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May 15, 2015
Portobello Road, Borough, Broadway, Ridley Road: we all know that London is brimming with markets fit for all tastes and purposes. When we find one that isn’t overly touristic or horrendously overpriced, we tend to want to keep it to ourselves, treating it as our ‘happy place’ and evil-ing anyone we consider a threat to its purity. So it is with mixed feelings that we speak about one of our favourite hidden gems: Exmouth Market.
This small street laden with independent restaurants, bars and shops, a short walk from Angel tube station, has maintained its character for decades. The occasional chain has popped up over the years, only to be ignored by the zealous patrons of the strip, resulting in their inevitable closure. What remains is a line and venues that embody the relaxed and artisanal vibe and charisma of the market.
Here are a few of our favourites:
A beautifully shabby-meets-design restaurant serving up Modern British dishes in an old butcher shop. Great for a quick bite to eat and a good cocktail (we recommend The New Fashion with Sezerac bourbon, kumquat liquer & grapefruit. Simon Lee and Tm Wilson of Medcalf Bar have also recently taken over next door, expanding the venue to include Medcalf Traiteur. Read all about it here.
A wonderful tapas and mezze bar, sitting next to its sit-down sister restaurant, Moro. This is the perfect place to come for a nibble (we opted for the crispy aubergine, serve with whipped feta & date molasses, and were not disappointed) and a glass of wine while you watch the passers-by from the window. However, make sure you get there early as this place is always heaving!
One for the pork lovers! This is a relaxed, pig-loving neighbourhood restaurant located in an old pie and mash shop and is probably not the place to bring your vegetarian friends.
A celebrated seafood restaurant that is an ode to the faded glory of British seaside towns. The décor is nostalgic and the food fresh. This spot is proof that you don’t need to venture outside of London for good seafood.
An adorably sweet little shop filled with handmade knickknacks and tiny cactuses. They produce their own lighting, furniture, stationary, knitwear and jewellery, inspired by the fusion of the owner’s Japanese and English heritage. Impossible sweet and unique gifts that anyone would be happy to receive.
Vicky Ilankovan – Lifestyle Editor
Photography by Kat Tp, www.exmouth.london