we headed off to Portobello Market last Saturday. we used to live walking distance from the market and I would head down there early in the morning to nab the best vintage linen, old silver and bone china tea-cups before the hordes arrived (but always after the stall owners had completed their own trades).....i figured that if i wasn't going to live in London forever it was the perfect opportunity to collect these treasures.
when i was planning our wedding, i collected old, handmade lace for my dress and veil which will always give me a lovely association with this market.
definitely the secret to enjoying Portobello is to head down there early. arrive after eleven am and you will generally queue just to get down the road but get there by nine am and you can take a leisurely stroll, browsing the wares and then head to one of the lovely cafes on Westbourne Grove before the tourists descend.
i tend to stick to the antiques section on upper Portobello Road these days but the market has five main zones: vintage/ antiques which becomes food/fruit and veg as you head further down the hill, then onto new goods under the bridge and onto second-hand wares as you head past the bridge.....quirky fashion can be found throughout.
you could easily spend more than two hours strolling the different zones but as i said: GET THERE EARLY!