Tuesday, July 06, 2010

To Market, to Market

Last weekend we celebrated 4th of July with our favorite Americans  at the All-American Beer Festival in Shoreditch. We spent the afternoon laughing over several pints of Sierra Nevada, Blue Moon, and Brooklyn; and doing what Americans do best -- eating! We devoured American classics -- potato salad, corn-on-a-cob, hamburgers, and hotdogs. It was good fun! Hope everyone had a great 4th Stateside!

While out and about in East London, we also took the opportunity to visit the famed Columbia Road Flower Market which is held every Sunday in this up and coming neighbourhood of Shoreditch. The neighbourhood itself reminds me a lot of San Francisco's Mission; one-part grunge, one-part hipster, and two-parts artsy-bohemian. East London is also home to several awesome markets including the aforementioned Columbia Road Flower Market. In fact, London has some amazing markets around town, so I'd thought I'd share some of my favorite London markets in this post, hence the title 'To Market, To Market."

Columbia Road Flower Market (E2):
The weather has been absolutely amazing in London the past several weeks -- blue skies, sunny, and warm with the temperature at 25C! We arrived to Columbia Road at noon on the 4th of July to find the street packed with people. Columbia Road Market was bursting with colours of blue hydrangeas, bright yellow sunflowers, purple iris, ivory-white lilies, gorgeous pink peonies, deep red roses, and much more... If you're in need for flowers for your loved ones, be sure to visit the Columbia Road Flower Market and then treat yourself to delicious Vietnamese food on nearby Kingsland Road, or go bar hopping on Great Eastern Road.

Portobello Road Market (W11): 
I love Portobello Road Market. Perfect for a Sunday morning of browsing through beautiful antique stores, used bookstores, and vintage clothes shops, followed by brunch and a dose of sugar at Hummingbird Cafe for red velvet cupcakes. The neighbourhood is full of charm, but heaving with tourists. If you visit us in London over a weekend, we'll definitely make an effort to take you to this market in Notting Hill on a Sunday morning.

Camden Market (NW1):
Camden reminds me so much of Berkeley and Haight-Ashbury -- the streets are filled with tattoo palours, alternative clothing stores, and funky souvenir shops. Come here on a Saturday to enjoy the open-air international food market along the canal. Also visit the nearby Stables and Proud where you will find some interesting bars, more food and small trader stalls. If time permits, enjoy a leisurely walk along the canal to Regents Park.

Spitalfields Market (E1): 
Just a skip and hop from Liverpool Station, Spitalfields is home to a thriving creative community. The market sells everything from interior, fashion, antiques, arts, crafts, and jewelry. Sunday is the busiest and most lively time to visit Spitalfields Market. Grab a cuppa of joe and happy shopping...

Borough Market (SE1):
My favourite food market of all - Borough Market! Foodie lovers paradise, indeed. Be sure to come here hungry on a Saturday morning. Borough Market has everything from fresh produce to artisan cheese, cured meats, shellfish, patisseries, loads of other culinary goodness...

I also love Monmouth coffee and our friend recently introduced us the The German Deli at Borough Market; that's where he picked up German delicacies for our German brunch a few weeks ago. You can also have a leisurely lunch at Brindisa or Roast. To burn off the calories, go for a walk along the Southbank. Enjoy!


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