Lower Marsh Market: one of London’s oldest and best-loved markets
By Bilgehan Akturan
It is obvious that most Londoners occasionally suffer from the downsides of hectic big city life, and sometimes we feel like we simply live for the weekends – if we still have some energy left after the end of a busy week at work.Now that summer is over and most of us have used up our holiday time, perhaps our attention should turn closer to home, to the hidden delights of our own neighbourhoods. We have a suggestion for you: local district markets to give you that special nostalgic feeling. Head on down to Lower Marsh Market to enjoy delicious street food during the week and find unique handmade quality crafts on the weekend.
A short walk from Waterloo station and the Old Vic Theatre will take you to the Lower Marsh, named after the site of the ancient Lambeth Marshand now one of the hidden gems of central London. During the week, the market gives you an alternative for your lunch, with world cuisine from Asian to Africa food.On Saturdays, the flea market gives a platform for traders who have unique handmade products on sale. The good news is that the market is there all year round.
Are you bored of going to the same supermarket to have meal deals for lunch? If you work in Waterloo or around Lower Marsh you should go and have a look at this local food market where you will find a wide range of foods from diverse cultures. The food market is open from 9 am to 5 pm, but we should warn you that delicious food is often snapped up by 3 pm, so you better hurry up.
Let’s see what traders say…
Just A Bite Indian Food – Ashwin
“We have a warehouse based in Croydon. We also do catering for events, parties, and weddings. Six years ago, we heard about the market from the council. We started to come to the market from Monday to Friday to serve delicious South Indian Food.People are really nice. Our customers are mostly working in the offices around here.”
Burger Stop – Aldo
“We have been coming to Lower Marsh from Fulham for the past year. We change our menu according to the seasons and people’s demands. Customers always used to ask whether we have a restaurant, so we decided to open one.It is good that this market led us to open our own restaurant.There are so many nice people, working here and coming to my stall for lunch.”
Dogers Venezuelan Food – Carla
“We started to come to Lower Marsh Market one year ago. At the beginning, we started with one stall, selling street food. People liked it and so we added the second stall selling traditional Venezuelan food. People really like our food, and so now we are here from Monday to Friday.”
Raffo & Ridgeway Cupcakes – Amanda
“I have lived just down to the road for nearly 10 years and I have been on this market for nearly five. I make the cupcakes myself and I supply them to the shops around Waterloo. I am here from Tuesday till Saturday. During the weekend my customers are locals – they know me now, and during the afternoon lots of people come. Most of them work around here. Sometimes I make cupcakes for birthdays, celebrations, and weddings. Locals are always so supportive here.”
Would you like to spend your Saturday afternoon treasure hunting? Lower Marsh Market is once again the right choice if you want something that beats the car boot sale. If you are interested in old records, vintage clothes, traditional African accessories and more, come to the Lower Marsh flea market on Saturday between 9an and 5 pm.We have chosen some great stalls to show you.
Paul’s DIY –Paul
“I am a war veteran from the Gulf War. Now I am retired and I cannot do physical jobs, so three months ago I started to go to car boot sales and collect old cameras.They are not working anymore so I make lights from them.Four weeks ago, I decided to come to this market and trade.You don’t usually see nice cameras like these – they are unique. You would not get them in IKEA. I travel here from Surrey on Saturdays. The people are great. Everybody has a big smile on their faces, especially when they see my cameras.”
Johnny Skates Records – Johnny
“After I discovered the flea market I started to come here and trade.I do not have a shop – I just sell my records here and enjoy the market. I have been here over a year, bringing 70s records, albums, and new arrivals to the market. Sometimes people ask for a special, rare album and if I can find it I bring it in for them. It is good that renting a stall doesn’t cost too much. I started with one stall, and now I have two. People still love records.”
Silchris 3D Print T-shirts – Silvano – Cristiana
“We have lived in Elephant and Castle since 1993. In May, we finally decided to come to Lower Marsh Market. We knew that the market has been here for a long time, so we said,‘let’s go and try it out’. We love the market now.I am a stock photographer and Silvano does vintage collages. Silvano puts collage prints on t-shirts – each of them is unique and you will not find two t-shirts the same. We are happy here but our only concern is that local people are increasingly being pushed away from Lambeth for rich people to live here. A lot of shops are closing, unfortunately…” (Ed: all the more reason to support these fantastic local stalls.)
Mariawax Traditional African Crafts – Maria
my products are handmade, made with love – love from Mali. We sell African home decor, bags, accessories and jewellery, special items you would not see anywhere else. Every year I travel two or three times to Mali and other countries in Africa to source my products and bring them here. I started coming here three months ago and it has gone very well. My ‘misolo’ (African style head scarf) is especially popular. Lambeth is such a nice area.”