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Every Saturday, more than 100 stalls line the grounds of Paddington Uniting Church and the neighbouring public school selling Australian-made fashion, handmade crockery and metal costume jewellery. The market has been operating on the same day since 1973, and the all-weather event is a profitable fundraiser for the church. Many of the stallholders return week on week, like the elderly Japanese couple selling Bonsai trees and the Spanish shoemakers selling espadrilles.
It’s predominantly an art, clothing and design market – and alongside the kitsch bric-à-brac and Australiana-print tea towels you’ll find straw hats for $35 from local milliners and soft Tunisian-made ‘Turkish’ towels from young Eastern Suburb entrepreneurs. Antique, vinyl and vintage stalls are few and far between, but leather satchels, beach photography prints and patterned baby rompers are two a penny.
On a hot day locals gather at the shaded tables and stools by the snack stalls. Turkish women hand roll yufka dough at the gözleme tent and vegetables are blitzed in a blender at the fresh juice stand. Chin’s Laksa stall, proudly MSG and gluten free, is a popular choice – as are the vegan cookies and sourdough scones on offer at the bakery stalls.
It has a bohemian flair compared to its Oxford Street location and customers joyfully take up fortune readings for $60, as well as reiki and Japanese massage at $20 for 20 minutes. Gilda, a Brazilian singer, shakes her maraca as she serenades the marketgoers in Portuguese. It’s an oddball mix, but one that works strangely well in an area known for its designer boutiques and gentrified pubs. Our top tip? Bypass the out-of-season blooms and pick up a hardy fig leaf plant for $20.
|Venue name:||Paddington Uniting Church|
395 Oxford St