Northcote Road market is the prime example of why the Clapham lifestyle is one of the best in London. Where else can you find super-sexy people, buy a globe, a second hand wet suit and a decent lunch? It’s a bizarre bubble of a place born out of its disproportionately young residents with disproportionately high levels of disposable income. They expect quaint and quality in uber fashionable portions. The result is a fabulous and unique market with trinkets, produce and market stall owners you’d expect to find in Harrods. This is a high class market at surprisingly reasonable prices.
Love Clapham probably hasn’t paid enough attention to Northcote Road’s market recently, yet on the weekend it draws in the crowds in their droves. Strolling across Clapham Common to Northcote Road is idyllic on a summer Saturday, especially when you know what’s waiting when you get there. Unlike shopping chores, visiting Northcote Road feels like entertainment.
So what’s the appeal? We’ve picked a number of highlights to remind local residents of what’s on their doorstep and to encourage people that haven’t been to go. It isn’t just about the stalls though, it’s the atmosphere that makes it an enjoyable place to spend a couple of hours.
Food. That’s what gets Love Clapham to walk the mile or so from Clapham North to Northcote Road on a weekend. Trade has definitely picked up on Northcote Road and the kind of stalls you’ll find are similar, if far fewer, to those you’d expect in Borough Market.
Whether it’s an immediate snack or ingredients for a later meal, you won’t be disappointed. One of the largest stalls sells fresh pizza, pastries and bageuttes. All of which is delicious, reasonably priced and served by friendly faces. Love Clapham bought a generous slice of ham and mushroom pizza for around £3.
On top of the bakery stall you’ll come across a fish monger and vegetable stalls as well as local art, clothes, antiques, flowers and more. Everything is sourced as locally as possible and the quality is greater than the local chain supermarkets.
Of course, all around the market you have cafes, restaurants and shops to pop into as well. This combination of local shops and market compliments one another and helps make sure you don’t leave without something you need.
Eat Me Cakes is the prime example of something for everyone, and our personal favourite. It has such a range of vividly coloured muffins and cup cakes it will please even the most discerning cake eater clubs (of which Love Clapham is a guilty metaphorical member).
The stall owner told us that Will Self recently wrote about the cake stall asking what it must be like in the world of someone that runs it. Considering the stall resembles a treasure trove of a cupboard on wheels Love Clapham can’t help but ponder the same question. Fairy dust adorns the homemade muffs and icing with fresh fruit and candy. At £1.50 for a large, Starbucks should be grovelling in shame. Delish!
Northcote Road market runs every Monday to Saturday at 9.00am – 5.00pm and while you’re not stall hopping, you can enjoy the cafes, bars and restaurants that sandwich it in. Visit the Northcote Road website for more information.