There’s something about wandering around a market that makes shopping a lot more fun. Somehow it’s much easier to browse when you can wander from stall to stall, without having to go in and out of separate shop buildings. It’s usually so much easier to see what’s on sale and you don’t have to search around to find a member of staff if you have a question to ask. Often you can find something a little bit different, whether it be cutting-edge fashion or original art works. A market that can offer the lot like Spitalfields in London makes for a perfect day out. It’s a great place to stroll around and pick out some real finds.
My idea shopping morning or afternoon involves lots of browsing through a spectrum of different stalls; picking out some unusual or decorative purchases; but what really makes it something of an occasion is sitting down to eat or drink. Sometimes I simply stop for a cup of tea or coffee (ideally with some cake to soak it up), but I’m never happier than when I get to include a breakfast or brunch, or if I am shopping a bit later in the day, I like to stop for a spot of lunch. Another favourite thing to do is to pick out some delicacies for eating at home later in the day, maybe some fresh fish or some artisan bread.
Better still if a market has a real community feel, maybe it’s full of specialist vendors, including plenty of crafty style stalls. Maybe you’ll stumble across a market stall holder who really knows their stuff will suggest a new way of cooking a joint of meat; or you might get knitting tips on a yarn stall; or maybe some reading recommendations on the book stall. Perhaps there are performers there providing entertainment or the market is open into the evening, or at weekends, and you can pop along to see a band.