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

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