LONDON - I took a look at my London travel book again, ‘London Style Guide’, by Saska Graville in order to find a new area to explore. I settled on North London as it’s not an area I’ve traipsed to much. I only had one stop in mind when I set out and that was to explore Alfies Antiques Market. For weeks now I’ve been on the look out for a pretty butter dish and I’m inclined to choose something vintage. Surely Alfies would have one, I thought.
It’s probably an 8 minute walk from Marylebone Tube Station and fairly easy to find. I was surprised as I turned on to Church Street because I was suddenly greeted by a busy market running down the middle. Ooh, I thought, a new market to explore! So I stepped inside. But lost interest just as quickly. It’s very much a low-income crowd pleaser for people who want to buy junk from China for £1 or really, really tacky gold jewellery from somewhere.
If you skip this scene, stick to the left hand side of the street and you’ll come to Alfies Antiques Market. For some reason, I simply thought it was going to be a warehouse of antiques sold by one vendor. Instead, it’s a warehouse of several floors that has several corridors, staircases and alcoves fulled with antiques sold by a plethora of antiques mavens from all different time periods.
As I browsed through the warehouse, I noticed that a lot of the sales people were antique themselves. They were able to answer questions with a thorough knowledge of their product and what I really appreciated was their lack of pushiness. Sometimes it’s so annoying when they just want to make a hard sell.
There were a lot of antiques from the early 1900s through to mid-century modern, a favourite these days with many decorators. I’m slowly warming up to it myself.
I didn’t walk away from Alfies with my butter dish. I’m not sure what I’m looking for yet. So I’ll have to keep on looking. I have to warn you though, Alfies was pricey, even on the small things like paper weights. But if you’re serious about antiquing, I highly recommend Alfies. They have a large selection and you can really get lost in here for hours if you want to. See anything you like? I did. Just didn’t have the cash to buy it…yet.