Friday, 30 September 2011

Weekday market walk #3

Neither Miss Moss Stitch nor I appreciate this unseasonable weather.  It is beautiful light for taking photos, but far too hot for one of our long yomps.

The Women's Library
The Women's Library at Aldgate

So we stayed local again this week and based our choice of markets and cafés around a trip to The Women's Library, which is part of London Metropolitan University.  Today was the penultimate day to see this free exhibition by French installation artist Françoise Dupré.  It was a small exhibition, but so lovely.  Loads of colourful creations made from unusual fabrics such as plastic laundry bags, tights and citrus net bags.  I wandered around promising myself I'd find time to do more sewing in the next week or two.  It was rather inspiring.

Autres Mers at The Women's Library
Les Autres Mers at The Women's Library

Autres Mers at The Women's Library
Les Autres mers at The Women's Library

Autres Mers at The Women's Library
Creatures made from little girls' tights at Les Autres Mers

Autres Mers at The Women's Library
Tights and hoops at Les Autres Mers

Autres Mers at The Women's Library
Plastic laundry bag art at The Women's Library

Once we'd finished admiring the art, we headed for Spitalfields market, close by, but instead turned a corner and found ourselves in Petticoat Lane market, which I used to go to in my lunch hours when I worked nearby.  I had completely forgotten about it.  We didn't stop to look closely at every stall, but there was plenty to fill our senses, and loads of fantastic looking cafés to tempt us in for coffee.  Petticoat Lane is a clothes and fashion market, set in streets full of fabric shops and dressmakers.

Petticoat Lane market
Petticoat Lane market

Down Petticoat Lane
A tailor's in Petticoat Lane

Petticoat Lane shoes
Pavement art and my feet in Petticoat Lane

Fabric shop down Petticoat Lane
Shop window full of African print fabrics in Petticoat Lane

What's not to like?  Although there were a few bits of weirdness too, including a (yellow painted) shop which sold real human hair.  Really quite disturbing.


Petticoat Lane

We resisted the lure of Petticoat Lane's cafés and continued on towards Spitalfields market.  This is a market I've been coming to ever since I first moved to East London fifteen years ago.  In this time it has changed - become more gentrified and chic, and less battered, comfortable old East End. is still lovely, and I still go every couple of months, on a Sunday morning, for a prowl around.

Christ Church Spitalfields
Christ Church, Spitalfields.  Designed by Hawksmoor.

On a Friday morning, however, the market felt empty and quiet.  There were some clothes stalls and cafés open, but not many people.  We went to Leon for a very tasty drink and cake, and sat and gazed at these handsome but still surroundings.

Leon, Spitalfields. Yum.
Leon at Spitalfields

Spitalfields Market
Quiet market halls at Spitalfields (with Gill running away from my camera!)

London Fruit & Wool Exchange building
The London Fruit & Wool Exchange, next to Spitalfields market

Spitalfields Market roof
Glass roof and steel beams at Spitalfields market

I think we will need to head back here on a Sunday to show you the market at its busy, bustling best.  We headed slowly back down Commercial Road to Aldgate East station, and the tube home.  The pavements pulsed with heat, and we squinted in the midday sun.  It was hot out there today.

Commercial Road
Commercial Road in the September heatwave


  1. I worked opposite spitalfields market for years BC! Keep saying I'll go back on a Sunday when we're down x

  2. It has been hot, hasn't it? I feel bad for complaining, but I do.

  3. The African fabrics look lovely all stacked up. The human hair shop does seem a little weird!


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