Local markets have long been a part of London life and while shopping trends have changed over the years, London’s market scene is growing and thriving. In fact, Covent Garden will always be known as London’s original market for fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Here are some of our top picks of the best markets in London, whether it’s gourmet street food, spectacular blooms or rare antiques.
Covent Garden Market
Just a few steps from the hotel, Covent Garden Market is one of London’s most famous landmarks, dating back to 1654 when Inigo Jones built this magnificent neoclassical building. It has been almost 40 years since the original fruit and vegetable market relocated out of central London, however the spirit of the market lives on.
Throughout the week, the Apple Market is home to artists and craftspeople, selling watercolours, hand-made jewellery, ceramics and artisan soap. The Piazza is also home to the daily Jubilee Market and a number of permanent designer clothing and beauty stores.
Portobello Road Market
Notting Hill’s Portobello Road Market has been around since the 1800s and is best known for its antiques, vintage clothes and bric-a-brac. Saturdays are busiest, with the largest range of antique stalls, so be sure to arrive early in the morning to score a bargain.
Beyond antiques, Portobello Road is one of London’s most whimsical places to stroll and take photos of those Instagrammable pastel houses and visit the ‘house with the blue door’, as seen in Richard Curtis’ iconic film Notting Hill.
Columbia Road Flower Market
At One Aldwych, we love flowers and are always excited to see each dazzling new floral display created every week by our in-house florist Mark Siredzuk. So, it’s only natural that we would be drawn to Columbia Road Flower Market, arguably London’s prettiest market taking place every Sunday.
Browse stalls laden with the most beautiful seasonal flowers and enjoy the bustling atmosphere and the thrill of scoring handfuls of flowers for a mere tenner. In addition to the market, Columbia Road is home to a number of charming boutiques, art studios, independent coffee shops and restaurants. Take a few hours to explore this inspiring east London neighbourhood and see what you can find.
London’s oldest food market, dating back to 1014, is the jewel in the crown of Southwark, just moments from London Bridge. Housed in a striking Victorian building, this influential market offers fresh produce from local farms alongside provisions from around the world and tempting global street food.
Discover authentic Spanish olives and spices at Brindisa, artisan cheeses at Neal’s Yard Dairy, Bread Ahead Bakery’s famous doughnuts or hot roasted meat sandwiches at Roast To Go.
Open six days a week, Borough Market is a feast for the senses and a real must for foodies visiting London. It’s an enjoyable 40 minutes-walk from One Aldwych along the Thames, where you can pass landmarks such as the OXO Tower, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tate Modern and Southwark Cathedral.
Maltby Street Market
Close to Borough Market is the small but well-curated Maltby Street Market. Nestled among Victorian railway arches in Bermondsey’s Ropewalk, this weekend market showcases some of the finest local producers and street food vendors.
Tuck in to grilled sandwiches by The Cheese Truck, Venezuelan arepas at La Pepia and devilish sweet treats at Bad Brownie. It’s the perfect place to refuel when checking out the view from The Shard or catching the latest show on the South Bank.
Whichever market you choose, it’s a great way to experience the true spirit of the city and get to know each neighbourhood a little better.