One of my oldest friends, Aizhen and I arranged to met up in London and we decided to head down to somewhere both of us hardly knew about- Spitalfields Market. I had never been there and she only once, despite being based in London for the last couple of years.
Entering Spitalfields, one would have a glimspe of what commercialism would do to the place as chic boutiques and eateries lined its sideways and cornestones. However, moving past those, the trader markts offers a more interesting experience.
Away from Barcode Land, Spitalfields Traders Market is the place to visit. The market opens 5 days a week but Sunday's market is the biggest. I thought the traders market was extremely interesting as it boasted a collective collage of ethnic minorities. Sidenote: after visiting London, I don’t think neither Singapore nor Malaysia holds the bragging rights to call themselves multi-racial, Truly Asia, Uniquely whatever.
Spitalfields Traders Market is slightly edgier than Borough Market- the latter, in my opinion, has been marketed and packaged to look “rustic”, although I still love it!. At Spitalfields, we saw a health inspector checking the hygiene of the food stalls and somehow the threat of getting food poisoning allayed fears of visiting a tourist trap.
Food-wise, they do have fine food produce ala Borough Market (think cured hamds and olive oils) but you also get other ethnicities represented such as Japanese (cute dons), Thai and Indian, and grub from less hyped-up cultures such Ethiopian and Caribbean.
Apart from food, Spitalfields Market sell plenty of knickknacks like handmade accessories, vintage scarfves and outfits, random objects that serve no purpose other than dust-collecting.
I say: Spend your Saturdays at Borough Market and Sundays at Spitalfields Market.
Apparently, this is “what Covent Garden was like before it became a tourist trap”. If you feel the impulse to wave your light sticks and pull a rendition of Tina Turner’s "We Don't Need Another Covent Garden", err don’t! Visit the campaign website instead.