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Worth a visit
Rating 0.8 (143 votes)

Spitalfields Market

Listed under Markets in London, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of Spitalfields Market
  • Photo of Spitalfields Market
  • Photo of Spitalfields Market
  • Photo of Spitalfields Market
Photo of Spitalfields Market
Photo by flickr user stevecadman
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When ever I come to Spitalfields I can't help remembering that this is where Jack the Ripper stomped around – or I imagine it was more of a skulk in his case. The church with it's clean, straight spire stands over the infamous Ten Bells, the pub where some of his unfortunate victims watered themselves, and sheds it's narrow shadow over the markets. These days the Ten Bells is a student hangout and the markets an eclectic mix of too cool for skool vintage, real vintage, imitation vintage, vintage style, and funky fashion and jewellery, art odds and ends and food – but the emphasis is on the fashion, but the church is the same and for some reason I can't help but be reminded that this market wasn't always squeaky clean city adjacent.

I didn't even realise how fashion-centric this market is until I began to describe the wares and didn't get much past vintage fashion, but I'm sure you caught that drift. I've made some classic purchases here – one of them, a near perfect handmade hat – is one of my all time favourite buys. Like a flat pill box it perches merrily on my head making me feel instantly cooler when wearing – which I think is a good metaphor for a lot of the market's wares – it's maybe not for everyday wear – maybe a little too fun or a little too vintage or a little too cool – unless you have the whole image going on – but a mood enhancing addition to your wardrobe. Most importantly this stuff is wearable and most of it decent quality. There's no use trying to describe what you can find here, it's refreshingly changeable, but while you're probably not going to find a killer bargain you may find a few choice and signature items to help you stand out from the high street crowds, at least where fashion is concerned.

Spitalfields is well organised, they've got a good set up and it's the same stallholders most weekends. The market crowd's stomachs are well catered for by market stalls but also by café, restaurants and pubs. Good value coffee can be found at Leon – which usually has the smallest queues for food as well, Canteen is good for ye olde English grub in a modern setting but across the road the Bangers and Mash store with it's boutique bangers is just as satisfying and has it's own brand of plastic table cloth chic. Funky stores hug the fringes, proving the market's brand, but it's not much fun during the week. The main concern at the weekend it coming with cash – there are always massive queues for the ATMs.

Written by  Kat Mackintosh.

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