Markets. I love them, they are colourful, engaging, fun, sociable and often smell amazing!
I knew I had to visit London and experience some of the events on offer and I was not disappointed.
First thing I noticed – without realising, I had planned to visit all indoor events. Is this the norm down here? Probably not, but I loved it.
Being from the mostly wet and windy North of England, a market visit often includes a ‘war of the woollens’. Finding an efficient number of layers to keep warm but still being able to move, pick up products and most importantly bend your arm to eat the gorgeous halloumi fries you just purchased- these are real life market challenges!
However, not this time. In fact, the sun glasses were packed AND used!
Our capital city; the diverse epicentre of England and clearly a wonderfully creative hub for small businesses to grow, ‘Pedddle their Wares’ and thrive. What a delight to see and experience it first hand.
Having used the Timeout Guide ’12 must-visit london Markets’ to help, I had planned to visit Old Spitalfields market where the Urban Makers had a small selection of stalls, The Crafty Fox Market at Mercarto Metropolitano and The Collective Market at Street Feast in Hawker House.
I managed to visit all of them and even add a quick dash round The Backyard Market too.
This couldn’t have been achieved without the help of some fab advice from contributors on the ‘Rollercoaster of running an Indie Biz’ Facebook group (Check it out if you are a small business), the ‘CityMapper’ App plus my chief timekeeper, Riva, who carried out her ‘mum’ role perfectly. Like a small child, I was given 15 minute and 5 minute warnings on when we had to leave. All these things helped to make it a super successful trip.
So here goes. My diary of the day.
9.21- Arrive at Euston. Phone in hand and ‘CityMapper’ got to work.
We headed over to Old Spitalfields. The area was beautiful and, having recently visited New York, it reminded me of the West Village – which I loved. Not sure if you want all the details but we nipped into Anthropologie too – Yay! Only window shopping though, as time was limited and pennies needed to stay in my purse for the market.
9.30 – Arrive at Urban Makers in Old Spitalfields.
- Gorgeous venue
- Dry and bright
- Big space for traders – almost like a stand at an event. The makers varied their layouts from tables at the front and some allowed you to walk in like a mini shop. Both worked great.
- The quality of the stalls were fab.
I met Emma from ‘Stitching Me Softly’ who had chosen to run a workshop instead of have a stall on this occasion. What a great idea! In an elevated position overlooking the market, drinking tea whilst learning a new skill and chatting. Had I not been on a market mission, I would have loved to join in.
I then met with Julia, one of the ‘Urban Makers’ founders, who explained about their hosting of Urban Makers at Old Spitalfields- roughly every 2 weeks (with some exceptions) and their larger events and Pop-ups, which were great to hear about too. I had a lovely wander round the stalls and met so many talented people.
Click here to link to Urban Makers events page to apply for a stall.
11.30 – Leave Spitalfields and walked over to Brick Lane. Visited the Backyard Market- possibly a bit early for them as they were still setting up.
12.00 – Arrive at Elephant & Castle. Walked over to Mercato Metropolitano and discovered the Crafty Fox Market.
They were having a ‘Sample & Seconds’ sale. It was amazing! The prices were super reasonable and the quality was phenomenal. I loved the feel in here. It was uber busy while I was there. Again – great smells but that was thanks to all the food stalls around the outside. The market offer a half table and full table option for stallholders- I love this idea, because depending on your product and budget, it means you still get to have opportunity to trade at this space, with a fab company. Met up with one of our makers ‘Victoria Williams Jewellery’, we chatted and grabbed some pictures then I met with Sinead, the organiser. She was so lovely and the whole event felt very well put together in a great location.
- No doubling up – every stall was very different.
- Very busy.
- Customers were aged between 20-50 and spending money.
- Half and full table options available.
- FREE Gelato ticket with your stall!
Click here to link to Crafty Fox events page to apply for a stall.
1.30 – Dinner Time (aka lunch- location dependent). We sat and ate a fantastic chicken, falafel, and halloumi platter from the Lebanese Canteen. It was stunning and we grabbed a couple of ‘Passion fruit Mojitos’ too.
Tummies filled and ready to move on, I nearly forgot to visit another lovely lady who had mentioned she would be there – Bec from Dakota Rae Dust.
2.10pm Leave Crafty Fox Market. We headed over to Canada Water for The Collective Market.
2.30pm – Arrive at The Collective Market and chatted with Jane- the organiser. She was very proud of what they had a achieved and rightly so. They had grown their markets over the last year and are now exploring new venues at which to host, so keep watching. The variety of fab makers was clear at this event too.
- Highly quality market
- A little bit further out of London
- Lots of space to browse for customers
- A family demographic at the time I was there.
- Another great venue- based around some permanent food stalls.
Click here to link to The Collective Market events page to apply for a stall.
3.30pm Leave The collective market. Arrive in Euston Station 5 minutes before the train left.
Home by 6pm!
I think I was really pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t totally dead on my feet – far from it. On the train I was already planning my next visit. I will definitely be visiting the Green Rooms Markets very soon and also quite fancy the Columbia Road Flower Market. Any other suggestions are welcomed.
I loved the variety of makers I saw. And as with most markets the makers were all really friendly and keen to tell me about their products.