Think Portobello’s old hat? Fed up with Borough? Well, head to these fresh traders setting out their stalls near you.
Real Food Market: The People’s Supermarket
This Waterloo market’s mission is to offer top-notch artisan-made products, served up by proper experts in the Southbank Centre Square. Sample all manner of cheese, including on top of strapping burgers courtesy of Jacob’s Ladder. There’s also plenty of deliciously prepared dishes to gobble up by the river: we recommend the gallettes served out of a retro blue Citroën H van. Think of it as a Borough Market with fewer tourists.
Star Stall: Cannon & Cannon, for their high-welfare British pork. Southbank Centre Square. Fri noon-8pm; Sat 11am-8pm; Sun noon-6pm.
Art and Design Market: Art and Soul at Riverside Design Fair
This new Thamesside market had its first outing last Sunday, but already has 46 stalls and a waiting list, so there are now plans to expand to 60 in June. The focus is on local art and design, from original ceramics to jewellery, woodcarvings and photography. And the setting is pretty as a picture.
Star Stall: Kevin Lake, an established music photographer with a sideline in beautiful landscape photography, will be selling his prints here for the first time. The Embankment, SW15 1LB. wandsworthartsfestival.com. First Sun of the month 10am-4pm.
West Norwood Feast: Retro wares, food and fun served up by locals
Not just a cool something-foreveryone market, West Norwood is also a terrific local enterprise. Spacemakers – regeneration group behind Brixton Village – have spread their Lambeth love to another corner of the borough, with this shopping oasis in which stalls are dotted around the area in clusters. There’s Retro Village, serving up vintage fashion to fans of the old-fangled; Artisans Market, with live craft sessions for knitting-needle clackers; Fresh ’n’ Green, the food and garden produce bit; and Food Fair, where you can dive into street nosh. It’s a cracking operation: one local told us they’d moved to West Norwood just because of it. Whether or not you’re looking for new digs, it’s worth spending a Sunday here.
Star Stall: Martin Grover is a local artist whose prints of Norwood life are particularly eye-catching. Norwood Rd, SE27. First Sun of the month 10am-6pm.
The Village Green: Trendy food and fashion in a fancy car park
Don’t be fooled by the name, the Village Green is a tarmac affair, in the forecourt of Hackney Downs Studios. But the smattering of cute little stalls is pastoral at heart, if not in setting. They include independent jewellery designers selling taxidermy-inspired trinkets, illustrators hawking their prints and florists offering bespoke bouquets; the line-up is certainly more soya latte than ‘two pound a pound’. Foodwise, the market hosts a selection of vendors selling wares as diverse as jerk chicken and cakes. We recommend the spiced banana bread from Brookes and Jones, or milkshakes from the Street Shakes’ converted VW campervan. The Village Green is perfect for gifts and a bite, and there are also free yoga classes starting at 11am on a patch of artificial turf – although you must be prepared to have an audience for your downward-dogging.
Star Stall: Independent florist Pal Mercer displays her flowers in a rustic, student-style in used (and cleaned) beer and wine bottles, and has a small yet perfectly formed selection of blooms, which customers can pick and mix from for a wonderfully alternative bouquet. Hackney Downs Studios, 17 Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT. Sun 11am-4pm.
Camden Lock Deli: A posh new look for the Lock
In an effort to smarten up its image a little, Camden Lock has launched a series of themed daily markets. We recommend Wednesdays, when the focus is on foodies, with stalls poached from top street markets such as Broadway. Don’t go there looking for a Bob Marley T-shirt.
Star Stall: The Ginger Beer Engine dispenses the hot stuff from ‘an improbable machine’. How very twenty-first century. Unit 215-216, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AB. Wed 10am-4pm.
Wild Food Market: Free workshops and cookery lessons
Gourmet hot dog trader Pushpal Dhawan set up this schoolyard food market ‘to introduce a bit of east London creativity to west London.’ Locals have lapped up the experimental refreshments on sale (a recent highlight was the rhubarb gin from The Gin Garden, left) but the real appeal comes from innovative elements such as free cooking classes every Saturday from true pros: Cornwall forager Caroline Davey and Books for Cooks ex-head chef Clara Grace Paul have both hosted sessions.
Star Stall: Gilcombe Farm sells raw milk and yoghurt (yes, the stuff you buy from supermarkets is all pasteurised), which taste dramatically different. They’ll chew your ear off about the health benefits while you enjoy sampling their products. Addison Primary School, Addison Gardens. W14 0DT. Sat 10am-3pm.
Herne Hill Farmers’ Market: Tempting food and a little fashion
If you’ve rolled out of bed with an unforgiving hangover, Herne Hill provides just the pick-me-up. Join bleary-eyed locals who flock to this strip of stalls outside Herne Hill station, and grab some restorative treats, from crêpes to curries. The vibe is chilled-out, gastronomic window-shopping – for as long as your rumbling stomach can hold out, anyway. Visit the charming Frenchman who asks ‘Are you ready for tartiflette?’ (the answer should always be ‘oui!’). Grab a coffee from Wish’s little outdoor machine, or a clutch of cookies from Galeta, but be quick, ravenous south Londoners tend to gobble up the best stuff by early afternoon. There are also stalls selling crafts, bric-à-brac and vintage clothes, for some style to go with the sustenance.
Star Stall: London Cheesemongers (pictured). The hulkish blokes running this stall have connoisseurs’ palates when it comes to the yellow stuff, and tend to be pretty liberal with the free samples. Railton Rd, SE24 0JN. Sun 10am-4pm.
Fashion Sunday: Undercover fashion browsing
Bethnal Green’s Oval Space – a vast hangar of a place – is the venue for this monthly fashion market, so rain never stops play. And play you will, with live DJs, a well-stocked bar and plenty of London designers’ wares to dig through. The monthly changing line-up of stalls spans cool specs brands, glam designerwear and low-key T-shirt and accessories labels, often selling at big discounts. If the sun does come out, you can enjoy it on the large terrace.
Star Stall: Marina London sells her silk shirts and playsuits at up to 70 percent off. 29-32 The Oval, E2 9DT. Next one Sun Jun 1, 11am-6.30pm.
Crystal Palace: Local food for local people
This year-old culinary fair rubs shoulders with a rickety antiques shop, and is a little haven of locally sourced, organic grub. The offerings are biodynamic, not bogof, however, which means they don’t exactly come at Asda prices. The 15-odd stalls are run by small sustainable farms, many from just outside London, along with artisan fish- and cheesemongers from Bermondsey and Sussex. There are also activities to amuse the kids, with face painting and dressing-up to give the place a family-friendly buzz.
Star Stall: The Grain Grocer is a collective dedicated to getting Londoners to eat non-GM, fairly traded cereals and pulses. Haynes Lane, SE19 3AP. crystalpalacefoodmarket.co.uk. Crystal Palace
For 69 more London markets, go to timeout.com/markets