London Diary – Portobello Market

Portobello Market in Noting Hill was fun, fun, fun. I first learnt of it from the movie Noting Hill, but it has been around for a long time. Part of the market including the food market is open Monday through Sat, Saturday is the day however it’s got the most shops participating and draws the most crowd.

The shops span across Portobello Street, which is a long road, between Pembridge and Westway, and also Tavistock Road. There is an interesting variety, period and contemporary clothing, music, knick-knacks, vintage and antique jewelries, silverwares, more antiques of all sort, etc. We had a couple of hours and browsed through only a small portion of the market. Here are a few interesting ones. Alice’s, founded 1887, is so filled in every inch of its space with unusual items, you have to navigate your way through the skinny path carefully to avoid bumping on things. Judy Fox Antique is full of beautiful antique pieces, including many elaborate, exuberant French items.

Silver Fox Gallery has multiple shops under the same roof and has interesting items but what I like the most about it is the cafe in the basement. I was skeptical when I went down and realized the tiny little place that it is, a husband and wife team working behind and counter plus a few small tables tucked in its corner. But it completely won me over. Its bacon, egg, pesto and leafy salad sandwich was delicious, the hot lemon ginger drink was something special, warmly and aromatically delightful, and, they serve Pasteis de Belem, which is the tasty Portuguese pastry we had learnt of from the recent trip to Lisbon and had been very sorry to leave behind, and a pleasant chat with some customers who live in the neighborhood, to boot. One of them was a talkative lady who had many good words for the soups and engaged us in a bit of political exchange about US election and UK’s referendum on leaving or staying with EU.

Now that is a fun market for everyone.

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