London Markets vs High Street Value + Our Top 10 London Markets
London Markets vs High Street Value + Our Top 10 London Markets
Aimee Claire weighs up the pro’s and con’s of grabbing a bargain at your local London Market, or the alternative of shopping on the high street. PLUS, check out our Top 10 London Markets…
London Markets vs. High Street value
Whether you’re in the market for a one-off, statement piece, or are redecorating an entire house, the task of choosing new furniture is not one to be taken lightly. It is important to fully research all available options before diving in; new furniture can be an expensive investment but, if chosen correctly, good pieces can last a lifetime.
From bustling flea markets and vintage boutiques, to the buzzing high street with its well-known brands, London is home to some of the best shopping in the world. No matter what your budget the capital has something for everyone, and there are merits to shopping both on and off the high street; you just have to know where to look.
High Street value
Furniture is big business and there are some fantastic pieces to be found on the high street. The benefits of buying new furniture can be far-reaching; there are certain assurances about quality, cleanliness, and durability that you may not get with second-hand furniture. Newer items can be customised during the manufacturing process, ensuring they completely meet a customer’s style requirements, and strict safety measures will have been undertaken to ensure that pieces are of the best quality possible. Brand new furniture is usually protected by an extended warranty, and can be purchased with additional insurance; these varying levels of quality assurance mean that furniture can be replaced or repaired if required.
It is essential to carry out research before shopping in the London high street outlets. Various retailers will offer different after-care packages, and listening to reviews can be as valuable as sampling furniture prior to purchase. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of a company’s customer service either.
In with the old…
London is home to some fabulous vintage boutiques, second-hand stores and marketplaces. The markets of Camden, Portobello Road, Haynes Lane, Greenwich, Brick Lane, Petticoat Lane, and Spitalfields (to name but a few) are synonymous with fantastic bargains and truly unique items; the perfect place to source that one-off piece of furniture. Second-hand furniture is full of character, charm and vintage beauty, and is often much cheaper to buy than brand new items, as well as being more environmentally friendly.
Taking to the streets of London is akin to exploring a giant treasure trove. There are some fantastic restoration projects to be found in the capital’s markets, giving new owners a unique opportunity to customise and breathe new life into their furniture.
As with most costly purchases, it is important to inspect all items prior to buying them. While some general wear and tear can be easy to rectify, there is a fine line between antique and worn out; never take on a bigger project than you are comfortable with.
While second-hand furniture can be an absolute bargain, some used items are better avoided. Leather sofas, for example, often require more maintenance than is worth the initial expenditure; worn springs and faded leather do not make for attractive bedfellows, and may result in a sofa that needs to be replaced far more quickly than its newer counterparts. Electrical items, children’s cribs, and mattresses must adhere to strict health and safety guidelines; as such, these items are also best bought as new.
Pine furniture, items which are stapled together rather than held with glue and screws, and furniture incorporating mesh-only supports can often have high levels of wear and tear that are difficult to restore. Stains and blemishes can be cleaned or repaired with new upholstery, but structural damage can be difficult, and even dangerous, to rectify. Also be wary of items with a distinct smell; strange odours can often be difficult and costly to be rid of.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]
Our Top 10 London Markets
Bermondsey Square Antique Market | Every Friday | 6am-2pm
An authentic antiques market with a wide range of antiques from cutlery to furniture, china to jewellery – and sellers who have been coming to this market for years.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Broadway Market | Hackney | Every Saturday | 9am-5pm
A genuine kaleidoscope of tastes and cultures: more stalls, shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes than you can shake a stick at.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Brockley Market | Lewisham College | Every Saturday | 10am-2pm
Our local food market which has flourished since its launch in September 2011.
Camden Markets | Every Day | From 10am
All the market you could ever want! Camden Lock Market, Camden Stables Market, Buck Street Market, the recently improved Camden Lock Village and Inverness Street Market are open every day.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Capital Carboot | Pimlico | Every Sunday | 10:15am-2:30pm
Central London’s only indoor and outdoor, all-year-round carboot sale, pitching up every Sunday at Pimlico Academy.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Deptford Market | Wednesday, Friday & Saturday | 7am-4pm
Our local source for, well, you know those things you never knew you needed until you saw them? A proper market visited by real Londoners![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Greenwich Market | Tuesday-Sunday
One of London’s best covered markets with up to 120 stalls showing antiques and collectables on Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays, and craft and design on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and weekends.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Maltby Street Market | SE1 | Every Saturday | 9am-4pm
A food-lovers paradise, hidden away in deepest darkest Bermondsey. What Borough Market used to be, Maltby Street has become.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Portobello Market | W11 | Monday-Saturday | Various Times
The daddy of them all? Probably London’s most famous market, and perhaps sometimes the most stressful. Nevertheless, this is a market you have to experience at least once.
Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair | Old Spitalfields Market | December 7th | 11am-5pm
Judy’s… takes ver Old Spitalfields Market this December, filling it with a treasure trove of the best UK vintage traders have to offer for a whole weekend![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like: nice pubs, film marathons, not doing real marathons, bad comedy, plays/musicals with shorter second halves, and the Oxford comma.