No end to festival thrills
As the excitement of the Dreary January and February can inspire in the rationally minded among
Christmas festive season winds us proposals for nation-wide hibernation schemes. It’s a time of year
down, and a new year dawns, when we need something to look forward to – something to focus on
we look forward with slightly in the gloom – and for many that something is the hazy image of the
bleary eyes to what 2008 has in summer season of festivals ahead: Glastonbury, T in the Park, and the
store, and find that, largely due to rest, everywhere across the country.
the careful regeneration of Old
Spitalfields Market by developers But in Spitalfields, this year, something more immediate is capturing
Ballymore, a festival atmosphere the attention: this Spring, Ballymore will relaunch the Old Spitalfields
looks like being alive and well all Market, and the sense of excitement is already palpable. Late in 2007, the
year round, and, indeed, for many Thursday antiques market returned to the interior of the Horner Building
years to come. that houses the Old Spitalfields Market, and the Christmas season’s
‘Merry different Christmas’ was launched with a spectacular event
complete with music, puppetry and even confession. Both of these gave
the public a glimpse of what the refurbished space will look like, with the
newly worked roof particularly impressing people.
Old Spitalfields Market, in the heart of
East London, is famous for its thriving,
colourful festival atmosphere, and its
regeneration by Ballymore will ensure that
the festivities can continue for generations
3. 4. 5.
With the relaunch imminent, the atmosphere has been charged in the market, by Ballymore, is a safeguard which will protect all the best
– especially with these tasters of what is to come. Crucially, Ballymore’s things about Spitalfields – and improve upon them – for current and
redevelopment will only enhance the special feel of the market that has future residents in the community.
been central to its popularity.
Carrington & Partners – in Old Spitalfields Market since it was saved
“Spitalfields has got a unique personality that no other part of London in 1993 – has also been at the forefront of this regeneration. Managing
has, which is reflected in the diversity of the people who work here,” says Director Narjeet Sohanpal recalls the time when there was “ a dividing
Fiona Hannafin, of In Spitalfields, the homes and interiors shop. line between the City and the City Fringe. People would comment on the
“It refuses to be a cog in a machine. There’s a really strong vibe that says stark contrast between the glass towers of Bishopsgate and the red brick
people are up for new and exciting things, pushing the boundaries in of eighteenth century Spitalfields Market on the other side,” she says.
whatever they’re doing. That’s why the area is such an exciting place for
different types of people to visit.” The conscious and concerted efforts of Carrington have wooed the
doubters to come and live in Spitalfields. In fact, they have introduced
It’s not only attractive to domestic and foreign visitors. The regeneration over 14,000 new residents to the area, and this has contributed greatly to
of Spitalfields in recent years has made it even more desirable as a place Spitalfields’ reputation as a vital, diverse and colourful place to live.
to live, for people from all walks of life. The development and investment “A lot of residents and businesses have been here for a long time, and
have seen the market through all sorts of changes,” says Fiona Hannafin. There aren’t many big, open spaces like it in London, so it’s an obvious
“But there’s also the new blood, so you get an exciting mix of ages and place for people to congregate and mingle. It’s also crucial that its unique
tastes. We are all individuals, but part of a whole.” architectural heritage is preserved. Ballymore is continually updating
and improving the space, so that it is as attractive a location as ever – but
Old Spitalfields Market is the hub of the action, the ‘main stage’ if you also a safer, hardier one, with an infrastructure and facilities suitable for
will, and all the charm and character of the area seems to evolve within modern market life.
its walls and radiate to the surrounding area.
Ballymore has already successfully completed the regeneration of many
But just like the fields at Glastonbury – or any other festival location significant features of the interior and exterior of the listed market
where there are thousands of visitors milling around – occasionally, the buildings – including the re-pointing of all the brickwork, renewal of
ground has to be given a rest, and improvements made to ensure that the the window frames, the installation of a new roof and lighting. Not
area can be maintained for the future. forgetting the market’s historical sensibilities and aesthetics, Ballymore is
also addressing the existing shop-fronts, which will soon be redeveloped
Hence, over the past year, Ballymore has been tackling all the areas in a style that complements the market’s history and traditions.
which are going to prove vital to the market’s future – all of which
will benefit local residents and make it even more attractive to the Visitors to Old Spitalfields Market discover not just a beautifully
visitors who come every year to experience a slice of lively, East London preserved historical building, but an undemanding and laid-back
‘festival’ life. environment. Yet – as with all the best festivals – if you have the energy,
the market is positively brimming with life, and all sorts of things to
The main market area is currently being revamped with a whole new see and do.
floor, and improvements to the drainage and power systems. Due to
these renovations, some stalls have relocated temporarily to Lamb St, just There’s nothing more relaxing than wandering through the market’s
a minute away, outside the market, but all the independent shops and shops and stalls, taking in the intriguing mix of curiosities, collectables,
restaurants are open and buzzing as usual. antiques and designer goods.
