo crazy – after a few drinks ofcourse. My favourite part of Camden however is the Stables Market in Camden. If you want a quirky gift that you can’t buy anywhere else, this is the place to go. Chain stores are not permitted here and the shops sell anything between clothes, furniture, ethnically-influenced items to some rare 20th-century antiques. I found a great pair of vintage Burberry cufflinks in one of the antique shops and that weren’t too expensive either.
When I said Camden is quirky, I wasn’t joking. Even the food served up here ‘stands out’. Octopus tentacles anyone?
We found a great little Greek food stall serving up some pretty special seafood. I wasn’t the biggest fan, if I am being completely honest but was I glad I tried it? Hell yeah. This dish summarises Camden Markets perfectly for me – quirky, different and strange at times (most of the time, really) but still soooo good and so very addictive.
Octopus eaten, we ended our little market hopping adventure at Cyberdog. No trip to Camden is complete without walking into CyberDog. I could try describing the store to you, but where do I even begin? Think PVC meets trance meets the future meets fluorescent and you begin to get an idea of what CyberDog is. Enough said.
We had such a great day market hopping around London. I cannot wait for the next one.
Leave a comment below and let me know what your favourite markets in London are. Have you been to CyberDog? How would you describe it? I would love to know. Also don’t forget to like the Champagne and Chutney Facebook page to keep up with the latest posts. Also on Instagram, Google Plus or Twitter if that’s your social network of choice.