Sunday, 23 January 2011

Best Markets in London: Collectors Market, Haynes Lane, Crystal Palace

This is a little hidden away gem of a market. Think Brighton's Snoopers Paradise, except that Haynes Lane Market is not just on one floor like Snooper's (I know the Brighton shop is massive, and there really is no call to criticize it for not having another floor. It's just lovely to know when you're walking through a market that there is a whole another level waiting for you...Also, Snooper's is run on a different principle for many of their goods - they rent out sections to people who want to sell their vintage stuff.) At Haynes Lane, just when you think you've reached the end of the shop, you realize that the hidden corner, behind the meter-long pearls and faux-fur coats, actually leads down to another floor of goodies. This market is heaven if you like a good rummage.

There exist vintage and antique shops where you could walk around in fifteen minutes and see every single thing on offer. Not so in Haynes Lane. The upper floor is sequin and lace heaven, with off-the-shoulder cocktail dresses, Edwardian-style velvet jackets, and lots of lace, and you're just as likely to find a tin Victorian box advertising "Murray's special mixtures," as cheap LPs, tinsel and beads to make a magpie sob with happiness, and cups and plates galore.

Downstairs there is a series of shops that sell craft items, clothes, mirrors and furniture. And there is a shop whose proprietor said "It's only books" when I poked my head in for a moment - he meant it as a deterrent, not a sales pitch. Hmm....

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