There’s nothing I enjoy more than visiting a market at the weekend, perusing the rails and hunting for unexpected vintage treasures just waiting to be found. However, particularly at some of the trendier London retro hotspots (East London, I’m looking at you), the crowds can put me off the prospect entirely. Don’t get me wrong, I love these markets too (and I’ll make sure to blog about them soon) but sometimes you just have to be in the right frame of mind for them, and willing to ignore a certain amount of posing occurring around you! Camden Passage Market sometimes gets forgotten about alongside the bigger, busier markets, particularly its nearby sibling Camden Stables Market, but it’s one of my all-time favourites because of its village feel – altogether more manageable in size, more laid-back in ambiance and offering a high quality and great variety of vintage goods.
Due to the snow this weekend the stalls at Camden Passage Market were a little less full than usual I thought, although last time I visited, it was bustling in the height of Summer! I was particularly drawn to the vintage jewels (magpie at heart), cute floral frocks and the most amazing tiny little shop filled to the rafters with antique crockery – piles upon piles of cups and saucers balanced precariously.
One of the things I love about Camden Passage is the beautiful antique shops and independent boutiques alongside the stalls – the market is after all only really there on a Wednesday and Saturday. This includes one of my favourite ever vintage shops, Fat Faced Cat, which has a brilliantly edited selection of vintage finds. Filled with unique items – such as quirky old books (I loved the Home Guide to Nursing above), kooky knits (just look at that reindeer jumper) and perfectly preserved blouses and dresses (I liked the pink polka dot number) – Fat Faced Cat does the hard work for you. The quality is really great, but premium vintage such as this does come at a price! If money were no object I would happily spend away in here, but it’s well worth a trip simply for masses of inspiration. They have a fantastic selection of menswear too, vintage-loving menfolk take heed!
Another big attraction of Camden Passage is the cute coffee shops and eateries lining the streets, almost as many as there are antique shops; ideal for a spot of relaxed weekend browsing and café-hopping. Issy’s Milky Way is the perfect place to refuel between shops and stalls. Inspired by ’50s diners and all things Americana, this unique milkshake bar is a ray of sunshine. The banana milkshake comes highly recommended, and the cakes were seriously yummy! I loved the décor – tongue-in-cheek and authentic down to the last detail, it was a masterclass in kitsch. Just look at that cat clock! So wrong it’s somehow right?
I can’t wait to go back and explore some more! Lastly, if you’re in the area then Ottolenghi‘s on nearby Upper Street comes highly recommended. We had the most amazing brunch – I had a deliciously spicy Shakshuka and Al had the tasty (and substantial!) cinnamon French toast.