Wednesday, 3 December 2014

What Makes Broadway Market The Perfect Market?

Quality, Specialty &  Variety are Broadway Market's unique selling points Quality, Specialty & Variety are Broadway Market's unique selling points

Broadway Market in Hackney has everything that a great market should be. I've passed away many Saturdays at Broadway Market, but haven't visited for a while and when i did return on Saturday i left reflecting on just how good the market really is. Whether by accident or not, it has the magic formula for creating the perfect market.

Broadway Market is lucky to be in such a position. There are so many factors which influence how successful a market is. Mastering the formula is tricky chemistry, it's more than just how affluent its visitors are. It got me thinking, why does Broadway Market work so well and what is the formula for creating the perfect market? With GLA funding for the regeneration of high streets being made available, markets-in-need are expected to receive help. Change of any kind takes time, but i think every market organiser can learn from the successes of Broadway Market. Here are 5 things which i think help to make Broadway Market a great place.

1. Identity & Community

Broadway Market in Hackney attracts a hip community  
Broadway Market in Hackney has been labelled a "hipster community"

Broadway Market has a strong identity which is reflective of the community it has chosen to serve. It is tailored to fit the creative, cool and affluent culture-vultures who live in the immediate & surrounding areas. You know that they love and appreciate it. A successful market should serve those who care the most about it. It should brand itself towards those who want to spend their time and money there. When thinking about how to regenerate a market or high street then involving those that care is a great place to start. Having a united market community will help to create a strong market identity and the community will collectively buy-in to any proposed changes.

2. A fabulous supporting high street.

Enjoying the delights of Broadway Market, London  
Enjoying the delights of Broadway Market, London

Great markets need great high streets and great high streets need great markets. They thrive off each other, they drive visitors to the market and encourage them to stay and return again and again. Collectively they keep the economy flourishing. The shops on Broadway Market are niche, independent and unique to the local area. It has remained Tesco and Starbucks free which is highly commendable. It also has great pubs, restaurants and cafes which are a reason to visit in itself.

3. Communication is at the heart of the Market Shopping Experience

Delicious Mushroom Risotto at Broadway Market  
Delicious Mushroom Risotto at Broadway Market

The absolute unique and wonderful thing about markets is that you can have face to face contact and communication with the businesses selling. Markets are naturally sociable places and fundamentally the communication exchange starts with buyers and sellers. You can learn first hand about the products you want to buy, where they come from, how they're made and the story behind them. This is something that the commercial high street cannot compete with. As someone who loves markets, being able to have face to face contact and communications with the creators and sellers of wonderful things is what visiting markets is all about. At lot of the time the seller is just as important as the product itself. As a consumer you buy into the whole package and the people behind the stalls at Broadway Market are great.

3. Great Traders who are there every week

The flower stall at Broadway Market  
Locals shopping at the flower stall on Broadway Market

A market is nothing without great traders and Broadway Market's are certainly premier league. Broadway Market is fortunate as it's inundated with people wanting to trade there. The stalls are again in keeping with its audience. The products on sale are of excellent quality, well presented and unique with a sprinkle of exquisite, which suits the pockets of this affluent neighborhood. Another plus for Broadway Market is that because the traders themselves have to work hard for their spot at the market, they in turn work hard to retain their place. The market is home to the same regular traders each week so stall owners are able to build up their local customer base. Visitors know that they can find those traders there every week, which gives them a reason to visit the market. Climpson & Sons Coffee is a great example of this. The same people will go there to buy their coffee every week. They are a Broadway Market institution and their consistency large queue speaks for itself.

4. Mix it Up and do it well

Vintage and upcycled home decor from LA LA at Broadway market, London  
Vintage and upcycled home decor from LA LA at Broadway market, London

Whilst we're thinking about traders, i think it's the fine mix of different traders and products at Broadway market which help to keep the market thriving. Whilst great food earned its reputation, today the market offers a lot more than hot food and fresh produce. This market literally has something for everyone. Whether you want to shop arts and crafts, home decor, vintage and clothing, sustainable products, fresh produce or eat amazing hot food this market has it all.