7. 8. 9.
“Spitalfields has got a unique personality Previous page 01- 02
The modern-day market is housed within the original
Spitalfields building architecture, dating back to 1887.
that no other part of London has, which 03-05
The market draws together temporary stalls
is reflected in the diversity of the people
and permanent outlets, such as TeaSmith and
Pimps & Pinups.
This page 06
who work here” Old Spitalfields market is renowned for its food stalls
Market traders on a typical day in Spitalfields.
Following pages 10-14
The Market ranges from luxury goods to knick-
knacks, from interiors to clothing.
Often, visitors will stumble upon charismatic shop – and stall- and interior gifts made with accessory you could imagine, much
unexpected sights – a film crew, owners – who are so proud of their natural and eco-friendly materials, of it rare, hand-made, vintage
with actors and actresses in period wares and enthusiastic about what from far-flung parts of the world. or retro. So, there’s nothing to
costume, a roller-blading class, they do – can really make your day. The market also boasts many stop you trying out that festival
or a group of dancers who have items that rely on local, artisan, look – cowboy hats and boots,
decided, spontaneously, to put on Then there’s the appeal of the traditional crafts – everything ethnic scarves, floral tea-dresses,
a performance for bystanders. It’s bohemian, ‘alternative’, ethically- from bread and cheese to hand- waistcoats, sunhats with huge
often crazy, but always colourful… conscious or eco-chic lifestyles carved toys and hand-woven bags. brims, hippie cloth bags – it’s all
as if something in the air just lets that often go hand-in-hand with there, in a wonderful bazaar-style
people get carried away. festivals – certainly, many people Part of festival fun is, of course, the celebration of individuality.
find themselves drawn towards liberating feeling of experimenting
As well as a spontaneous, lively these refreshing perspectives when with quirky fashion (or anti- Another lovely thing about
atmosphere, many festival-regulars they experience a multi-cultural fashion statements) that you festivals is that there always seems
are in search a sense of community festival environment. wouldn’t ordinarily find, or be to be someone on hand offering to
– something that’s very particular brave enough to try out on the pamper you a bit, or inviting you
to Old Spitalfields Market. It’s a big part of life in the market. high street. At a festival, you can to experiment with your image,
Many of the shop-owners and wear what you like; nobody minds. just for fun. For anyone who
The community feeling really adds stallholders were ahead of their missed out this year and is feeling
to the air of celebration. time in focusing on ethically- In Spitalfields, whimsical is in the mood for a change, Old
“It’s a bit like a big village fete, sourced products, so visitors to wonderful – being alternative Spitalfields Market can take care
where everyone knows each other”, the market can take their pick is encouraged, even expected. of that, too. Urban Haircutters, a
continues Fiona Hannafin, “that of organic fair trade coffee, tea, The market shops and stalls are unique hairdressers/gallery/shop
definitely adds to the atmosphere.” cushions and t-shirts, recycled crammed with all sorts of curious located on Brushfield St, and
The genuine welcome of the jewellery, and numerous designer clothing, and every kind of Pimps and Pinups, a 1950s-style
10. 11. 12.
boutique salon, on Lamb St, are more than willing to help you When the expanded, refurbished Square Pie – a regular fixture at
experiment with your tresses to achieve something a bit outlandish. Glastonbury, whose sumptuous pie-and-mash meals bring visitors
from far and wide – returns in the coming months, along with Café
Meanwhile, City Beach, on Lamb St, can tend to your tan – or lack of it Mediterraneo (known for its delicious mezze dishes and fresh, juices
– if you want to look (convincingly) like you’ve been rocking out in the and smoothies) and the International Food Village (where you can
sun, or indeed, give you a boosting facial or relaxing massage. find everything from crepes to falafels and Chinese noodles), the menu
Then there’s the food. Some festival-goers talk for weeks afterwards
about being able to find just what they fancied at any given moment, and Unlike the major festivals, Old Spitalfields Market has excellent transport
choose from a host of wonderful menus all in one place. links - none of the ten-hour traffic jams to get in and out; you don’t have
to queue for hours to use the ATM (or the toilets for that matter); and
In Old Spitalfields Market, the choices reflect the community’s multi- best of all, it’s completely under cover, so, if you leave the house without
cultural influences, with a hearty mix of old-fashioned comfort foods and your designer wellies, you’ll be alright; there’s no risk whatsoever of a
modern, international flavours – so you can pick up just about any snack mud bath - just a cosy, dry, uplifting experience.
or meal you can think of before heading to see the next attraction.
