Two of the best London markets, Old Spitalfield’s Market and Brick Lane Market in East London provide a great setting for something a bit different to do on a date.
We suggest you start with Brick Lane market. A busy, energetic and somewhat alternative market, Brick Lane market was born mainly as a cheap place to pick up household items, tools and cheap fruit and veg. It has grown up and outwards since then and though still offers the cheap bric-a-brac, it is now home to enthusiastic stallholders selling quirky crafts and jewellery by up-and-coming designers, vintage clothes, stacks of old records and unusual homewares. What’s more it offers a fantastic range of food to suit all tastes. Thai curries, Mexican burritos, Japanese yakisoba, tapas and dim sum as well as rich Ethiopian coffee and dainty vegan cupcakes are just some of the offerings.
When you’re starting to tire of Brick Lane’s slightly hectic atmosphere, head down to Old Spitalfield’s Market for a more chilled out vibe. It still stands in the original 1887 covered market but has recently been refurbished and cleaned up leaving a trendy and pricier range of stalls and an adjacent modern shopping precinct. Though this has divided opinions, it has boosted visitor numbers and as such given it a new lease of life. It is now home to an eclectic range of stalls selling goods such as crafts, homewares, jewellery, books and vintage clothes, though at usually higher prices than Brick Lane market. The market has now dedicated Thursdays to antiques and vintage and Fridays to fashion and art. While you’re there, make sure to visit the Montezuma chocolate shop and treat yourselves to a bar of their out of this world chilli, ginger and white chocolate.
If you still haven’t had quite enough of markets after all that, wander down to Columbia Road flower market and Petticoat Lane market which are both a short walk away.
Make sure you check the Market opening hours before you head down to any of them. Brick Lane Market is only open on a Sunday