Phileas French

Travel Writer

Phileas French

Phileas French

Travel Writer | Exploring every country in the world, one adventure at a time

Iconic London Markets: Camden

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Camden Market is London’s number one tourist attraction. Despite this, there are plenty of times to go to avoid the major crush and have a chilled out time browsing, particularly mornings between Monday and Wednesday. One excellent website I’ve been partnering with, pockethighstreet, cherry-picked a great itinerary of Camden boutiques to visit recently, starting in The Stables, where many people, including me, tend to choose to start their browsing.

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Nestled in Unit 829 is Photo Typewriter, which came up with the fun and unique high concept of using beautiful shots of objects that look like letters. Decoding the hidden letters is part of the fun but as a thoughtful gift, their products are also a genuine talking point.

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Over at Unit 57, Red Art produces compelling canvas prints. Most quality art is a pretty serious investment, but Red Art sells large, striking and gorgeous canvases at extremely reasonable prices, with prices generally ranging from just £10 to £279.

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Camden is nothing if not eclectic, and on a very different note, Jekkah is one of London’s premier stockists of ethical African clothing. It has a special place in my heart as its goods are made in The Gambia, a beautiful but largely very poor West African nation I was fortunate enough to visit a few years ago. Jekkah is a fun store just to hang around in, soaking up the atmosphere and the wonderful garments, but it’s hard to leave without a purchase, and shopping with a conscience is part of what Camden, with its proudly diverse and hippyish heritage, is all about.

Soot & Ty, meanwhile, sells equally vibrant carefully-tailored menswear. The charismatic founder and designer Zak Million is on a clear mission to reintroduce intelligent use of colour and one-off pieces to men’s fashion.

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Mr Snappy’s Custom Snapback Store offers the irresistible of service of customising caps and beanie hats while you wait, for a fun and totally unique item you can walk out of the store wearing proudly. There is something quintessentially twenty-first century London about the whole vibe of the place – the immediacy, the urban flavour, and the personalisation. Once you’ve sorted out your headgear, where better to pop into next than General Eyewear, with a stimulating range of cutting edge eye wear.

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Camden is full of well-garbed urban adventurers, but for those seeking bigger thrills in the genuine wilderness, The Outdoor Cabin is an extremely well-stocked selection of practical and competitively-priced camping and hiking gear. Far more than just clothes, it also stocks such wonders as sleeping bags, stoves and “adventure food”!

It’s a tribute to Camden that this canter through some of its current retail highlights barely scratches the surface of its appeal, and while browsing these shops certainly forms one ideal itinerary for a perfect day’s shopping, part of Camden’s charm is that you will always find your own groove.

Phileas French

 
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Saturday, 25 November 2017