Hackney Flea Market
My word of 2019 is Adventure. And to kickstart my adventure I headed to Hackney for the Hackney Flea Market. Of course.
I saw – rather serendipitously the night before – that Hackney has a quarterly flea market. And as a self-confessed bargain hunter and lover of history, I decided to go.
Housed in the deeps of EartH near Dalston I paid £1 entry to a small underground fair. Not knowing what to expect.
What I discovered was a hipster central of stalls selling furniture from the 70s, clothes from the 80s, war memorabilia, housewares, old cameras, vintage levis etc.
Without a shopping list or a target list since all of the vendors are independents, I wandered around.
It’s a fairly small room but this works in its favour – if you get there early and avoid the crowds! – as you can go round multiple times and not miss anything.
I was particularly drawn to the quirky homeware and kitchenware of the event. Particularly the table sets built to look like Rubix cubes.
My eye was rarely drawn to the clothing. Although I did manage to bag a bargain of a 1940s navy and white spotted midi dress, with its original buttons, for only £10! I look forward to wearing that when it gets slightly warmer.
I did enjoy seeing, and sampling, the furniture.
Whilst inexpensive overall, unless you’re looking for specifically vintage pieces it doesn’t hold a lot because there’s not a lot of space.
What they do fit in though is quite quirky. Think hostess trolley and impractical magazine racks.
The few vendors that I spoke to were lovely. Helpful, amiable and up for a chat even when the place is heaving.
I spoke to a vendor who sold me some vintage coffee tins about the event and she said I had come at the perfect time because by one or two o’clock (the event starts at 11) many of the stalls start to look quite bare.
The audience for the flea market was definitely 20-35 years old. I could barely move without running into a couple looking to furnish their first flat or new mums looking for vintage post-natal clothes.
Overall, I was just there to sample the fair and the atmosphere.
And take pictures of the quirky items on sale.
I’m a bit of a self-confessed magpie and I love pretty things so my eye was drawn to a lot of items and I spent a good hour going round and round the fair.
Ultimately I bought four tins for the kitchen and a dress and it came to £37. One thing is for sure: I need to work on my haggling skills.
The vendors are open to haggling but I panicked and simply paid full price for everything. *facepalm*, but at least I know for next time.
Here are my top tips if you decide to go to the Hackney Flea Market:
- Bring cash – for the £1 entry and also because it’s a lot easier to haggle with cash then it is with card
- Get there early – I was in the door by 11:10 and by 11:45 it was packed!
- Bring bags – but not backpacks – totes are good
- Talk to the vendors about their products and history, this will make it easier to haggle when you want to buy something because you’ll have an idea of worth and a camaraderie with the vendor
Would I go back: definitely!
Would I set myself a budget: yes (she laughs internally – I won’t stick to it)
Until next time.