Bargain hunting in London
We love nothing more than a good bargain hunt. Hence, one of our goals for our London trip was to visit some London Markets to hunt out a few treasures to bring home and add to our collection of antique curiosities.
So it was to the Portobello Road markets we headed on Saturday morning, lured by the famous ditty “Portobello Road, Portobello Road, here the treasures of ages are sold…” We were certainly not disappointed.
Portobello Road markets are one of the largest antique markets in the world with over 1000 stallholders. The market is really seven markets in one, with antiques, arcades, second hand dealers, fresh produce, street food and arts and crafts.
While the market is open seven days per week, Saturday is the best day to visit as all the stalls and arcades, including a street crammed full of market stalls are open from 9am to 7pm.
Now a trendy residential district, the area was made famous by the blue facade of the “Travel Book Shop” in the film “Nottinghill”. The landmark remains, however there was no sign of either Hugh Grant or Julia Roberts on the day of our visit.
Get to Portobello Road Early
As with most things in London, we took the advice to get there early. Rows upon rows of stalls and shopfronts offered everything from tacky London souvenirs and street food to fresh produce and antiques.
Glistening silverware dangled from gazebo frames. Large shop spaces were partitioned into smaller stalls where individual antique dealers peddled their wares.
At 9am he street was relatively deserted, so we enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the first of the stalls. Here you can find everything from jewellery and bric-a-brac, furniture and silverware to antique books, music and clothing.
Bargain Hunting in Portobello Road
As fans of the BBC program “Bargain Hunt” were were highly amused to hear the vendors actually do say “it really is a lovely thing.”
The vendors are usually quite open to a spot of haggling. We found that pretending to be only half-interested in an item sparked the bargaining process.
We managed to score a few bargains to add to our eclectic collection of travel souvenirs at home, including this antique money box.
Avoid the lunchtime crowds
By morning, however the crowds had formed into a teeming throng of shoppers, jostling shoulder to shoulder along the packed street. So if you are planning a trip to Portobello Road, do get there early.
Keen to escape the lunchtime crowds, we opted to continue our research into London pubs for a counter meal and a few refreshments.
Portobello Road markets are a short walk from either Ladbroke or Nottinghill Gate stations.
Read also: First time in London