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London's Best Antique Shopping

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by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published June 5th 2011
Treasures care of Howie and Belle
Treasures care of Howie and Belle

London is an old town, so it makes sense that some of the wonderful treasures that have made their way in here in the past would remain here. It's all a matter of finding them, but it's easier if you know where to start looking, so these are some of the best places to buy antiques in London.

Alfies Antiques Market
Alfies is like an antiques department store – it's a large building with four squashed floors of little stores inside it, so they're like a department store's concessions run by many friendly ye olde dealers, selling all sorts of lovely things. Some antiques markets pride themselves on being specialists in something, but eccentric Alfies' stores couldn't be much more eclectic: in one store you might find a pair of pre-WW2 genuine woollen sailor's trousers, complete with lacing up the back to allow for changes in girth; in the next store you'll find a telephone made in the 60s with the receiver hidden, discretely, within a set of bulls horns; and in the one after that there might be an original art deco lamp. And the inventory list could continue indefinitely, the point being that if you don't see something beautiful and unusual then you might need to consider whether you actually like antiques.
Just besides Alfies is James Worrall Antiques, which is also worth ducking into.
13-25 Church St, NW8

She'd like an engagement ring from Greys
She'd like an engagement ring from Greys
Greys Antiques Market
Greys' location, beside Bond Street tube station, will give you an idea of what you can expect to find here: high end stuff. If you know someone who sports a bit of fantastic old bling – be it real or paste, then there's every chance they, or someone they know, bought it here. Ditto for quality art deco pieces, lovely art, vases or Bakelite objet d'art, Victorian jet, silver, antique medals, 18th century furniture or tablewear and antiquarian books. There's also a train set dealer in the basement, and the 1950s styled Victory cafe and milk bar.
58 Davies St and 1-7 Davies Mews, W1

Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road is a pretty bustling place on your average day but on Saturdays the road is closed to drivers and flooded end to end with additional market stalls. Adding more stock than you could possibly look at in one day to the, largely, antique stores along the route – making it one of London's biggest antiques markets. It's hard to specify just what treasures you can turn up here, but there are a number of shops selling old maps and prints, several silver traders, sellers of antique glass wear and jewellery, a stall that seem to only sell ancient hats, one that sells toys and games, vintage, and imitation, clothes stalls, stalls selling old lace and an antique bookstore or two. The Admiral Vernon Antiques Market is notable because it's one of the largest arcades, with probably hundreds of little stalls – and because one of the stalls sells cool antique guns.
There's a lot to see here, but it's also well known by tourists, so if you're looking for good prices then head on further up the road to Kensal Rise and pop into Howie and Belle on Chamberlayne Road where they get less tourists and more discerning customers.
Portobello Road, London W11

The Old Cinema
This isn't just an antique furniture emporium, spanning many of the key furniture styles and ages, this is the warehouse of numerous collectors, sellers and specialist buyers. That's the trick to the quality and variety here, different stockists rent small spaces on the shop floor – so it's like visiting a mini art and design fair.
160 Chiswick High Road, London W4 1PR

Camden Passage and The Mall Antiques Arcade
Despite the name this 'passage' is in Angel, and on two days a week: Wednesdays and Saturdays, this narrow Georgian street magically fills with antiques dealer stalls selling art, art deco, furniture, jewellery and lots of other treasures. There are about 200 traders here, when you count the store holders who do more than the two days a week. Along with Bermondsey markets, this is quite a popular spot to spot other dealers and decorators.
Around the corner is 'The Mall', where you can find military memorabilia, ceramics, glass wear and furniture.
Camden Passage, off Upper Street, Angel N1
The Mall Antiques Arcade, 359 Upper St, N1

Kingston Antiques Market
Not your trendiest of London locales, but that's why this market is a good bet is you want to avoid paying an 'in town' premium on furniture, trinkets, fashion, jewellery and other what nots. There are something like 90 stalls here, so another opportunity to do a lot of antique shopping all in one place.
29 Old London Road, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey, KT2 6ND,
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Why? Older is sometimes better
When: Check the websites for opening hours
Where: All over town
Cost: From 50p to thousands of pounds
Comments
Your write up on Portobello Road Antiques Market generally correct but there are a few points that would help those who visit. Portobello is the country’s largest Antiques Market. Dealers come from all over the country and from France and Belgium to buy and sell on just that one day - Saturday. Visitors who arrive before 10.00am are competing with the dealers for buying and are likely to get the best bargains. The wealth of what is on offer in Portobello can only be appreciated by visiting the stalls in the arcades were most serious dealers are to be found.
By leyla - reader
Wednesday, 17th of August @ 09:40 am
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