London: Watney, Camden & Colombia Road Markets!

It's market day in London any day of the week, here's three markets in the capital that grab my attention! From Shadwell's Watney Market to the great Camden Market, we've got to be savvy in this skyrocketing city and live well at the same time. Leave out those ripe strawberries or anything else those lovely ladies from Oliver sold, of course I will make it to London's markets! 

Deep within an emerging part of the East End of London is Shadwell's Watney Market, a small yet functional fair of fruit, household items and a sense of Islamic life. Meeting this East London market for the first time in December 2014 by pure coincidence I snapped away like a paparazzo, something that normal passersby couldn't really understand. Knowing that Eastenders isn't real I was pleasantly surprised to see a living East End market was good enough to see. Located just off the Commercial Road from one end to Shadwell's DLR and Overground stations, there's always a better connection to access the Realness of Shadwell's Watney Market. Times have been hard for Watney Market but its no secret that London's East End is ever-changing but after delving into the archives its clear to see that Watney Market keeps on trading! Yes E1, some of store owners were serving items of Halal fashion sense! I had to visit Shadwell! 

London has a long and vibrant history when it concerns its many markets, predominantly centred around the East End it's been a way of life for the costermongers, enterprising from the day dot its changing now but the history will hopefully remain? I really do hope so! Along with Shadwell's Watney Market there's also Pettitcoat Lane Market and the trendier Old Spitalfields Market its difficult to say in what motion these London markets are going to go in the future? I have a feeling that London's had tougher knocks before so the now smaller markets of London's East End still create an impression and serve their communities. I saw certain items of Islamic fashion being sold during my time at Shadwell's Watney Market, a sure sign of the demographic from the local area. Like I mentioned before the best thing I liked about Watney Market was that it served a sense of Walford's fictional East End market in a loose sense because Shadwell's got the real thing! Cheapest haircut in town!

Camden Town is supposedly where some of the cool kids hangout? For this one I'll keep an open mind because Camden Town serves something different for me! Yes, Camden Town's Roundhouse might bring the beat but I'm on about Camden Town Market! Set close to Camden Lock the market offers a whole range of alternative fashion and a lot more. I have been to Camden around three times but I only browse because I don't like spending my pennies at all! Leaving the clothes behind us for a short interval its always great to take a seat on a moped style seat to eat some international street food and take in the views of Camden Town along the Grand Union Canal. I stayed away from the 'Bang Bang Chicken' because I just didn't trust it but I embraced other international foods alongside Camden Lock. Camden Lock looked just fine me but the first visit was definitely the best! Yes, Camden Town sure interests me much!

Camden Town has a bohemian feel about it, well I thought that the three times I took the time to visit! Intertwined with a hint of 'hipster' there's a cool notion around the centre of the action. Back to the market, keeping calm and getting on with proceedings I bought a alternative print t-shirt from one of the huts by the many international food concessions. That side of London brings back memories from my February 2012 visit, re-grouping with some friends who I used to be members of a drama club, we had a great time even though the cold bit our faces. Originally warehouses, the area that now makes up Camden Town Market was almost crafted into a motorway but someone saw sense to make the market official around 1976. London does it again, representing as a market city with a town feeling for Camden Town and Lock both contribute a canal-side experience with a twist! So, looking back Shadwell's Watney Market serves Halal Couture Realness! A floral tone next L?!

Bring me flowers in the pouring rain! No, that wasn't meant to be a question! Bethnal Green's Columbia Road Flower Market fully blooms each Sunday, showcasing a gargantuan range of beautifully coloured flowers for those who embrace a flower power vibe. Dating back to 1869 when flowers weren't the main attraction, no it was all about food and lots of it. Located between Bethnal Green and Hackney this fragrant market street also has many niche shops that looked right up my street during my June 2015 visit. I had firstly discovered the Columbia Road Flower Market during a detour from Bethnal Green's high street, I saw a closed and quiet Victorian street that didn't fit in with the look of the surrounding council flats. Missing the boat because it wasn't Sunday, also the post Christmas weather left me with a lack of vibrancy, so a summer visit had to be planned so I could finally be part of this E2 floral show B!

A certain buzz could be felt around the streets that surrounded Columbia Road the day I visited this flower infused market, I sensed that this market was a hit with tourists and locals alike. I could not believe the sheer amount of people that were attempting to take a glance at one of the many bright and sweet smelling flower stalls. Comparing that crazy situation with the stillness of my previous visit it was made because people really didn't know how to act over a bunch of flowers! Skipping breakfast I was hungry, finding Cakehole for a pot of tea and a deliciously rich slice of Chocolate Orange cake. Located within a cute antique shop that fitted the feeling of that backroom cake cafe. Having my cake and eating it too rounded off my Columbia Road Flower Market time, I'll bring you flowers in the pouring rain? Getting a grip of the three London markets that I've been to I don't have a favourite because each one showed me a different flavour entirely. Oh, who said Costermongers?!

Embrace London's Markets!

Joseph Harrison 


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