5. People want to hang out there

The Cat and Mutton Pub is a popular place to hand out and watch Broadway Market Pass you by  
The Cat and Mutton Pub is a popular place to hang out and watch Broadway Market Pass by

Broadway Market is an energetic and vibrant social hub. A great market is a place where people want to pass-away the afternoon, shop, eat, drink, meet friend or make new ones, people watch and soak up the atmosphere. The whole make-up of Broadway Market and its visitors make the area a place that people want to hangout at. The local cafes, pubs and restaurants who have outdoor seating and open doors make Broadway Market a welcoming and comfortable place to hang loose. You'll never get told you can't use the toilet at Dukes. People are free to come and go as they please, which is a great thing. A successful Market needs to be social, it creates a strong sense of community and great vibes all around.

Whether you like Broadway Market or not, it is the perfect market for the community that it's chosen to serve. There is lots we can learn from the successes of Broadway Market and how it helped to regenerate the area into the highly desirable Hackney hotspot that it is today.

By Katie Ingham, Do you agree? I's love to hear any comments or thoughts on this.

Do you run a stall or business on Broadway Market? Create a free listing for your business on I Love Markets. 

Friday, 24 October 2014

Christmas Markets in London

I Love Markets Guide to London's Christmas Markets
I Love Markets Guide to our Top 10 Christmas Markets 

Christmas is looming and London's markets are booming! Here is the I Love Markets guide to the London's best Christmas markets. Shop local, shop unique and support London's independent businesses, markets and traders this Christmas.

Winter Village


A 3 day Christmas bonanza curated by City Showcase. It takes place at St John's Church in the heart of Hackney and will feature a contemporary alternative to the more traditional German style Christmas market. Find out More



Wrap up warm for this year's Pexmas as it's outdoors at Holly Grove Park. An awesome event with fab stallholders, munchy treats from streetfood traders and loads of musical shenanigans from local choirs. Find our more.

E17 Designers Xmas Market

  E17 Designers Xmas Market

The E17 designers will be showcasing their festive talent on November 30th at the Asian centre in Walthamstow. This is a great group of creative talent, so we're sure they'll be plenty of great things to fill your Christmas stockings with. Find out more.

The White Christmas Fair

white xmas fair                

If handmade traditional Christmas shopping along with Independent designers & makers sounds like you're bag then the White Christmas Fair in Battersea is the one for you. It's being held at Testbed1 on the 6th and 7th of December. Find out more.

The St John's Hospice Christmas Fayre

St John's Hospice Christmas Fayre                

The St John's Hospice Christmas Fayre is a family festivity which takes over St John's High Street on November 30. Market Stalls, Christmas delights, fairground rights and plenty of jolly Christmas cheer. Find out more.

Dusty Fingers Christmas Market

Dusty Finger Christmas Market                

The Dusty Fingers Christmas Market is rolling out the holly German Style bringing some Xmas loving to Clapton, Hackney. If you love a vintage Christmas then it's time to get Dusty.

Cabbages and Kings Christmas Market


Christmas at Abney Hall in Stoke Newington brings the Cabbages and Kings Market on December 13th & 14th. Stalls selling art, illustration, fashion and designers. Find out more.

The Chocolate Festival


Say it with chocolate this Christmas at The Chocolate Festival at the Islington Design Centre. A velvety chocolate paradise, enjoy delicious artisan foods at the Food & Drink Circle Christmas Market. Find out more.

The Crafty Fox Market Christmas Markets

Crafty Fox Christmas Markets                 
The Crafty Fox Market is embracing Christmas this year with 3 different markets happening across town. First up head to their new venue on Dalston Lane, then Brixton and last up Peckham. It's going to be crafty crackers.

All the Fun of the Christmas Fair

All the fun of the Christmas Fair                

All the Fun of the Christmas Fair brings your great food, music and an array of stalls selling everything you need to get Christmas wrapped up! It's in support of Marie Curie Cancer Care, so you'll be doing your bit for charity too. Head to the St Cyprian’s Church, NW1. Find out more.

