An indoor gourmet organic food market in Newmarket in Dublin with a wonderful clubby atmosphere, amazing hot food stalls, organic fruit and veg, friendly cafe, chat, organic and fair trade clothes, etc. Open Thursdays 2-8pm and (best day) Saturdays 9.30am-4.30pm.
Newmarket, Dublin 8
One of my favourite ways of spending a Sunday morning (not too early though) is to hit, what I consider, the best market in Paris. It is similar to a carboot sale in the UK (or a yard sale in the States). The market at “Porte Montreuil” is not chic or filled with expensive antiques like “Les Puces de Saint-Ouen” - it’s pretty grimy and grotty. Just anybody can rock up and put some stuff on the ground and sell it (although, beware the police do come by now and again and “move people on”).
There are plenty of the expensive vintage/retro clothes and furniture stalls plus lots of cheap/fake perfume, branded clothes at the beginning. But as you get towards the back you can find the real gems, vintage 1950’s petticoats for 5€ (I shouldn’t really be telling you this, now it’ll get expensive), vinyl records for 50 cents, retro crockey - you name it you can find it. You just have to have a real rummage and do some hardcore haggling. Try and not look like a tourist as this will result in an instant doubling of the price.
Saturday and Sunday 8am - 2pm
Metro Porte de Montreuil, line 9
The second hand clothes section of the flea market at Porte de Montreuil is how vintage shopping on a budget should always be. Go on a Monday morning when it's just the locals and most things are 2 euros or under. You won't find high fashion here, although i got a great chunky knit lacoste jumper last time, it's more other people's cast aways, which i think is just as interesting. If you are into grungy california cool t-shirts, interesting prints, or just some really amazing bargains, this is the one for you.
Avenue de la Porte de Montreuil, 75020
Metro Porte de Montreuil
This is not a rural hotel but a house for rent beautifully hidden in the green Umbrian hills. The closest you can drive is to the organic farm where you can pick organic vegetables and get fresh cheese and eggs, then you walk down a lane for five minutes till you reach a typical, old, stone, Italian house. A porch and a flowered garden for the nice weather, a fire place and a big bright room for painting when it's rainy. It doesn't have a pool and you're asked to be careful with the water, but it is really worth it. Sleeps two to a maximun four people. 300 Euros a week.
Nearest airport Perugia (Ryanair)
Nearest train station: Fossato di Vico or Perugia
The Portland Saturday Market is a gregarious mix of public fair, marketplace and food festival.
Located in the heart of 'old town' Portland, right on the downtown 'Max' lightrail, the market is a literal maze of hand-crafted and locally made wares, artwork, jewellery, clothing and more. Live music from diverse local bands and a food court that offers a taste of just about everywhere - American, Thai, Spanish, Greek - including local brews.
Street performers - mimes, living 'statues,' jugglers and magicians stroll the market, but they are not the only entertainment - just watching the diversity of the crowd is one of the major attractions of the market.
Located right off of Portland's Waterfront Park, visiting the Saturday Market is one of the best ways to see Portlanders in their natural element - and not worry about blending in.
Since driving and parking downtown is something of a nightmare, the best way to get around to and from the market will be on Portland's 'Max' lightrail train - it runs from Portland Airport through downtown and will only set you back about $5 for a day pass. The downtown area itself is part of Portland's 'fareless' square, so if you are only riding for a brief distance - its all free.
The market can be used as a jumping off point to explore more of downtown since it is central to the Waterfront and Chinatown - and just a short train ride to Pioneer Courthouse Square.
This is "real" Alexandria and a real treat too. Unlike the Khan in Cairo, tourists don't get hassled to buy stuff here. As it is not touristy you'd better bring a phrase book if you are looking for something specific, otherwise just enjoy wandering around the streets.
The Eastern end starts with clothes and material (some lovely scarves here), then there are a few streets with spices (far, far cheaper than Cairo!) and then the fresh fish, fruit and vegetables take over.
Best buys are loofas, dried Hibiscus, dates and Halva.
It's relatively easy to find your way home as well; as turning off the main street will take you to the Corniche and a taxi will never be too far away.
