The history of London’s markets is intertwined with its development into the international trade hub which we know it as today, and none have a richer or more varied history than Spitalfields Market. Having been a centre of trade for over 350 years, this is the capital’s oldest market and is as thriving as ever, open seven days a week and home to an eclectic mix of stalls, shops, restaurants and boutiques. The rich history and continuing importance of Spitalfields Market is reflected in its mixture of splendid Victorian and elegant contemporary architecture. With its fantastic location, a visit to the market is a fantastic experience for any visit to London, and our Family Package London is a great way for adults and kids alike to make the most of it while staying in luxurious surroundings in the centre of the capital.
The market’s story began way back in 1638, when King Charles I granted a license for ‘flesh, fowl and roots’ to be sold on the then-rural Spittle Fields. As London continued to expand, it came to play a crucial role in feeding the city’s rapidly burgeoning population.To this day, Spitalfields Market is heaven on earth for food lovers. Every Wednesday sees the Kerb Street Food Market, with everything on offer from Allihopa’s Swedish smoked trout sandwiches to crab meat specialists Claw, to Jamaican barbecue and delicious falafel. If it’s fresh produce you’re after, head out to New Spitalfields market in Leyton, which is Europe’s leading horticultural market: specialising in exotic fruits and vegetables, you’re sure to see something that catches your eye.
You can choose which day you visit based on what you’re interested in: Monday to Wednesday offer the widest variety of stallholders, with everything on offer from clothing to home ware; Thursday is the time to come for antiques, when the market turns into an Aladdin’s Cave of obscure curios and artefacts; and Friday is fashion day, with the first and third Fridays of every month also featuring a record fair. Saturday rotates between themes, with vintage clothing fairs, African arts and crafts, and local brewers’ markets among the offerings. Sunday, meanwhile, is a great opportunity to get to know and support the rising stars of London’s fashion scene, as recent graduates are given a platform for their work. Organic food, leather goods and furniture are all also on display.Between March and December of every year, the market plays host to an art fair once a month, where great pieces are often available at bargain prices.