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Found within a Victorian market hall, Old Spitalfields is a unique assortment of shops, restaurants and seasonal vendors that tempt shoppers with an ever-changing selection of London fare.
First opened in 1638 under a license to sell “flesh, fowl, and roots,” Spitalfields Market made a name for itself in London’s gritty East End during the Victorian Era. In more modern times traditional food and produce vendors have given way to an eclectic mix of independent stalls and established shops selling clothing, home ware, food and odd and ends. Whilst today we might miss the market’s authentic feel, there are still some genuine delights on offer at Old Spitalfields.
Past London’s towering financial center and before the vintage shops and curry houses of Brick Lane, Old Spitalfields Market sits in the heart of a revitalised East London. Enter through its 1887 façade on Commercial Street and you’ll be greeted by an airy Victorian market hall with a weather-proof covered roof.
The market is a combination of permanent shops, restaurants and an ever-changing rotation of market stalls. Interior design lovers won’t want to miss Source and Inspitalfields, two excellent independent lifestyle boutiques offering a range of goodies for the home. If you fancy a drink, look no further than Bedales Wines. Boasting an impressive collection of wines from around the world, you can purchase sumptuous vinos by the bottle or by the glass.
Hungry visitors can choose between over a dozen different eateries at Old Spitalfields, including Crepe Affaire, Café Caribbean and Square Pie. Larger restaurants offer their own seating while the smaller food vendors share a main dining area.
While the market certainly offers enough to impress foodies, at Old Spitalfields it’s really all about the stalls. At least one half of the market operates with regular stalls seven days a week. Throughout the months there are a number of themed market days. Thursdays are a retro dream, when you can expect to peruse old maps, charming wooden Victorian desks and well-loved leather satchels. Specialised art markets are held once or twice a month, and there is also monthly African themed market, regular records fairs and produce markets. When you visit, do remember to banter with the traders, as most goods will be open to offers.
Monday to Saturday 10.00am-5.00pm
Dennis Severs’ House, located next door to the market, is a striking time capsule of 17th century of London created by American and long time resident who curated a truly unique, must-visit site for any history buff. On Sundays, stroll across the road to Brick Lane for some second hand shopping or grab a bite to eat at the curry houses any day of the week.