London Tip: Portobello Road antiques market
Ah, London‘s famous Portobello Road… It’s been immortalized in songs (our fave is this one located in Notting Hill—plays host to a number of cutesy shops, cafés, and antique sellers. It’s also the location of the famous Electric cinema, which has its own signature restaurant next door.
The street’s characteristic slope, beginning at the intersection at Westbourne Grove, makes it very easy for travelers to laze on down, stopping only to gaze into shop windows or to grab a bite.
The largest antiques market in the world
On Saturdays, though, shop doors swing open, and the wares—and shopkeepers—come out to play (weather permitting). The street is blocked off for pedestrians, and the bartering begins!
Need a suit of armor? Or, maybe you just want to look at a few? Portobello Road has ’em, among many more antiques and collectibles like china, jewelry, vintage clothing, old cameras, and books. For a full list of purveyors and their location on the street, visit the official Portobello Market site.
One Cheapo’s trash…
Portobello Road’s dealers aren’t exactly bargain-basement retailers, so you’re not likely to pick up a fabulous antique here for a steal. But there are a few things that Cheapos can take advantage of here.
First, snap a lot of photos. Saturday afternoon here is a sight to be seen. Then, grab a snack from a food vendor and commence wandering. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s easy to while away a good couple of hours here.
But, if you must have a souvenir, might we suggest a book? On our last trip here, for example, we spotted a fabulous used copy of the Mark Haddon novel, “A Spot of Bother”. After chatting with the seller, we snagged it for £5, down from £8. Then, we stopped at the Hummingbird Bakery for a cupcake. Yum.
Do you have a favorite go-to spot on Portobello Road? Let us know in the comment section below.
Photo of Portobello Road’s market day courtesy of RobThomasDesigns