And it’s not that Spitalfields doesn’t have bona fide festivals of its own! In
Sweet Basil, a family-run restaurant, on the Brushfield St. side of fact, it’s got a few of them…
the market, specialises in excellent pizzas and salads, including a
range of vegetarian options. For something a little spicier, pop into The Spitalfields area boasts its own award-winning music festival,
Meson Los Bariles, on Lamb St. for delicious tapas and a glass of the Spitalfields Festival, sponsored by Ballymore. With its famously
wine. Then there’s the Spitalfields Organic Supermarket, your ideal eclectic, cutting-edge programme, representing the communities which
source for organic food of every kind – even tofu, if you’re truly define East London, it provides everyone, whatever their tastes, with
committed to festival fare. the opportunity to discover diverse new sounds, from classical and
contemporary musical acts – everything from jazz to samba, violin
If you need a quick, reviving drink, TeaSmith, the market’s contemporary concertos to traditional Bangladeshi music.
tea house not only has a wonderful selection of brews but they can also
give you a tea masterclass, or tips on Japanese tea ceremony. For coffee- The festival brings thousands of bringing thousands of music fans to
fiends, Daily Grind has the perfect cup. Spitalfields throughout June – but this event goes above and beyond
“It’s a bit like a
big village fete,
knows each other”
the traditional summer season, having a second annual festival later in programme, where seasonal celebrations are turned on their head, and
the year. Last Winter’s festival saw the first ever free big-screen concert presented with a sprinkle of quirkiness – and a large helping of panache.
relayed from Shoreditch Church onto a screen in the market. Tickets for
a range of concerts are always available at £5 or under, and one third of And of course there’s a reason why it’s always been the home of
the events are completely free – so no-one gets left out. Alternative Fashion Week, too. There’s colour, energy and creativity
everywhere you turn, making each and every visit entertaining. Festival-
But, in the meantime, there’s plenty of musical inspiration to be found style light-heartedness and flamboyance seem to be part of everyday life.
in the market; on the stalls you’ll find every kind of music memorabilia,
t-shirts, prints and posters as well as enormous range of vintage records Gary Ash, of Queens, a highly original boutique treasure trove in the
and CDs – a wealth of treasures for fans, collectors and concert-goers to market, which celebrates all things glittery and sparkling – decorations,
delve into. toys, accessories, ornaments – feels that the mission of the shop was to
spread around a bit of glamour and decorativeness to a “grey city”.
The festival experience isn’t just about being entertained, however – it’s a “We wanted to bring a bit of colour”, he says. “The world needs a bit of
state of mind. It provides that essential summer relaxation and escapism, colour – it makes people smile.”
the chance to let your hair down and forget the drudgery of work; there’s
the sense of adventure and freedom that comes with experiencing new Indeed, colour – both literally and in colourful personalities – is what
and unusual things; but most of all, it’s about coming together in one Spitalfields is all about. The life, the vibrancy, the individuality and the
place with interesting people from all sorts of different cultures whose variety of Spitalfields are what keep people coming, and coming back
motive is simply to enjoy the best things in life. – 25,000 of them every week! With the new life injected by Ballymore’s
redevelopment, that’s sure to continue for years to come.
It’s all a bit whimsical and frivolous, an opportunity to do things you
wouldn’t ordinarily do, whether that means bopping along to New World
music, eating strange combinations of exotic foods, or donning braids, a
headscarf and huge retro shades – anything goes.
A fun-loving, open-minded attitude and a vibrant, ‘alternative’ approach
are right at the core of this lively community, which centres around the
market. Spitalfields is, of course, famous for its ‘Alternative Christmas’
As the market prepares for its Spring relaunch after ambitious
redevelopment work, we guide you through the community
of retailers who are and will continue to be essential to the
vibrancy, excitement and success of Spitalfields.
(And we’ve even provided a useful accompanying map!)
