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Five Fabulous Things to Enjoy at the Brick Lane Sunday Market, London

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Before Justin’s and my most recent trip to London, I’d never heard the Brick Lane Sunday Market mentioned as a must-do for visitors. (Which tells you how long ago my last visit to London took place!) Thankfully, some new friends we met at a travel blogger meet-up in the city pointed us in the direction of Brick Lane.

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

And the rest, as they say, is history. We fell hard for the Brick Lane Sunday Market and we’re pretty sure you will too. Still not convinced? Well then, let’s take a stroll together, and we’ll point out our top five fabulous things to enjoy at the Brick Lane Sunday Market. 

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Fabulous Thing #1: The History

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Call me nerdy, but there’s just something unbelievably interesting about places whose identity keeps getting a make-over as the decades (or, as is the case with Brick Lane, the centuries) pass by.

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

The area where the Brick Lane Sunday Market stands today has acted as a Roman cemetery, played host to returning Crusaders (in the 1100’s), been the go-to locale for brick-making (hence its name), provided dark corners for Jack the Ripper’s bloody deeds, and welcomed new influxes of immigrants — Irishmen and Jews in the 19th and 20th centuries, and, more recently, Bangladeshis.

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

And yes, from time to time, Brick Lane even served as a market area. The Sunday market received its first official license in the 1800’s — and even then, it was unique: because the population was mostly Jewish, rather than Christian, the market got “special dispensation” to run on Sunday rather than Saturday (the Jewish sabbath). Today, you can still enjoy some classic Jewish fare at the Brick Lane Sunday Market: keep your eyes peeled for the salt beef bagels at Beigel Bake. (More on the food scene in a little bit…)

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Fabulous Thing #2: Vintage, Vintage, Vintage!

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

The Brick Lane Sunday Market offers the most varied collection of vintage items we’ve ever seen. From the typical collections of cool clothes, accessories, and records…

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

to the more unusual antique furniture and homeware, knick-knacks, bric-a-brac (and all that)…

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

…you could easily spend hours browsing the many shops and stalls, and spend several paychecks without breaking a sweat.

In addition to the spots on the main drag, you can often find neat vintage items at the different markets housed inside the historic Truman Brewery.

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

The best bets for iconic vintage finds include the Tea Rooms (open Sat. 11-6pm and Sun. 10-5pm) — where you can also, incidentally, get a cuppa — The Vintage Emporium (located under the cafe), the UpMarket (which mixes old and new).

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

You can also find items at the Sclater Street Flea Market. 

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Fabulous Thing #3: Local Crafts and Other Artisanal Wares

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

In addition to vintage goodness, the Brick Lane Sunday Market is also one of the best places to discover local crafts and artisanal wares.

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

The Backyard Market and UpMarket in particular showcase an impressive array of handmade clothing, jewelry, accessories, and home goods. If you’re looking for a truly special gift or souvenir to bring home with you (seriously, no one needs that Big Ben keychain) you’ll definitely find one (or 100) here.

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Fabulous Thing #4: Oh, the Food You Can Find

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Ok, we need to take a minute to talk to our fellow foodies here: guy, this is the place. It’s THE place. Welcome to nirvana.

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Ahem. Anyway. Starting from around Cheshire St., you’ll start seeing food stalls lining Brick Lane.

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

The offerings are pretty spectacular (you’ll find options from the world over), but this is just the tip of iceberg. Inside the Old Truman Brewery you’ll find much, much more.

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

And there’s also the food trucks at Ely’s Yard. And the famous fish-and-chips spot, Poppie’s, where Justin and I enjoyed 2nd lunch.

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Whatever you choose, it’s a great opportunity to try some unique dishes at a fraction of the cost of your typical London restaurant.  

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Fabulous Thing #5: Street Art Awesomeness

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

In addition to the food, the shopping, the music, and the people-watching galore, the Brick Lane Sunday Market is also blessed with some fantastic street art. 

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

The art on Brick Lane does change (popular walls get repainted with fair regularity) but that’s all the more reason to keep coming back to check out the latest, often mind-melding creative works.

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

Have you been to the Brick Lane Sunday Market? What’s your favorite part of the experience? 

Brick Lane Sunday Market, London, Uncontained Life

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