More to come!

We'll be letting you know about more Christmas events when we hear about them. You can also search the events calender or market directory for more. If you are organising an upcoming Christmas event be sure to add it. Here's how. 


Wood Street Market will be holding a special event. Watch this space for more info.


Also, on Nov 15 Portobello & Golborne Rd will be switching on the lights and holding a Christmas Card Contest. Find out more.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Has eating become more popular than shopping London's Market


Food has taken London's markets by storm. On a recent trip to some of London's most popular lunchtime spots, Katie Ingham wonders if it really is all glorious?

Think August would be a good time for London’s markets but actually it’s a bit of an iffy one. Being the summer you may expect people to be out in droves, but particularly for local markets that tourists are less likely to visit, business can be slow. Sensible locals vacate the city for warmer climates, you can see the pavements ahead of you and the roads are an eerie kind of quiet. Markets are naturally vibrant places, so it always feels unsettling to hit a lull.

My Thursday hunt for some market action began at Chapel Market in Angel Islington and it was my first interaction here with a trader that got me thinking. When I asked if I could take a photo of his stalled and I explained that it was for I love markets, he replied.

"So what's going on with markets then?" What do you mean I said, "Well there all turning to food." My immediate response was how food stalls bring in good lunch time trade, but on reflection is the popularity of food at London’s markets changing the way we spend our time at them?

"If food stalls are replacing other traders, where are the non-food traders going and what does the future hold for these people at London’s Street Markets?"

Chapel Market in Islington is a traditional affair

Chapel Market is still about as traditional a street market as you can expect to find in London.  It has an honest mix of food, fresh fruit and veg, clothing, flowers, home essentials and more so now, hot food stalls. It’s the type of everyday market that locals should cherish, offering an affordable alternative to supermarkets as well as the high street. I know that markets of this kind aren’t to everyone’s taste, but they do serve a purpose. If you know what you can find there and at competitive prices, then you know you can visit when the need arises.

A few of my favourite regulars are pictured below.

Chapel Market Stall
Chapel Market Stall - Local Historic Photos including Arsenal's Icons
Chapel Market Stall - Peruvian Children's Clothing, Toys & Womens' Jewellery
Chapel Market Stall - French & European deli and sandwiches on the go

My next stop through Islington brings me down Rosebery Avenue to Exmouth Market. Exmouth Market is a quaint row of independent shops, well regarded restaurants, coffee shops and drinking holes. It’s off the beaten track nestled between Angel and Clerkenwell, it’s not on a tube stop, so it serves the immediate local area and is a popular spot for workers to take a lunch. The market itself is 100% food and it solely operates for the lunchtime and is already winding down come 2pm. Food stalls can do great business here. It’s a bite size market with about 10-12 stalls on a good day.  One thing that is lacking is somewhere to actually sit and eat, which is why a lot of people head back to their office to eat it. The Ghanaian food stall is a personal favourite. It serves authentic curries with the staple jollof rice. A great way to bring a bit of fire into a dull lunchtime.

exmouth market
More fast bites at Exmouth Market on Rosebery Avenue

Walking on 5 minutes further up Rosebery Avenue you’ll hit Clerkenwell Road. It’s not far from the busy junction of Theobalds Road and Grays Inn Road and home to Camden Council run Leather Lane Market. Leather Lane is an interesting part of London which sits just in front of London’s Diamond Quarter – Hatton Gardens. It used to be a pretty lifeless part of town but now it has a new lease of life with many trendy design and media companies housed there. The high street itself has massively improved over the years. It has many gems. Daddy Donkey who used to run a hugely popular burrito stall on the market has recently opened up there. It has Monmouth Coffee, Kate Kanza a long-time favourite independent shoe shop of mine, and Fully City Bikes bringing their own two-wheel community vibes to the area. It would also be sacrilege not to mention the Falafel King at Sara’s Food Store, here you can sample arguably the best falafels in London.

