One of my favorite reasons to visit London as much as possible is to take in some of the fantastic Antique Markets and Districts that thrive throughout the city. On our latest trip earlier this summer, we happened to come across by sheer accident one of the best Antique Markets that I’ve yet to discover.
Old Spitalfield’s Market, located in the heart of the city, is set in a Victorian Market Hall and is open 7 days a week. It’s barely a 10 minute walk from the Liverpool Street Station. One of the unique features of Old Spitafield’s is that it hosts differently themed markets throughout the week. Monday through Wednesday, it’s home to a General Market of new clothing, footware, gifts, etc. On Thursday, it’s home to a fantastic Antique Market. Fridays usually see designer fashions, both new and ‘vintage’ or ‘couture’. Saturdays usually alternate between different themes, among them antiques, hand-made products, fashion, etc. Sundays usually feature fashion, up and coming artists and their works, leather goods and much more. Surrounding the Market Hall is a variety of other shops and restaurants that add to the experience.
During our visit, we were fortunate to be there on a Thursday and had a thoroughly outstanding time browsing up and down the many aisles of the Antique Market and leaving our Pound-Sterling behind. The antique market genuinely has something for everyone. Everything from authentic shrunken monkey heads, to vintage housewares, military collectibles, antique books and cameras is readily available and in great quantities (except for the monkey heads, only a couple of those!).
I am a collector of military artifacts and came away with prized items that up until our visit to Spitalfields, I had never before seen in an antique market or antique shops that specialized in militaria. Additionally, in an old aviation magazine, I found in perfect condition several original photographs from the Douglas Aircraft company highlighting it’s “then new” United DC-6B Mainliner and TWA’s DC-1 airliners. That was the ‘cherry on top’!
The day did have a bit of a let down to it however but through no fault of Spitalfield’s. At one of the vendors selling militaria, there was a rare item that was “too good to be true”. I had my doubts about authenticity and just could not get myself to believe the vendor and his description. I wound up taking several pictures of the item so that I could research it on my own and thought I can come back later that day if I had convinced myself of the item’s authenticity. Well as luck would NOT have it, I did discover that the item was authentic but by the time I returned to the market, the item had sold. The big lesson here is if you see something, and you are willing to pay the price at the risk of it not being the authentic item you think it is, BUY IT – it may not be there later. 3 Months after the trip, I still get that pit in my stomach when I think of the opportunity that was lost.
The next time you find yourself in London, I would definitely recommend that your trip include a stop at Old Spitalfield’s. To learn more about Old Spitalfield’s please visit their website.
This Trip Report is part of a much larger report that includes our visit to Istanbul and London. Below is a current index of the trip report. The entries that have links indicates that I’ve already posted a trip report on that part of our trip.
Istanbul – Sultan Ahmed (Sultanahmet) Mosque.
Istanbul – The Basilica Cistern.
Istanbul – The Grand Bazaar
Istanbul – The Spice Market
Istanbul – Park Hyatt Macka Palas.
Istanbul – Our Day with Ihsan (besttaxidriver.com).
Istanbul – Hagia Sophia.
Istanbul – Other Mosques and Churches.
Istanbul – I find out what Zultanite is….
Istanbul – The Food We Found.
Istanbul – Turkish Airlines’ International CIP Lounge.
London – Hyatt Andaz Liverpool Street.
London – Opening of Parliament – Great pictures of the Queen and procession to Parliament.
London – ‘The Sunshine Boys’ at the Savoy Theater (Danny DeVito and Richard Griffiths)…..BRILLIANT, MUST SEE!
London – Old Spitalfield’s Market – A Gem In The Heart Of London
London – Churchill War Rooms and Churchill Museum.
London – Photos from around town.
London – Dinner at Petrus
London – St. James Park: Feathers and Fur
London – Covent Gardens.
London – All the other things that I can’t think of at the moment….
Pluckley – They said it was haunted……