Walk inland from the Unknown Soldier memorial on the Corniche (Midan Orabi) until you hit the main crossroads (Midan el-Tahrir). Go right here and you'll gradually walk deeper and deeper into the market. It runs parallel to the Corniche between here and El-Anfushi area, just a few blocks in from the bay.
Relaxing, leafy historic neighbourhood of small parks and restored late Victorian/early 20th century houses, all intriguingly different and painted funky colours, right next to the U.S. Capitol. Plus a great open-air flea and gourmet food market.
Walk due East from the Capitol down East Capitol Street to Lincoln Park (great statue of Lincoln emancipating the slaves) and take North Carolina Ave. down to Eastern Market. Or get the Metro (Blue/Orange Lines) to Eastern Market. Check it out on www.easternmarket.net
This is an amazing place, a bus trip out of the city, where you can see great waterfalls, go for a hike, swim and then get a great meal at the cafe. While you wait for your food, sip endless glasses of mint tea, and take in the views and then tuck in! I had a lamb tagine (amazing) cooked in an earthenware pot in the ground. Super cheap too!
Just outside Marrakech
Chokola is a great restaurant in south Delhi, just a few minutes from India Gate.
It serves Mediterranean food (mezze, pizza, salads) as well as brilliant desserts and breads. I love the hot chocolate and the paninis!
Its in posh Khan Market, but much cheaper than the rest and it is so calm and relaxing - a great place to recharge yourself before heading out into the madness of Delhi.
Khan Market, New Delhi
I’m British through and through but nothing says Christmas more passionately than Brugge does each December. The Belgians of course have two celebrations with the Feast of Sint Niklaas coming early in the month!
The city streets are beautifully decked out with twinkling lights and window displays and the main and smaller squares like Market Square and Simon Stevinplein have their stalls selling all kinds of gift, food and drink specialties. It’s a picture book / chocolate box place that you may wander and wonder around in the warmth of their hospitality and friendliness - and in safety.
My ideal 24 hours? I set off on a Friday afternoon straight down the M20 from London and directly into the Eurotunnel terminal from the motorway. Go to the toilet, buy a drink, drive onto the train – 25 minutes of rest – drive off the train, to the end of the tunnel road, turn right and just keep on straight for 55 minutes and there is the Bruges turn-off – 10 minutes later I am parked in the centre. Nothing could be easier and hardly needs a map or GPS!
If I just kept walking around the main central triangle of the city it would only take me some 15 minutes to do so – but there is so much to see that is worthwhile. Ice Skating in Markt, climb the Belfry, eat Flemish beer stew and photograph the canals and picturesque buildings as the sun sets and the sky glows. You are never far away from where your hotel is and it is so easy to take a small break to recuperate and re-energise!
Saturday is market day at Tzand (square next to bus station) – buy wonderful cheeses to take home; visit The Church of our Lady to see the Michelangelo Madonna with Child statue and take a canal boat trip, a museum visit or a romantic Horse and Carriage ride around the cobbled streets. Too much to do – so little time!
Now don’t forget those chocolates, those fresh cream pralines. Much much cheaper than the UK and guaranteed to produce sounds of delight (and quiet munching noises). I also buy ginger bread, chocolate figures and honey waffle biscuits.
Driving home; quickly visit a supermarket in Belgium for very good beer at low prices. Try a jar of Advocaat as this goes great on ice cream or Christmas pudding! Wine is also reasonable in price here.
… and it’s back to Coquilles to catch the train back home. Mission accomplished… Tired and very Happy!
Here’s a link to learn more oldchocolatehouse.com/links.html
Every Saturday local artists sell their stuff at this great market. You can find all sorts - clothes, jewellery, photographs, paintings, sculptures. Even if you don't buy anything, it's great for a browse!
Boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011, next to the Bastille
Most people give this charming city a pass. But, it's worth a detour. Use Ourense as a base. You are about an hour from the Ribera Sacra (which is amazing) and you can come back at the end of a long day to the rustic charm of Ourense. Ourense has a lively, yet small tapas scene around the 4-5 squares. The mercado is fun and lively in the early morning. Lot's of ladies selling local produce from their small plots - grelos, potatoes, maybe even berries. There are also working ancient Roman baths just outside of downtown.
I would return in a flash.
