Friday, 19 October 2012

Shopping In Camden - Photo's by Poppy Mills

The moment you reach the main entrance to Camden market, you're hit by a cacophony of voices from the individual stall holders calling out new competitive prices. All attempting to out-shout their competitor, whether it be the stall selling similar clothing across the street, or a group of jewelry stalls flogging silver which remarkably resemble's tin or copper.
The dark alley's, with over head covering, resembles that of a medieval time (of course, if every other stall weren't selling iphone covers) and as I and my close friends make our way through the bustling comings and goings of the famous market place, taking Polaroid pictures as we stroll down the dark avenues, we laugh about how radically different this is from humble, old Cornwall.

Situated just north of Regents Park, Camden Lock has been known for it's markets since 1972, when old buildings in decline were sub-let to craftsman and once a week, there was a market selling mostly tradition crafts until the demand picked up and the weekly market was soon selling antiques, clothes and food.
More recently (over the past few years) the market has been opened for seven days a week, to accommodate for the demand from tourism and locals. It is also the recent home of London MTV.

On this day in particular, our concern was, as it is of most of Camden's visitors, to shop. To find the best bargain; to enjoy the best food; to enjoy the sunshine that had blessed our day out.

The recent promotion of "stay-cations" as opposed to vacations abroad in sunny locations originally seemed a little bit silly or overly patronizing to us "common folk" in an economic crisis! Or a desperate attempt to get locals putting money back into the economy; either way, it's proved a bloody good idea! I mean, who doesn't love a spa weekend or a week by the sea and away from the busy cities?! Okay, the latter doesn't apply to me as I live by the beach- but you get the idea. My friends an I were on a week's stay-cation in Reading, commuting into London for Shopping and to Redhill for Redfest festival (but more on that in another blog post).

I still stand buy that the best thing I have ever bought is a blue and gold pashmina scarf for £3 at the first shop/stall we visited in the old stables and you're sure to find me in it every other day of the week! (#bestbuy)

Lessons learned about shopping in Camden?

  • Don't dither when making a decision about what to eat. You will only get bombarded with Chinese/Indian/Italian tasters, which isn't so bad until the whole row of food establishments start yelling at you to "CHOOSE OUR FOOD!" 
  • Haggle like your life depends on it. There's nothing worse than comparing prices at the end of the day only to find out that plain tee could have been A LOT cheaper.
  • Spend at least half an hour sitting by the canal drinking coffee made by a true Italian barista (or at least that's the impression the tall, dark handsome man behind the bar gave off). 
Over all, it was an amazing day in the city. I bought lots; I ate lots, and laughed more than I had done in a long time. I'd recommend visiting Camden Market to anyone and only hope that next year I'm living there and attending UCL. Who's with me?! 
(cue cry of applause from self-confessed shop-aholics)
Peace out ♥