Thursday, 31 October 2013

Portobello Rocks - AGAIN!

Video by David from Fostudio - Thanks again David!

We had to wait a long one and half months until we at I Love Markets could hold the second ever Portobello Rocks, and a battle with a struggling Hammersmith & City Line was not going to hold us back any further! With 20 lovely stallholders in tow and a ream of ILM bunting, I Love Markets and team were ready to rock the westside once again. The question was, was it going to rain?

I Love Markets stall at Portobello Rocks
Some beautiful customers at the ILM stall!

For three of our fabulous stallholders, this was their second Portobello Rocks also. The Golden Grass Company dazzled as always with their beautiful jewellery which is made from a natural Brazilian plant, and only when completely finished is the jewellery allowed to leave the country. We're very glad it reaches us eventually!

The Golden Grass Company at Portobello Rocks
The Golden Grass Company

Haus of Artisans also returned with their stunning collections of jewellery and clothing. Previously a 'trader of the week' at our beloved Netil Market, the ladies behind the brand are advocates of keeping cultural craftmanship alive, resulting in beautiful pieces like this Crystal Quartz Hammered Ring:

Crystal Quartz Hammered Ring by Haus of Artisans
Crystal Quartz Hammered Ring, £60
Haus of Artisans at Portobello Rocks
Haus of Artisans
Our final serial Portobello Rocker was the lovely Trina from Trina's Delicacies. Delighting us as ever with her organic and fairtrade treats, the only problem she causes ILM is that we never know which one to choose.
Trina's Delicacies at Portobello Rocks
Trina's Delicacies
(...OK, we had to choose in the end. This Lemon & Earl Grey Cupcake was a first-timer for Trina and we were extremely willing to be the guinea pigs!)

Standing on your feet all day means you stand to lose a lot of calories, so luckily Trina wasn't the only one trying to save us from such a loss. Petite Douceur truly opened our eyes to the wide world of exotic jams (sweet potato jam anyone?). Our only issue was that the ILM stall was right next to Thaina's, the genius behind Petite Douceur. This resulted in a lot of jams being 'sampled' and a current refusal for said jams to get out of our heads. The Guava was one of our faves - and available to buy in the ILM shop, by the way!
Petite Douceur at Portobello Rocks
Petite Douceur
Our savoury teeth were also satisfied by Omar, Lubna and family. The team had been up since three in the morning to bring us incredible Indian and Pakistani delights, and you could very much taste the labour of love in the food! The bhajis were amazing, but as our words don't quite do them justice, you can come sample for yourself as they will be joining us again in November.

Indian/Pakistani Food at Portobello Rocks
Lubna and family
Our stomachs full, we were also astounded by some of the aesthetic effort some of our stallholders went into. Magda from Monster Threads looked like she'd set up her own little pop-up shop amongst all the market bustle, her stand complete with a typewriter on which customers could leave their emails for her mailing list.

Monster Threads at Portobello Rocks
Monster Threads

Queue also Ava from Ava Designs who had stayed up all night making delicate origami birds to decorate her stall. ILM's Hollye could not stop raving about these beautiful creations (they were a lot more effective than the origami hat that ILM's Ben had recently made), however Ava's jewellery was also very beautiful!

Ava Designs at Portobello Rocks
Ava Designs
Bag ladies were in for a treat at this October's pop-up as we had not one but two stalls dedicated to the wondrous products. Made of Carpet did just that, and gave us beautiful bags created from different styles of floor carpet. They need to be seen to be believed! Yildizandi took a more traditional leather bag route, however their clever upcycling skills and cutting edge eye for design resulted in something that was truly unique... no wonder their stall was so popular!

Yildizandi at Portobello Rocks
If you thought you'd never see a leg dressed in a beautiful frilled sock fly across Portobello Green, you were wrong. Frills by AD brought a playful but stylish stall to Portobello Rocks and provided the perfect addition to any fashionista's collection. Unfortunately the wind played a bit of havoc with the props on the stall... but that made the socks look even cooler!