Food Stalls get ready for a day's trading at Leather Lane Market

It’s not just the high street at Leather Lane that has changed, the market seems to have too. It used to be very in keeping with Chapel Market, however on this visit food traders seemed to be once again winning, which left me wondering where the other non-food traders have gone? With such a huge local work force it seems like a good move to offer more stalls selling lunchtime bites. It seems apparent that although food stalls bring in a strong lunchtime footfall, they don’t necessarily attract the type of person who is likely to spend money on other parts of the market. The question has to be asked is

“Who is actually shopping at London’s street markets?”

Fully City Bikes on Leather Lane

Food is undoubtedly fashionable at moment. The popularity of street Food, topped with our hankering to "eat street," has encouraged new faces to London’s markets. It's  reignited interest which is a great thing, but it does make you wonder where all the other guys gone? If market organisers are simply supplying the demand then why is it that people are less likely to visit their market to shop as opposed to eat? The recession has undoubtedly played a part in tightening our everyday spending of luxury, non-essential goods.

"Eating is a strong contender to shopping as it's a necessity, but it's one that can give great pleasure!"

When considering the purchase of fashion, clothing and accessories at markets, bargain high street basements like Primark have to be mentioned.   Their success has sent shock waves across the industry and even market traders find it hard to compete with their prices. The increase in stalls selling cheap imported goods and replicas has also downgraded quality and variety. Many shoppers are happy to compromise quality over price and ethical reputation isn't a player.

My last stop on my Thursday market trail is a foodie show stopper. White Cross Street. It’s a fine example of how a lively, vibrant lunchtime food market, can completely revive a lost and lonely high street. Situated just off Old Street and close to the Barbican, this is a fantastic place to take lunch. The photos speak for themselves. It’s hugely popular, buzzing and fantastically fragrant. Run by Islington Council this is their most successful market. Maybe it’s the success of this market which has affected the foodie future of neighbouring Chapel Street and Leather Lane Market.

whitecross street market
Whitecross Street Market is a lunchtime haven

Navigating your way through the crowds and vast aromas accelerates your appetite. The only difficulty here is deciding what to eat. By the Waitrose end of the market there were a few rather apologetic non-food stalls that in all honesty got swallowed up by the simmering food stalls and hungry punters. Everyone there has only food on the mind and who could blame them.

"Enjoying food is a universal pleasure, which brings people together."

Choosing what to eat is the tricky thing at Whitecross Street Market
Punters can't get enough of Hoxton Beach falafels at Whitecross Street Market

Whitecross Street is proof that food at markets can be a glorious thing. Succulent street food and fast bites are a popular pull. Enjoying food is a universal pleasure, which brings people together. It's clear that the abundance of food available at London's Markets has enhanced the overall market experience. I just hope that eating at markets doesn't become more popular than shopping. Or is it too late?

Blog by Katie Ingham, I Love Markets Director. Tweet us your thoughts @ilovemarkets

Add your market stall to our directory, here's how.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

5 Reasons to Visit Portobello Rocks!

Portobello Green Market, destination for Portobello Rocks July 26
Portobello is rocking all of the time, but like many markets it truly comes alive during the sunny summer months. This Saturday July 26, our summer time pop-up, Portobello Rocks, will be bringing some magical market action to Portobello Green Market. Here's 5 bribes to make you visit!
  1. Reggae Carnival Vibes. As soon as you enter Portobello Green Market, under the Westway from Ladbroke Grove Station, you'll be welcomed by some rhythmic reggae vibes. Feel the West London love and bounce whilst you shop.  
  2. Inspiring Designers and Makers. Jewellery designers , up-cycling and crafty wonders. We have stalls which will inspire your day.
  3. Vintage & Retro baby. Portobello and vintage come hand in hand. If you love vintage then this is the place for you. We have vintage from Italy & Europe, upcycled vintage, bric a brac  & curiosities all in the line-up.
  4. Something Sweet. Yes we have delicious sweet treats to bribe you with! Traditional crepes from Sweet Something and Vegan yum-yums from the hugely popular Vegan Sweettooth
  5. Portobello Rocks! There are so many reasons to visit Portobello, our event is just one of them. Eat street at Acklam Village, find some bargains and have a rummage on the Portobello Road, visit mini Morocco on Golborne Road, antique stalls and London Charm towards Nottinghill...We could go on. See the video below for a real taster!
I Love Markets why Portobello Rocks Video

Want a stall?

