Slightly east and ever so north of our neighborhood lies another that is host to busy weekend shoppers and pub crawlers. Shoreditch is home to our new friend, and on this occasion our tour guide, Wolfie. (How cool is it that we know someone named Woldgang?!) He led us past the Moorgate area and beyond Liverpool Street Station to the Spitalfields Market. It’s less fruit and veg than Borough Market south of the river and more of an urban, covered, trendy flea market. The vendors are surrounded by restaurants and shops to break things up.
Surrounding the market are well known locations like S & M (Sausage and Mash, of course! Get your mind out of the gutter; our grannies read this stuff!) and The Ten Bells pub. The Ten Bells looks like it hasn’t been touched much on the outside since the 1600s when a regular patron was rumored to be a victim of Jack the Ripper.
A few short minutes away is the open air market of Brick Lane, home of The Big Chill and Rootmaster, as well as the very best in affordable Bangladeshi cuisine as previously mentioned. I have to go on record stating that Brick Lane is overrated – for my taste. Crowds, hustlers, and dodgy street vendors are intimidating to little ‘ol me. The shops that line the street on either side are, however, more manageable at a good time of day.
Beyond Brick Lane is the Flower Market. I wish, I wish, I wish that my camera had not pooped out by the time we got there! Orange trees, bamboo, God-knows-whatsits, oh my! There’s a fantastic smell and color for a mile.
Tucked in alleys all along the high street are cozy pubs with great food for sharing or for keeping to yourself… There are people in the streets playing badminton and kids on bikes. When the door of the pub swings open as you walk by, there is a rush of sports on the telly and laughter; it must still be early in the match and everyone’s rooting for the same side!