Frills by AD at Portobello Rocks
Frills by AD
 Next to Frills was a subtle reminder that the Day of the Dead is upon us. Juan is Dead never fails to delight us with their illustrative stories of Juan, Alberto, Lucia and all their skeletal mates, who seem to think that life (or rather, death) is one big party. You can read how the founder, Leah Reeves, came up with this magical world here.

Juan is Dead at Portobello Rocks
Juan is Dead

Directly opposite Leah, Juan and co was Made by Bea. We discovered Bea's handmade goodies way back, when ILM's Katie bought a baby blanket from her in Old Spitalfields. Needless to say we were more than excited to see her set up with us at Portobello!

Made by Bea at Portobello Rocks
Made by Bea

Jewellery lovers were spoilt for choice last Saturday, with every taste being quite easily catered for. First of all we had Crystal and Stone, who's stall had a constant crowd flocking to see what the designer, Amanda, had on offer. We're not surprised - this silver Stacking Ring is inescapably on trend but only £13!

Stacking Ring by Crystal and Stone
Stacking Ring, £13
Next we had GN Jewellery and T+A Total Accessories. Although Gosia and Ana were clearly great mates, their styles were distinctly different. T+A's lovely scarves also seemed to be calling when the weather turned later in the day!

T+A Total Accessories and GN Jewellery
T+A Total Accessories and GN Jewellery
Green Crochet Wire Earrings by GN Jewellery, £22
Despite the lack of sunshine on Saturday, Kenza Accessories bought some much needed bling to the market which kept Portobello shining! Founder Gemma has a diverse range of standout pieces that range not just from earrings to necklaces, but also clutches, hats and scarves.

Kenza Accessories
Kenza Accessories

Iguana Jazz brought a spectacular spot of statement to Portobello in the form of truly trending jewellery with incredibly good prices! We were very tempted by their beautiful £7 necklaces. The duo behind it all, Naomi and Connagh, came to see us all the way from Manchester and also had illustrated t-shirts which were very cool indeed. We want the whole collection!

Iguana Jazz at Portobello Rocks
Iguana Jazz
The phrase 'time flies when you're having fun' was very relevant to Saturday's pop-up; however we still couldn't help stealing a peek at Wendy Boorer's stall, Clocky Wocky. If clocks could create rainbows, then it would have happened here at Portobello Rocks! Wendy lovingly makes the clocks by sourcing and reworking old records, as well as other bits and pieces (Barbies, for instance!). We love the Floral Shabby Chic Wall Clock.

Floral Shabby Chic Wall Clock by Clocky Wocky
Floral Shabby Chic Wall Clock, £35

Clocky Wocky at Portobello Rocks
Clocky Wocky
Speaking of clocks - we all know they went back this week, which meant it got dark pretty early at this Portobello Rocks. However we had nothing to fear as Pangham were selling a mystical collection of fairy lights. We're used to seeing innovative jewellery designs from Pangham, so these glittering balls of magic were a captivating surprise. Plus - they were only £15!

Pangham at Portobello Rocks
Last, but - and we must stress this explicitly - by absolutely no means least, came the latest addition to the I Love Markets family, House of Immy. Providing us with a treasure trove of fabulous vintage, their stall was full of enchanting clothes, shoes and accessories. ILM's Hollye was quite literally ecstatic to purchase the below shoes, for only ten measly pounds! She would quite happily visit the House of Immy every week.

Shoes by House of Immy
£10 Shoes!

House of Immy at Portobello Rocks
House of Immy

So that's it - October's Portobello Rocks is over and has established itself as Portobello's most fashionable place to be once more. But we are not done popping up at Porto; our next dates are November 30th and December 7th, and we are hoping to see you all there! 

Plus - if you fancy becoming a Portobello Rocker yourself, we'd be delighted to hear from you. We have a couple spaces left for both November and December so please have a look at these details and nab yourself a spot! Until then, keep on rocking...

Oh P.S - it DID rain very heavily, but not until we were packing up to go home. Nature obviously wanted to enjoy Portobello Rocks as much as we did!

