Ten more minutes

Ramblings from London - and elsewhere.

Portobello Road and time travel

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.

Fur portobello market

Portobello market SaturdaySecond, 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.

Door on Portobello road

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.

Teapots on Portobello road

bats and cups portobello road

Signs portobello road

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.

Doughnuts at Portobello Road

Portobello road market

Practical info:
Portobello Market
Portobello Road
W10 5TA
Nearest underground: Notting Hill Gate or Ladbroke Grove

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