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SEEN Experiences: Old Spitalfields Market

With Black Friday firmly behind us and Christmas a mere four Sundays away, what does it take to get shoppers out and about in the capital? SEEN feels it’s the experience of shopping nowadays that gets people away from online consumerism, and with this in mind she set out for Old Spitalfields Market.

With Black Friday firmly behind us and Christmas a mere four Sundays away, what does it take to get shoppers out and about in the capital? SEEN feels it’s the experience of shopping nowadays that gets people away from online consumerism, and with this in mind she set out for Old Spitalfields Market.

Located between Liverpool Street and Shoreditch, the market has been here in one form or another since the 17th Century when Charles II awarded a charter for one John Balch to hold a market there on Thursdays and Saturdays. Historically, the market has always epitomised the ‘melting pot’ culture that defines the East End community, a tradition that is still evident today in a period of reinvention. It features a mix of leading international brands, as well as hip market stalls. Old Spitalfields Market attracts 9 million people a year, acting as a creative hub for artists, fashion forward shoppers and tourists alike.

Brushfield Street, penned. #spitalfields

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SEEN visited four shops, starting with Chanel at 71 Brushfield Street, where she experienced a lip makeover with the ‘Rouge Allure Ink Parlour’ exclusive to Spitalfields. There are eight shades to choose from and the lovely beautician gave me perfect cupid-bow lips. The ink allure colour starts off quite shiny but then settles down to a long-lasting and vibrant hue; it’s not called ink for nothing. These are complimentary and available to anyone. You can access Chanel from the street or from inside the covered market itself, where there are barber-style chairs ready to receive you. Choose from eye, lip or complexion makeovers. This was a truly uplifting experience and makes you feel great.

Thrilled to welcome this new kid to our block. @chanel are on Brushfield Street.

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Next SEEN visited SUPERGA at 105b Commercial Street, who if you didn’t already know, are giving Converse a run for their money (pun intended). Their brand of skater shoes with a vulcanised rubber sole have been going for over 100 years. From a colourful range of low-rise shoes to platform sneakers in rose gold, SEEN would be surprised if there wasn’t a pair for everyone here. Prices start from £50 and you can commission young artists to create unique shoes for you.

SEEN visited The Mercantile at 17 Lamb Street, a clothing, lifestyle and homeware shop that likes to build a relationship with customers, many of whom drop in for a chat as they buy. The family team at The Mercantile curates their stock, placing a high premium on sourcing well-made clothes that have the advantage of short runs – you are guaranteed NOT to have the same dress on as someone else at a party. They also sell a lovely range of male grooming products and jewellery and are a welcome respite from the corporate blandness of traditional high street brands.

The market space itself is very flexible, making way for catwalk shows, street food stalls and new designers who want to sell their wares and are just starting up. A walk around the market is an experience in itself; the sheer diversity of designers and shops is mind-boggling. Joshua Kane, All Saints, Rag and Bone, and McQ rub shoulders with the market traders. Many of the shops on Brushfield and Lamb Street have doors to the street and into the market hall, creating a flow that brings the whole market community together. The smell from the street food stalls and restaurants is absolutely mouthwatering. Try Blixen at 65a Brushfield Street – their beautiful garden room is a tranquil oasis of green.

Old Spitalfields does what a good market should do; it’s a feast for all the senses. That’s something you just don’t get when you order online. Their Christmas lights will be switched on this Friday, 2nd December.

Old Spitalfields Market
Horner Square
London E1 6EW
Reino Unido

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