I never meant to buy anything! So how come I returned from the Portobello market to myespecially chosen cheap hotel with two exquisite (and much too expensive) 200 years old candlesticks I, who had not an object at home older than 10 years…
I blame it on the otherworldly atmosphere. I blame it on the friendly and interesting faces of the stall owners. I blame it on my travel companion who kicked me in the side and said: “Come on, you know you want it!”
If you love browsing, especially older things, you should really pamper yourself and visit this extraordinary place in London, Portobello Market, Notting Hill.
It is said to be the biggest antique market in the world. Over 1500 shops and stalls selling everything you can possibly think of – IF the thing is old. And most of them belong to the Portobello Antique Dealers Association.
The market itself is open on Saturdays but the shops on the Portobello Road are of course open six days a week.
Early on Saturday mornings, at about 5:30 am you’ll see the place awaken. The Antique dealers deal among themselves and some of them even come from other countries to attend.
Most of the stallowners are there at 8:00 and around 9:00 the Londoners and travelers like you and me are already there with curious faces and excitement shining in their eyes. The market is alive and will remain so until late in the afternoon.
Portobello Road lies 3 kilometers west of Marble Arch and it is very easy to get there. If you take the underground you can exit at Ladbroke Grove (Hammersmith & City) or Notting Hill Gate (Central, Circle and District trains).
When browsing this extremely interesting market you will notice things that’ll cost you from just a few pounds up to several thousand pounds… depending on what you are looking at. So what attracts you Candlesticks Books Articles made of glass, Watches, Jewelry, Silverware and cutlery, Wonderful old telephones Victorian furniture Clothes Or simply some fruit and vegetables (Not antique though…)
I’ve already admitted it. I did buy something although I didn’t mean to. Honestly. I saw these beautiful 200 years old bronze candlesticks at stall nr. 155 where Mrs. Elizabeth Pullman kindly assured me that yes, they were original and yes, they were exquisite. I finally decided that these were the candlesticks of my life when I found out that Mrs. Pullman was Danish and had been attending her stall every Saturday for the last 30 years. Don’t ask my why. I just decided.
Code of Practice
Mrs. Pullman was keen to educate this strange Icelandic traveller and told me among other things about the Antiques Dealers Association Code of Practice.
And of course I got a detailed description of my candlesticks on my receipt as it says in the Code of Practice along with the price, where they were bought etc.
My beautiful and memorable candlesticks now have their place of honor in my apartment and every time I look at them I recall with much joy this funny little world of the Portobello market and stall nr. 155.