Admittedly, I’m not normally into retro, but Portobello Market is a place that makes me wish that I was born in the Sixties. I know – apparently the heating was terrible back then, and people smoked on the tube. Can you imagine?
First, the fashion. Those retro shops. Don’t get me wrong, I would never actually buy a real fur coat (1. ethics 2. appearance 3. cost) or a snakeskin handbag (ditto), but there is something to be said about browsing a shop full of them that oozes 1960s glamour, Cruella Devil, smoking in cocktail bars and just generally being fabulous.
Second, those houses! Those colours! Would anybody in 2015 build a row of houses in central London and paint them fifteen different pastel shades? No. They would build ultra-modern glassy tower blocks in funky shapes with marble floors and darkened windows (Battersea I am looking at you). These look great now, but are guaranteed to look dated and ugly in twenty years time. Multi-coloured houses? Timeless and awesome.
Third, the trinkets. When I grow up (future tense), I want nice silver teapots and flower-printed milk jugs. They’re adorable. And check out those tennis rackets. Probably totally useless, but can you imagine the one that you bought for a tenner in Sports Direct surviving long enough to make it to a market stall in thirty years time? Unlikely.
And, finally: food. Have you noticed that Creme Eggs been shrinking annually? (And now they’ve changed the filling, too!). I have noticed. What escaped my notice, however, was the possibility that other foods have also been shrinking. That was until I came face to face with the super-doughnuts at Portobello market. The below photograph does no justice to their whopping size, but believe me: these are pre-evolved. I will never look at a smaller doughnut with the same eyes again. Also to note is the colourful hundreds and thousands (E-numbers: we miss you) and the cream oozing out of the cake next door. Calorie-lovers rejoice.
Nearest underground: Notting Hill Gate or Ladbroke Grove