A few weeks ago my friend took me on a market crawl.
If there’s one thing I love more than food, it’s wandering around (& eating my way through) food markets full of… food.
As it happens, my lovely friend shares the exact same hobby. And she knows exactly where to go, so you can imagine how excited I was when she asked me if I “wanted to explore some of London’s finest food markets with her?”
Yes please! (As if I would say no.)
We started our journey at Broadway Market. Initially I wasn’t going to take any photos and just spent the whole time eating. But you know me, I love a bit of #foodporn. Within 10mins my trusty camera was out and I couldn’t stop snapping. How could I resist!
^ Don’t you just want to eat all of these??
I almost bought myself a pot of pasta.
Then realised I was 5 steps into the market and there was plenty of eating left to be done.
“Thou shalt not get full on pasta the second thou walkest into a food market.” <- I'm pretty sure that's a commandment, though don't quote me on that one.
By then the stall owner had seen my longing expression and was asking if I wanted to buy some.
We dutifully agreed to come back later if we hadn’t filled up on something else.
Which we all knew was hopeful nonsense and just polite-speak for “we’re definitely not coming back”.
^ There are plenty of buskers and street artists on Broadway Market. This one had a particularly enthusastic lady (frizzy hair, grey coat, a few people staring at her) dancing along to the music so I figured I had to get a photo.
Bluuumen! (My flatmate’s watching a German Youtube vid and now I can’t think of anything else but ‘blumen’).
Don’t be fooled; I remain not a fan of cheese.
My first purchase of the day! A warm, delicious lamb pie. It just so happened to be next to a hot sauce stall. The super friendly stall manager told me to put a bit of that one there on my pie as it would go really well with the lamb.
It did go really well with the lamb.
If I wasn’t writing this weeks later I could probably have remembered what it was.
Sadly I am and I don’t, so I suppose you’ll just have to go and try it for yourself.
This amazing woman greeted us… then proceeded to have a conversation with us in fluent Mandarin! It was a jaw dropping moment.
Apparently she’d learnt Chinese through studying the Bible with other Chinese Christians and goes to a Chinese Church in London as well!
How cool is that.
Sad to say I did not try one of these; I only took photos of them. Next time, next time!
We’d reached the end of the market at this point (well, this side of it anyway) but just up the road, there was another, smaller food market with a couple of very welcoming signs at the entrance gate:
I guess they knew I was coming.
We had ourselves a small bowl of Paella…
…though only looked longingly at the tempting waffles in the next stand.
But I caved when I saw sweet potato fries.
We sat in a nearby patch of greenery whilst we ate and rested our legs before wandering back through the other side of Broadway Market.
This particular musician was drawing a small audience. I don’t remember if he was good – I just really liked his guitar.
It was really starting to get crowded.
We grabbed one last photo and jetted off.
To the peace and tranquility of Regent’s Canal. Rows of barges and riverboats greeted us along the bank as the noise of the market became a distant hum. You could hear the birds chirping and the soothing sound of the stream. A beautiful natureside walk; a very welcome & sweet escape.
I used to think London was dirty, smelly, grimy, busy etc. Little did I know it kept some stunning secrets.
And a few amusing ones too…
Yes, I am.
(No I’m not really.)
We emerged at Camden Market. A very different, more gothic vibe to what I’m used to (surprising given that it was a lot more… Asian) – and ridiculously packed.
Tattooed limbs, dyed hair and smokers galore, it wasn’t really my scene and my friend had to leave soon. I didn’t stay long or take many photos.
At one point we were sardined to the extent that we couldn’t move aside from slowly shuffling forward with the crowd. Definitely no chance of holding up a camera. I also almost fainted from the crowds and the smoke. Some people love that stuff. I’m asthmatic & claustrophobic.
I did get a few shots before it got crazy though. These guys were hilarious:
And giving out (tasty) free chicken.
They’re in the Thai stall just before you reach these signs:
^ That one, on the right.
(I had to smiley out a girl’s face as she was staring straight at the camera and it was a bit creepy.)
And that was me done with pics!
Camden is really not the right place for me, but I guess I am also not the norm.
It was still an amazing day (hello? It was food-focussed!) with the most fantastic weather. I think I came home with a light tan and definitely a happy stomach!
I would totally recommend Broadway Market, Netil Market, a stroll along the canal… and probably Camden Market too on a slightly less crowded day.
Are there any others I should be visiting?? Perhaps we can go together some time?