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Brick Lane Market has over the last decade built a reputation as one of the most eclectic and vibrant markets in London.
Although Brick Lane origins come from brick and tile manufacture in the area in the 15th century and achieved fame as a brewing area centred on the Truman Brewery in the 17th century, it is the waves of migration into the area from the 17th century that have left their mark. The French Huguenots in the 17th century were followed by the Irish and Jewish populations in the 19th century and more recently the Bangladeshi community.
To cater for these populations a series of markets developed selling meat, fruit, vegetables, clothes, animals and birds.
The modern Brick Lane Market starts from the northern end, off Bethnal Green Road to Banglatown in the south, however the main focus of the market is around The 11-acre site of the old Truman’s Brewery which has become a creative hub of the East End. Today more than 250 small, creative businesses are located here.
The Backyard Market house around eighty stalls which are let to young artists and designers to showcase their work. There is a mix of independent businesses and retail outlets that cater to diverse clientele.
The Boiler House is the site of Brick Lane’s food hall, with 7,700 square feet of space and is home to over thirty stalls of international cuisine; the variety of dishes includes Italian, Polish, Lithuanian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Peruvian, Japanese amongst many others.
The Sunday UpMarket has over two hundred stalls and sell a variety of products including vintage and handmade clothing, handmade accessories, music, arts and crafts, and organic food.
The Tea Rooms, founded in 2009, is a market named for its large selection of teas and coffees and traditional baked goods as well as antiques, silk cushions, furniture, collectibles and handmade goods. It is open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Its main shop, The Vintage Emporium, is located downstairs, underneath the main cafe. It is a vintage clothing and accessories store that specializes in antiques and homeware, with all stock dating back between the Victoria Era and the 1950s.
The Vintage Market is composed of stalls owned by British and European vintage specialists and offering old clothes ranging from the early 1920s to the 1990s. Also offered are accessories, vintage records, and a random collection of unique old trinkets.
The Vintage Market is open on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
One of the joys of visiting Brick Lane other than the market is that attracts a wide range of visitors that adds to its general laid back appeal, there is always a number of street entertainers and the area is famous for its artistic graffiti, The most famous street artists from all around the world including Banksy have used the streets around the market for their artwork.
It is also close to Spitalfield and Columbia Road markets if you would like to include more markets on your visit.
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