Pop up weekend markets at Spitalfields

Old Spitalfields in East London has just announced an exciting line up of pop up markets called New Weekends. I’ve been to Spitalfields a bunch of times, and they usually have the same standard stalls of vintage clothes, leather satchels and minimalist jewellery, so I decided to check out a guest market to see if it offered anything new.

The entrance to Old Spitalfields Market from Liverpool Street station.

Old Spitalfields Market

There’s been a market at Spitalfields for more than 350 years, since it was established on Spittle Fields as a farmer’s market. The Victorian buildings we see on the site now are Grade II listed. In 1991 the fruit and veg part of the market moved to Leyton to become New Spitalfields, leaving the original site to become Old Spitalfields. 

The standard market stalls at Old Spitalfields Market.

Old Spitalfields Market has alway got a ton of stuff going on, including a vintage market each Thursday, a vinyl fair some Fridays and a general arts and craft market throughout the week and into the weekend.

New Weekends Guest Markets

Every weekend this Autumn, the space on the Brick Lane side of Spitalfields will be hosting up to 30 stalls from guest markets including but not limited to; Urban Makers, Wasted Chic, Mother Maker, Cultural Traffic, P.S. Shop Up, and Wimbledon Art Studios.

The view over Urban Makers pop up market.

Whether you are into emerging designers and alternative fashion, sub-cultures of art and zines or want to be inspired by products not found on the high street, this is a chance to look and touch and feel all the things you hover over on Instagram, wondering what it looks like in real life, and how much postage will be.

Old Spitalfields Market. Read More

New Weekends Calendar

Wasted Chic – Fun, fashion-forward designs, vintage & accessories
(last weekend of each month) @wastedchic_events

P.S. Shop Up – Best of designer makers from outside of the M25
(13 & 14 Oct, 10 & 11 Nov) @ps.shopup

Urban Makers – Best of London designer makers
(Second and fourth weekend of the month) @urbanmakers_uk

Mother Maker – Independent brands run by mums
(15 & 16 Sept) @themothermaker

Wimbledon Art Studios – Selection of work coming out of this West London collective
(15 & 16 Sept, 13 & 14 Oct, 10 & 11 Nov) @wimbledon_art_studios

Cultural Traffic – Arts and Publishing Fair
(7 Oct) @culturaltraffic 

Taboo Bazaar Halloween Special – An alternative fashion, art and curiosities for those who prefer to walk on the wilder side of life
(21 Oct) @leboutiquebazaar

Left: A local artist selling prints on foam board. Right: Cement plant pots on sale.

Urban Makers Pop Up Market

Matt and I checked out Urban Makers at Spitalfields last weekend, a designer-led market from the heart of the East end. It started in 2015 with the aim of taking over spaces and creating somewhere for local designers, artists and crafters to showcase and sell their unique creations.

Left: Matt rummaging through antique maps and fighter plane posters. Right: Jewellery stalls.

Urban Makers support existing and newly emerging talented designer-makers from East London and beyond, making it a great cause to show up and support.  It was clearly much more carefully curated than Spitalfields usual stalls (no offence Spitalfields), with lots of handmade jewellery, hanging planters, artists and antiques.

Left: A local artist. Right: Textile art on display.

I would definitely recommend checking these guys out next time they pop up – they’re scheduled regularly throughout autumn on the second and fourth weekends of each month. Come along and support some local artists!

Food & Drink

If you’ve read my about page, then you know I love food. There are loads of restaurants, cafes and food stalls in Spitalfields. Pilpel falafel was a favourite lunch choice of mine when I worked in the area, as well as Ahi Poké and Chop’d.

The Kitchen in the centre of Spitalfields, where you can get street food from all over the world.

Nowadays there’s an amazing installation in the centre of the market space called The Kitchen, where you can buy delicious world street food. Matt and I tried the handmade steamed buns from Yum Bun, with pulled pork and fried chicken, veg gyoza and a side of Asian slaw.

Left: Steamed buns being handmade at Yum Bun. Right: The lunchbox deal with Asian slaw and gyoza.

If you’re after a caffeinated pick-me-up the two best coffee spots are The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs and Climpson & Sons.

Left: The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. Right: Climpson & Sons.

Also not to be missed is the Crosstown Doughnuts truck, where they sell handmade sourdough doughnuts, many of them vegan. We shared a vanilla glazed ring doughnut, which was a delicious way to end a fun day out.

Left: The selection of doughnuts at the Crosstown truck. Right: Vanilla glazed ring doughnut.

Verdict

If you’re looking for something to discover and explore in London this autumn, definitely pop along to Spitalfields. If the rest of their guest markets are as good as Urban Makers then the visit will be worth it, especially if you stop for some street food too.

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Sophie Whitehead

I’m Sophie, a writer and blogger living in London, traveling, eating, and telling you all about it.

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