There are many markets, good for different things. Covent Garden was always my favorite because it was the most attractive, had a more upscale café with internet (some internet cafes charge you for wifi and are sketchy), and had different shopping every day. I did stop going to the café however because it was expensive and not great food (not great selection) so ended up not being worth my time. I did like seeing all the different markets – the vendors changed throughout the week and sometimes were themed days and sometimes not. Got some great gifts there though. As I’m on my way home (as I’m writing this I’m eating sushi in JFK) I’ve been able to see how much stuff I’ve amassed since being here. I have a whole extra bag bigger than the one I started with – I’ve got mugs and shows, dresses and posters, and my brand new scarf!
Camden Town Market(s) are located 10 minutes from the Roundhouse theater and are absolutely brilliant except for how pushy the salesmen/women can be. Mostly the men. I just love to go look and then think about what I want after I’ve seen everything but the men try to get you to try stuff on and then give you a speech with some reason that they will lower the price for you personally which irked me. Just felt like a waste of my time because I always knew it was coming. And then often they yell after you if you walk away before the speech just trying to make a sale. However, if you want a dress, scarf, jacket and want to bargain for it then Camden Town is your place. Beside that it is worth seeing if only once – make sure to get to the stable market. It’s actually a transformed stable so has a lot of the original fixtures and statues of horses. A great atmosphere, but be warned just like everywhere else in Camden Town you can easily get lost!
Old Spitfields was not as excited as I hoped it would be. I went on a Friday which is supposed to be an upcoming fashion market. It was ok, but I wasn’t particularly impressed by any potential designs. I did find a Chinese brand that makes designer look-alikes in some legal way which is nice. The real look without the real price tag! Perhaps it would have been better on a different day. Also with this one keep in mind that it is more upscale so will in general cost more.
Two others of note: while Portobello Market is quite popular and well-known, I really didn’t enjoy it. I did find a cute dress really cheap but mostly it was clothes that looked previously worn even if they weren’t and the style was older and certainly not retro-chic. The other is the new pop-up market “Boxpark” in Shoreditch. It was slightly out of the way and did not look super interesting so I never went to see it though it will be open until 2017 so maybe someday I will be there.