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London is a city full of markets from the carnivorous delight that is Smithfields to alternative teenagers all locking the same favourite Camden market. I like a number of the markets but I am a south east London girl and my heart belongs to Greenwich Market. If I have to buy a present for my nearest and dearest it is one of my first points of call in London.
Greenwich Market is located in the hear of Maritime Greenwich two minutes walk from the river Thames and Cutty Sark DLR station. Its not immediately obvious just look or the archways and alleyways in College Approach, Nelson Street, Greenwich Church Street and William IV Street that surround the market and head down them. You'll find your self in a historic marketplace dating back to 1832 when the market was a practical market selling foodsuffs.
The market is open from Wednesday to Sunday with slightly different emphasis on products sold for example Thursday is antiques and collectibles. However my review will be based on the Weekend market with arts and crafts, fresh produce and deli style foods.I love visiting Greenwich Market on a weekend as there is a little bit of everything in what they sell. Its not a practical market though. If you are looking for two pounds of bananas for a pound, screws, a dodgy mobile phone cover or polyester jumper head to Deptford or Lewisham markets instead. What Greenwich does offer is th best in arts, crafts, gifts, clothes and food. The market management gives priority to small creative businesses selling small scale often local or ethically traded products which I full support. When looking for slightly unusual gifts I often come up trumps at Greenwich Market.
Let me take you on a tour of this wonderful market.
I love the atmosphere of Greenwich Market. Its not too loud or noisy and there are certainty no stall holders asking you to roll up for half a ton of meat for a fiver or as much past its best fruit as you cn eat for £1. It is busy and bustling especially around Christmas time when I sometime find it just that too busy and crowded. I almost tripped over a smell dog that I did not see under my feet! nd i always find the stall holders to be very knowledgeable, informative and helpful if you re interested in the products available on their stall.
I have my favourtie old faithful stalls where I pick up bits and pieces. There is a great stall selling lovely handmade cards from as little as £1 for smaller cards and no more than £3 for more intricate ones. I find them great value and are the lazy cheat's way to sending gorgeous cards for those of us who are non creative. There's a handmade beeswax candle stall that sells all sort of candles from little scented floating ones to gigantic pillars of candles I find it useful as nice scented candles are always a good stand by gift. There are a number of jewelery stalls with some happy stuff and some classier stuff. I bought my sister a lovely pair of earrings with tiny forget me nots pressed into glass. I also bought my mum a lovely enameled note card holder. The same stall does gorgeous pocket mirrors and compacts.
Want clothes. There are stalls selling vintage clothes, leather jackets and quirky t shirts and knickers. I've bought wrap trousers for holidays along with a gorgeous silk dress and a funky t shirt. The prices are more expensive than Primark and et all but are not outrageously expensive. I think the dress was £25 and the t shirt £15. There's one stall I love that sells these really cute patterned baby wear but at £15 for a little romper suit I think it is slightly too expensive for an outfit a child is going to outgrow pretty quickly.
Feeling puckish then the worlds your oyster. Just follow your nose to the food court area of the market. The food section is at one end of the market has something for everyone from Sushi, to it lain cheeses, tapas and delicious cookies, cakes and brownies. There's a great cafe which is ideal for light lunches as well as the usual cakes and coffee. I once had a gorgeous side salad to accompany a min course which was a meal in itself.
One can buy flavoured coffees and hot chocolates for later but if your thirsty there is a great stall selling smoothies and hot spiced apple juice. Its a warming prospect on a cold December afternoon after an exhilarating afternoon Christmas shopping. If you want something stronger the Admiral Hardy has a marketplace entrance as well as covered outdoor seating in the actual market. The Admiral hardy sells a good range of drink and food but can be quite studenty. Its a pub I have drunk in and I have fond memories but not my favourtie pub in Greenwich. It isuseful as a touilet stop , as one crucial facility the market lacks is visible public toilets.
Round the outside of the market Square are a number of independent shops selling everything from hippy style clothes to health food and board games. I always look into Compodia the board games shop that sells jigsaws, marbles and every board game imaginable. I always get fully knowledgeable advice when I'm in there even if I'm just window shopping.
There's also an old fashioned sweet shop Mr Humbug with jars of sweets for sale by the quarter (or is it since we have gone completely metric). It's a place I could spend a fortune in but would regret it later but my dentist would not.
There are many things to do in Greenwich but I would advise a wander round the market. Its great for gifts or buying yourself mostly decorative, slightly useless stuff. Is a place I try not to go top if I have actually got money and no gifts o buy as I'm bound to pick up something I don't need!