Wednesdays are a great day to try out some of London's most authentic markets – from Shepherd's Bush in the west, to Walthamstow in the east. Stock up on all of your fruit and veg for the week, as well as bits and pieces like cheap mobile phone covers, novelty ashtrays and reproduction football kits.
Venue says: “Don't miss out on our special 'Coffee & Cake' offer in the Roof Top Cafe! Enjoy tea or coffee and a slice of cake on the terrace for £3.95.”
Good for: antiques
Alfie’s is packed to the rafters with handsome twentieth-century home decor, hosting more than 100 dealers in vintage furniture and fashion, art, accessories, books, maps and more.
Good for: food
Compared to the culinary homogeneity of Borough market et al, Brixton is a sensory fiesta. The air is thick with the sizzle of jerk chicken stalls, tinny reggae riddims and yam-based price disputes while the multi-coloured hues of exotic fish displays glimmer like a whiffy rainbow.
Good for: clothing, souvenirs
Camden’s sprawling collection of markets offers a real smörgåsbord of street culture. Wander past loitering goths and punks to join the throng of tourists, locals and random celebs fighting it out at the vast and varied selection of shops and stalls.
Good for: food, crafts
Although something of a London institution, Covent Garden Market is too commercial and generally too crowded to provide a particularly characterful retail experience. However, the colonnaded 19th-century building is impressive, and occasionally some of the performers and entertainers can even be worth watching.
Good for: household goods
Most of Deptford Market is your standard south/east London fare: three-pack pants, timber wolf fleeces, Duracells and lighters. Halfway down its length, though, is a distended gut of impacted crap, presided over by two tennis umpires up stepladders who take money, dispense change and guard against pilfering.
More great shopping in London
You can tell a fair bit about a salon from the calibre of towel on offer. At this swish Marylebone hairdressers, founded by Fred Gielly and Shai Greenberg, they’re as thick as duvets and the colour of caramel highlights. That level of service runs through the whole establishment, which is darkly glossy and reassuringly expensive. Cuts cost up to £165 (although you can get a junior stylist for £70), but if you have the money to spend, it’s a great place to spend it. As well as the usual roster of cuts and colour, there is a spa-style beauty department, where you can go for a 120-minute facial, have your eyebrows threaded or treat your cuticles with a hot oil special.
Venue says: “Home of London’s finest hair artists: an eclectic weave of exceptional stylists and colourists in an indulgent haven in Marylebone.”