Spitalfields Market

I grew up spending a lot of time going to Spitalfields Market as my Dad used to have his firm's offices literally opposite (sadly, the building was closed down for redevelopment into office and retail spaces). So I've seen the process of redevelopment of Spitalfields.

The facades of some of the buildings really help to make the area so special. Not many places in London hold such a broad cultural history.

I can get quite nostalgic for the past so there are times when I much prefer the interior of Spitalfields to its current modern look. Nevertheless, the quality of the stalls never ceases to amaze me. Some of the things you can buy are amazing. Compared to the high street brands, I absolutely love Spitalfields because the people are genuinely passionate about what they are selling. The place is full of a creative buzz.

I haven't been to Spitalfields in a few months, so I decided to head over and see what was being sold. I went with Laura as she loves vintage things but has never bought anything vintage or been to Spitalfields and its neighbouring area so I was a sort of vintage how-to guru!

We started off the day with a quick look around Brick Lane and Spitalfields for food. Lunch time meant we were starving. There were lots of food stalls on Brick Lane, buzzing with fellow hungry people, opposite the Truman Brewery.

I found a stall selling falafels and hummus wraps. I am a sucker for falafel wraps. I really try to try other food but if I can smell a falafel, I' m automatically drawn to it! We devoured our wraps before I could take photos, but on our return to Spitalfields, we spied a bakery stall. There were brownies and lamingtons....

We looked around the stalls, and I was immediately drawn to one selling beauty products made from honey and beeswax from the vendors' own bee hives. Laura bought their Peppermint, Lavender and Rosemary body scrub whilst I bought a Coconut lip balm. The lip balm is amazing by the way. Subtle scent but works a treat.

They were called Honey Bee Natural Beauty and they also have a website.

And then there was a stall full of head floral garlands; I love floral prints and flowers so I had to buy a few, even though I know summer is ending!

There's the flower shop, 4 You, in the market as well, selling some more unusual plants:

It really is hard not to spend money in Spitalfields; not only is there so much variety, but a lot of the items are one off pieces and/or sheer creative genuisness.

This necklace I bought, for example, is hand made. Red is one of my favourite colours, and the combination of the gold and red really stood out for me as the necklace is otherwise quite simple. The brand is called Elements By Nature.

Now, I have to save my other purchase for the last. It really was my favourite purchase and I can't wait to wear it.

Isn't it just fab? It's made from a silk scarf and feels so soft. I am in love with the print. They had so many other silk shirt prints on sale and I just couldn't make my mind up which one to buy. I'm trying to make more bolder choices with my clothes and this hit the mark. Don't you think? They have a permanent shop in Camden, I believe, and their Spitalfields stall comes along here and then, so I was really lucky to find them. The brand is called UpVintage by the way.

We decided we wanted to find some more vintage clothes as there weren't many vintage clothes stalls in Spitalfields. So, we headed over to Brick Lane, and just before the Truman Brewery we went down some stairs to a basement of a a building where there are tonnes and tonnes of vintage clothes/jewellery/accessories stalls. Sheer vintage heaven.

Then we went to Beyond Retro, a famous vintage clothes shop, where we had lots of fun picking out vintage dresses and trying them on. Beyond Retro has a no-camera policy, so I couldn't take any photos. After that shopping experience, I think I am growing to love shoulder pads...

A tip if you decide to go to Spitalfields; bring cash with you as not all the stalls accept card payments. There are a few cash points in the area though. 

Here are some of the interesting buildings in the area. The contrast between modernity and traditionalism in the area is really fascinating. Even if you don't go shopping, have a wonder around the area and you'll find some very unique buildings.

Mara xxx

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