Many of our customers enjoy trips to Europe as much as we do, and if you’ve ever been to London you might have visited the Portobello Road antiques market. If you haven’t been to this famous antiques market, then it’s worth thinking about for your next visit, if only for the very British experience! Portobello Road claims to be the world’s largest antiques market.
The main market happens every Saturday when dealers set up their street stalls to join the shops and arcades spread out along the road. Get there early if you want a bargain. The market generally starts at around 8:30 am but some customers start haggling even earlier, asking dealers “what’s your best on that?” even while the antiques are being unpacked! In winter, the dark mornings can be “a bit nippy” as the English say. Sometimes dealers have stood on piles of newspapers inside cardboard boxes, to insulate their frozen toes from the cold sidewalk. Portobello Road is a colorful sight to see, in so many ways!
By noon, the street is packed as everyone comes out to browse. You can hunt for everything from antique furniture to ceramics, antiques clocks, vintage jewelry and clothing, and all kinds of bric-a-brac. The hundreds of stalls can be overwhelming, but hey! That’s what makes Portobello Road antiques market such fun. Even if you come away empty-handed you’ve had a good time chatting with the locals.
When you need a break from the crowds, retreat to the old Earl of Lonsdale pub on the corner of Portobello Road and Westbourne Grove. This traditional Victorian pub has plenty of intimate nooks to take a rest and a big beer garden too for sunny days. Order a pint of beer and some steak and ale pie to refuel!
The Portobello Road antiques market began in the 1940s in a very humble way. London’s ‘Rag and Bone’ men began selling used household items and curios to the wealthy people who lived in the fancy terrace houses. My, how it’s grown!
If you’ve been to Portobello Road antiques market, we’d love to hear your stories about it. Tell us in the comments box below. And if you plan a London trip, check out my blog post on Historic Hotels of London!
Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with Aimee on Google+ or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.