Hollye Murphy

*Portobello Rocks happened again in 2014, read more.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

My Market Weekender-Bender

When I’m feeling a bit down, useless or agitated, there’s nothing I like better than a proper market binge. After a busy month in September, I finally got my hands on the market scene last weekend. And there’s nothing I recommend more!


The first stop came in perfect time for our grumbling tums, as Brixton Station Road Market turned into a multicultural haven for food. The festival had been running all week (Cocktail Wednesday was on earlier in the week, needless to say I was gutted to miss that one), but this very special international event had been opened by the Mayor of Lambeth, Mark Bennett.

Save the Bee, Brixton Station Road Market at Brixton Food Fest
You said it Brixton!

While the BF went straight for the pulled pork burger, I was delighted to find The Bounty of Mimir’s Well, a table of what seemed to be magical preserves and jams. Presented with the choice of trying the light kiwi jam or the dark kiwi jam, I was dared by Feaghall, the creative mind behind it all, to try the dark. Quite frankly the easiest dare I have ever accepted, the flavours and textures in this gorgeous thing are surely enough to swing a jam-hater’s mind. I would take this forfeit in spin the bottle any day!

The Bounty of Mimir's Well, jams and chutneys
The lovely people at The Bounty of Mimir's Well


A couple streets down was one of my favourite markets of all time, Crafty Fox at the Dogstar Pub. What I love about this place is that I always discover something I never had before, and the creativity over the three floors really does force you to challenge your own imagination. In a nice, inviting way of course!

Crafty Fox Market, Dogstar Brixton
The usual foxy character welcomes us outside the Dogstar

Working from the top down, I was delighted to find Blonde Fox Vintage amongst the printing workshops. Very tempted by their Christmas jumpers, they had a sparkling offer of genuine vintage delights, which oozed temptation from every rail (vintage is to ILM as chocolate is to…ILM). Talking of temptation, down one flight of stairs were the fabulous Teas Knees who have been popping up at the market since it began. Resisting the generously sized cream teas, I chose a Sticky Toffee Cupcake for only £2.

The Teas Knees, Sticky Toffee Cupcake and Blue Moon
Yes, I had it with a pint of Blue Moon. I was in a pub after all!

The next thing to almost flaw me was one of my most exciting discoveries of the day; Caleigh-Ill and their Russian Owl Dolls. Mesmerised by their dark, vibrant designs, I had to tear myself away from their stall. All their work is brilliant!


Robin Ring by Kirsten Stride
Robin Ring by Kirstin Stride

For £10, this is the cutest thing I have ever seen. If Robins aren’t for you, designer Kirstin offers all kinds of little birds – and if you don’t like birds, she does other things too.

Pigeon Bird Sticker by Birds in Hats
Bird Sticker by Birds in Hats

I love finding Birds in Hats at Crafty Fox as – well, there’s just nothing better than a bird in a hat. Designer Alice Tams was literally sitting by her stall designing one of her Christmas birds which was a great little insight into her process. I troubled her to by a £1 BIH sticker, which is now perching proudly on my laptop, under my I Love Markets sticker – TRUE STORY.

Virgo Constellation Card by Sabrina Kaicia
Virgo Constellation Card by Sabrina Kaici

I almost jumped up and down in excitement when I got to Sabrina's stall. As a bit of a moon, star and constellation freak myself, Sabrina showed me what her amazing moon print looked like under the tablecloth; the answer was it GLOWS IN THE DARK. Apologies for letting my inner geek out, but I was devastated to have already gone past my budget to purchase this. I instead opted for one of her lovely constellation cards, at a very affordable £2.50. She does all the constellations, so go see her if you have a friend’s birthday coming up (or get your own constellation… for yourself… like I did).


A quick sleep at the end of the day, and I was ready to get up on a sunny Sunday morning and make my way down to York Hall in Bethnal Green for October’s Vintage Kilo Sale. ILM readers will already know my emotions towards this worthy event, which charges you vintage by the weight, rather than the item (£15 a kilo). Enjoying the vintage shockers as much as I did the little gems of finds, I finally managed to get my Christmas jumper!


