Markets are one of my favourite parts about living in London. Really, if you haven’t been to Borough or Portobello, you’re missing out. And you really don’t have to spend a lot of money! It’s really fun just to walk around looking at everything.
Borough Market is close to my heart, mostly because the way to my heart is through good food and Borough has some of the best. You can get fresh locally grown produce, fish, meat (including venison), wine, olive oils, pestos, dips, olives, spices, bread, cheeses, flowers, live herbs, and more.
Not only can you pick up grocery type goods to bring home, there’s loads of street food stalls that you can grab lunch from. If you love food, Borough is a must! Particularly if there is a certain food or spice that you can’t find in the super market, you can probably find it at Borough. You can get to the market from London Bridge tube station. It’s open for lunch Monday-Wednesday, but the full market only operates Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I recommend checking it out on Fridays; it’s bustling, but not overwhelmingly busy like Saturdays.
Portobello Market is most well-known for its antiques stalls, but it also has nice food and vintage clothes sections. It is a must-go for presents shopping (I got most of my Christmas presents from there!) and it’s hard to go and not pick up something for yourself as well. You get there from Notting Hill tube station and pass the blue door from the movie on your way into the market. First you pass through the antiques section (fancy a 19th century flask or brooch?) and then it transitions into the food area. As I mentioned above, Borough is the go-to for food. Portobello is so huge that I recommend passing through the food quickly, you’re not missing much. Next there is a small section of vinyl records and some African CDs, and then you end up in the vintage clothes. If you like fashion, this is GREAT. For the best selection (before it’s picked over too much) go on Saturday mornings. You can easily spend a day making your way through Portobello’s streets. Just make sure the weather is cooperative first, as it does close for heavy rain! And if you don’t already want to go, I saw Elijah Wood there once. Just sayin.
There are other markets in London that you should definitely explore while studying at King’s, these two are just my personal favourites! Some good ones are Camden, Brixton, and Greenwich. Also make sure to stop by a cashpoint (ATM) before going, almost nowhere accepts cards.
Oh and for all you Yanks, there is a store in St. John’s Wood called Panzer’s where you can get American food like Kraft mac & cheese, Goldfish, that kind of thing. Just because you study in London doesn’t mean you can’t find some tastes from home!