Monday, October 19, 2009

London - Day 4

We headed to Liverpool Station to attempt visit #2 to Shelf and I am happy to say that it was quite successful! We started the day at Spitalfields Market. Plenty of food, cupcakes, clothing, jewelery, artwork and accessories by local vendors as well as some items made from abroad. The market is situated in two outdoors, but covered, courts which are surrounded by local cafes, restaurants and antique shops. Unlike Portobello West, there were a lot less tourists and nobody trying to roll their luggage through the crowds! If you do visit Spitalfields, some vendors only accept cash, so come prepared. The queue for the bank machine was staggering!

Check out these amazing letterpress letters from one vendor.

London wool and fruit exchange next to Spitalfields.

So back to our main mission, which was to head over to Shelf... we stumbled across a new market with tons of people! Girls in pin up curls, vintage clothes galore and even British hipsters! We were at Brick Lane at London's Sunday Up Market. If you liked Portobello, this was 10x better! Plenty of cheap eats and handmade goodies. There is even a vintage pop up market in the Old Truman Brewery that opened up earlier this year.

This was just the beginning of the crowds. You can see further how the crowds thicken down the road. We were walking shoulder to shoulder at one point. It was insane. I can't say I missed the crowds in London. Street vendors lined both sides selling handmade wares, garage sale items and some with counterfeit items. Once the police showed up, you could see some of them packing up and waiting for the all clear.

1.5 mini samosas each and a fresh juice later, we made it to Cheshire Street where Shelf is located along with a few other independent shops such as Mar Mar Co and Labour and Wait.

Thanks to Poppytalk for the suggestion! Shelf was definitely worth the wait. Filled with crafty and kitchy items that are both handmade locally, by the shop owners and abroad, there is plenty for people of all ages. Here's a full write up on the store on the Wee Birdy website.

We wrapped the evening by taking a ride on the London Eye.

Thanks to MK for the recommendation!

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