Closing off the weekend was a bus ride to Hackney Downs and joining the newly born Village Green Market, which is ran by our friends the Creative Network Partners. October meant OKTOBERFEST and a celebration of German food and drink. I was absolutely staggered to see the queue for Signature Brew, who were offering beautiful ales for a modest £4.50. Beautiful however must have been an understatement as the queue literally snaked around the market – suggesting to me that this was by far the most popular find of my market weekend. Although we didn’t make the queue, I fulfilled my need for beer by indulging in this delicious Lager and Lime Bunt Cake, which was only £1.50!

Lager and Lime Bunt Cake, Village Green Market
Delicious Lager and Lime Bunt Cake

Making my way through all the individual and pretty crafts and fashions, I found a pop-up shop housing beautiful products from a number of independent designers. The range also included our very own Juan is Dead.

Jorge Playing Poker, Ceramic Tile by Juan is Dead
Jorge Playing Poker, Ceramic Tile by Juan is Dead, £12

I rounded off the day with another quick shot of vintage (it’s like caffeine to me), by popping into Smoking Gun Vintage, which was another interior shop space incorporated into the Village Green. This really brought out my inner magpie as I was captivated by all the sparkle from all those decades ago; for a small space, the geniuses behind the shop squeezed a lot of treasures inside. The BF wouldn’t let me buy anymore vintage though… I don’t blame him. 

All that marketeering and I didn’t even get a hangover!

Hollye Murphy

Thursday, 3 October 2013

5 Market Weekend Market-Musts!

1. Shop Handmade at Old Spitalfields Market

Brighton Belles Makers at Old Spitalfields

Crystal Peace and Love Ring

On Saturday there was a fantastic array of handmade products and it was a great pleasure to soak up the creative juices of the different stall holders on show. Brighton Belles brought colour and jazz in the form of different makers who came from Brighton for the day to trade. They’ll be back with their Vintage Wedding Fair on Oct 26

Dribble Bibs by Ginga-Baby at Old Spitlafields
ILM bought: Baby Dribble Bibs 3 for £12 (right) from Ginga-Baby and this unique Peace & Love crystal ring by 
Point 618 Designs.

The much-loved African Market also made an appearance on Saturday. Great for original handmade products. The next African Market is on Oct 26th.

2.  Flavour Town Bakery

Bringing their gourmet cupcakes to East London, trying and buying is a MUST! It's a sexual experience. In fact, we recommend Flavourtown Bakery so much, we bore ourselves. I have to confess to buying 18 cakes on Saturday. Sticky Toffee Pudding was to-die-for. You can buy 4 for £8 which is a bloody good deal. Join their Facebook page to claim their weekly freebie every weekend at Old Spitalfields Market. 

Truly scrumptious Flavourtown Bakery cupcakes every weekend at Old Spitalfeilds Market

3. Toilet Life Pop-Up Vintage Market

Public Life Vintage Market, Spitalfields E1
 We love novel market pop-ups and you don't get a more original setting that this! Yes - it used to be a public toilet! Now better known as Public Life, it's actually a cool little bar by night, but every Saturday you'll find it transformed into this vintage gem. Outside the Christ Church in Spitalfields. 

Public Life Vintage Pop-Up

Public Life Vintage outside Christ Church, Commercial Rd, E1

4. The Netil Market Experience

The Netil Market experience. Hackney, E5
If you haven't already heard of it, you should have! This market is set behind Broadway Market in Hackney, E8 and runs every Saturday. Netil Market only comes alive after midday and attracts an uber-cool Hackney crowd. Market stalls traders can be found alongside some permanent traders who have set-up shop in Shack Alley. You'll find a bit of vintage, jewellery, arts and crafts. Also very popular for a spot of lunch. View the traders. We'll get on to that next!

5. Get LUCKY!

Netil Market is where the legendary Lucky Chip found their fame and fortune. Yes, it was the most expensive market bite I've ever had (£25 for 2 people!), but YES it was worth it. Next-time around I'd recommend skipping the expensive coke in a bottle and stick to burger and fries at a tenner a head. You get waitress service too!

The Luck Chip Burger at Netil Market, Hackney