Food & Drink
Arts & Crafts
Interiors & Lifestyle
Gifts & Accessories
Health & Beauty
15__ 17__ 18__
11__ 12__ 16__ 19__ 20__ 21__
Crispin Place 30__
1__ TeaSmith 11__ Smudge Gallery 21__ Solo Eclipse
Exceptional Teas. Prints, posters, local artwork Italian leather goods
6 Lamb Street 117 Commercial Street 75/77 Brushfield Street
(020) 7247 1333 (020) 7247 9004 (020) 7539 9377
2__ Spitalfields Dry Cleaners 12__ Sniff Contact (020) 7422 6350
Dry-cleaning & alterations. Independent footwear boutique
7 Lamb Street 115 Commercial Street 23__ Daily Grind
(020) 7426 0076 (020) 7375 1580. Family-run Italian café
www.sniff.co.uk 71 Brushfield Street
3__ Meson Los Barriles (020) 7247 2418
Mon/Tue__All shops & no stalls
Traditional Spanish tapas 13__ One Deko Wed__All shops & no stalls
8/9 Lamb Street Designer interiors, home accessories 24__ 4 You Flowers Thu__Antiques & vintage
(020) 7375 3136 111a – 113 Commercial Street Florist, flower design Fri__Fashion & art
(020) 7375 3289 69 Brushfield Street Sat__All shops & no stalls
Sun__Busiest day - all shops & all stalls
4__ City Beach www.onedeko.co.uk (020) 7247 6878
Tanning and beauty salon Opening Times
10 Lamb Street 14__ Queens 25__ Elemental
(020) 7247 7878 Kitsch fairyland designs Hand-crafted & antique furniture Market Stalls__
111b Commercial Street 67 Brushfield Street Thursday & Friday 10am - 4pm
Sundays 9am - 5pm
5__ Caravan (020) 7426 0017 (020) 7247 7588
Eclectic interiors, fashion & curiosities www.elemental.uk.com
Restaurants (times may vary)__
11 Lamb Street 15__ Little Book of Furniture Monday --Friday 11am - 11pm
(020) 7247 6467 Eco-friendly urban chic 26__ Sweet Basil Sundays 9am - 5pm
www.caravanstyle.com 107A Commercial Street Family-run Italian restaurant &
(020) 7247 4445 pizzeria Shops (times may vary)__
Monday to Sunday 11am-7pm
6__ In Spitalfields www.littlebookoffurniture.com 65a Brushfield Street
Furniture, gifts & stylish accessories. (020) 7375 3484 www.oldspitalfieldsmarket.com
13 Lamb Street 16__ Café Mediterraneo www.sweetbasilrestaurant.co.uk www.visitspitalfields.com
(020) 7247 2477 Delicious barbeque & mezze dishes
www.inspitalfields.co.uk 14 Horner Square 27__ Mundo
Thursdays__Antiques & Vintage
Gifts, pictures & greeting cards
The antiques and vintage market on
7__ Pimps and Pinups 17__ Jala Newsagent 59 Brushfield Street
Thursdays is a real collectors’ treasure
Boutique hair salon Papers, magazines, snacks, off-license (020) 7392 2000 trove. Bowler hats, William Morris prints,
14 Lamb Street 105b Commercial Street antique chests, one-off grandfather clocks
(020) 7426 2121 28__ Wood ‘n’ Things and jewel-encrusted boots are amongst
www.pimpsandpinups.com 18__ Carrington Toys & Fancy dress some of the delights to be found.
Award-winning estate agent 57 Brushfield Street
Fridays__Fashion & Art
8__ Fairy Gothmother 105a Commercial Street (020) 7247 6275 The fashion and art market on a Friday
Corsetry & evening wear 0800 376 2223 www.woodnthings.uk.com is the younger sister market to Sunday’s
15 Lamb Street www.carringtonuk.com huge market. This is a great day to skip the
(020) 7377 0370 29__Bohemia crowds and bag yourself a great bag, wallet,
brooch, skirt or original artist print. The
www.fairygothmother.com 19__ Square Pie Antique/vintage furniture, lights,
stallholders vary from designer makers to
Better pies, cooked by pie-loving chefs accessories
9__ Behave 16 Horner Square 55 Brushfield Street
Designer denim and beyond (020) 7377 1114 (020) 7375 3283 Sundays__World famous market
17 Lamb Street www.squarepie.com www.retrotrading.co.uk Sunday in Old Spitalfields Market is when
this whole area surges into life. Stalls are
piled up with fabric, designers lay out their
10__ Komodo 20__ Spitalfields Organic 30__ Urban Haircutters
still-drying prints, T-shirts by fashion
Tibetan fashion Organic supermarket Hair and fashion boudoir graduates are snapped up. Organic food,
18 Lamb Street 100 Commercial St 53 Brushfield Street leather bags – fashion, food, furniture and
(020) 7650 8782 (020) 7377 8909 (020) 7377 1279 much more spill over hundreds of stalls.