Stalls are priced at £45. Last remaining places available for August 9 and Sept 13. Email us to find out more. 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Market Watch!

Market Watch, Weekly news & events from I Love Markets


It’s been a while, but as you may know we’re busy getting our new website ready. We’re also on the countdown for our 2nd Portobello Rocks event next weekend. It’s all go-go-go! Keep reading to catch-up on all the action.

Make Portobello your market of choice next weekend, Saturday July 26th. We have a fine selection of traders selling an array of vintage, crafts, homeware, jewellery and accessories. The Vegan Sweet Tooth and Sweet Something Crepes with be supplying yummy treats.

Book a Stall for Aug 9
We are booking the last remaining stalls for Portobello Rocks on Sat Aug 9. Email me to book. £45 for the day.

New E17 market Beluah Road are looking for new stall holders for the 2nd of August during the Walthamstow Village Festival. Find out more.

If you read our email last week you’ll know that some changes are taking place here at I Love Markets and we have a brand new website coming soon! From July 19 the existing one will be deceased. Find out more.

The BBC is hosting their very first outdoor Good Food Festival in the stunning grounds of Hampton Court Palace, over the August Bank Holiday weekend (23rd - 25th). There is limited stall availability so get in their quick!
Here’s what’s getting our market juices flowing this week. See the full line-up here.

Got an event to promote? Email us at

Keep it real, keep it markets.

Best wishes,

Katie Ingham
Managing Director

Monday, 7 July 2014

I Love Markets is Changing

From July 19 2014, I Love Markets is changing, an new website is on it's way
Since launching the I Love Markets website we’ve had a great time spreading the word and flying the flag for London’s fantastic markets and independent traders. Like any new business there have been highs and lows and after nearly 2 years in business we are now wiser as to what works and what doesn’t. Recently some structural & ownership changes have occurred that have lead me to re-evaluate how I Love Markets will operate and how it will be funded moving forward. 

As a result, I Love Markets is evolving and I am pleased to announce that we are in the midst of developing a brand new website and service that we hope to share with you soon. One significant change will be the removal of ILM Shopping, which will allow us to strongly focus on driving visitors physically to the markets, whilst continuing to provide a platform for traders, small businesses & markets to promote themselves. Our pop-up events will continue as normal. 

From July 19 2014, the existing I Love Markets website will no longer be online and you will not be able to log in to the website with your existing details. It is our intention to offer an interim service from this date and we will keep you informed about our plans to implement the full service over the coming months. If you have any questions or would like to provide us with any constructive feedback, which could help mould our future service, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

I’d like to thank you all for your patience and support during this time. 

Best wishes,
Katie Ingham
I Love Markets Director

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

This is how Portobello will be rocking!

“A market for those that appreciate the finer things in life!”

With just days to go until our Portobello Rocks Summertime launch we're very excited over here at the I Love Markets towers. Our pop-up mission is simple. We want to bring quality to London's markets and provide a place where talent can be showcased and appreciated. Live local? We hope that you will join us.

Portobello Rocks is an I Love Markets pop-up event, held at Portobello Green Market, Under the Westway (Ladbroke Grove end), London W11. Events will be held on June 28, July 26, Aug 9 and Sept 13. 

Here's a little teaser of what's to come!
Billiin, handmade products from recycle materials

And So To Dream, Fairtrade baby and kids sleepwear   

Ditzy Doll, Hand Crafted, one-off recycled & vintage clothing

Love Bessie, quirky homeware and stationery

Isamarie, handmade beauty products

Interested in stalling? Click here for booking info.

For the official press release click here.