Open 9am-5pm Thursday through Sunday, this market is a great place to pick up cheap ingredients when you’re in Sydney on a budget! Food fish, fruit, nuts etc. but also tourist souvenirs if this takes your fancy (lots of boomerangs in particular!) and handy backpacker essentials like socks and alarm clocks…
In Chinatown on Hay Street
Google map: tinyurl.com/nxbg5w
All the possible processes in fish trading can be seen in one place. The catch is landed from boats onto the shore, from where it goes straight to the auction section to be sold to wholesalers. From there it is a quick trip across the road, past the stalls selling shells and other fishy artefacts and to the retail section.
At the back the fish is fried in a haze of fire and smoke and ready for selling to the public.
On the shore and at the end of Ocean Drive where it turns into Kivukoni Front
Great area especially on a Thursday and Friday when they have a food market that attracts the local workers. Also has some great restaurants: Moro, Medcalf and The Ambassador.
Exmouth Market, just off Farringdon Road. 10 minutes' walk from Farringdon and Angel tube stations
Great specialist market, with fresh flowers and plants... it feels like a pop-up garden centre in the street. Check out the shops behind, a little oasis. Treacle makes the best cup cakes in the world - fact!
Old Street Tube and a 10 minute walk
Stay in this wonderful three-storey home of a Huguenot weaver in a quiet street between Brick Lane and Spitalfields market. Furnished in a comfortable, practical way the true character of the home is retained... wonkey staircase, oak panelling and solid ancient floors. The absence of a TV inspires sketches and great tips in best handwriting on the vellum pages of the green linen bound logbook. Learn about who lived there over the years and sit out under the raspberry pink camellia in the garden with a glass of wine and a plate of cheese from the nearby deli.
After a quiet night's rest in heavenly beds stroll through the Sunday market for a feast of food from stallholders across the world. Cross over to Spitalfields market for the up-and-coming designers or find a sweet vintage brooch or bag. Five minutes to the Caledonian flower market for an armful of fragrant blooms.
Brick Lane is great for a cheap curry... have a takeaway in the garden!
Come at Christmas and watch the neighbours peel back their shutters to outdo each other in Christmas decorations. Better than a hotel any day!
Princelet St Spitalfields
I have stayed several times with my in-laws in Essaouira so have learned some tricks on how to eat the best food cheaply (and stay well).
The best option is some form of self-catering to take advantage of the amazingly fresh fish, fruit and vegetables on sale in the local market in the medina. Shopping is a really fun, exciting experience and the locals will not rip you off.
The fishmongers will prepare the fish for a small fee.
Anything you cook from such brilliant ingredients, even if it is just salad and grilled fish, will taste brilliant.
The one and only off-license shuts at 8pm every day and is located just outside the medina at the north entrance.
For breakfast (if you don't mind the potential calories) everybody universally agrees the best is Patisserie Driss just at the rear corner of the main square. Get there before 11am for the best choice of French pastries, fresh orange juice and good coffee.
For snacks, the takeaway pizza stands near Driss are all good.
If you want a more elaborate, heavy, traditional Moroccan meal, visit one of the small restaurants in the 'dog leg' off the main square, near the carpet shops. All offer standard set menus with tagine, traditional Harira, etc. All are roughly the same standard and price (although I've recently heard bad things about Petit Pearl).
If you like fish don't miss the cafe at the back of the fish market. You buy your fish then pay them to cook it for you. If doesn't get fresher than that!
Avoid fish stalls around the port, well known to serve old manky fish to tourists and responsible for many a tummy upset.
Essaouira - medina
Even though Paris lost its most famous markets 'Les Halles', there are still numerous fresh food markets across the city. Rue de Buci always has fresh food displayed as does rue Montorgueil. However this market is particularly worth a visit for a trip down memory lane. You'll find fois gras, tempting charcuterie, fresh seafood and other delights delivered daily from many of France's small provincial towns.
39, rue de Bretagne, Metro Filles-du-Calvaire. More at www.myweekin.net
There are lots of young men who will accost you as you walk around Marrakech and try to act as your guide to take you to wherever you are going and then demand a fee. This is particularly so once you leave the main square and are heading out to somewhere less easy to find - for example the Bahia Palace, or the Dar Zellij restaurant. Be aware too that some of them will pretend that somewhere is closed when it is not, or will send you off on the wrong direction in order then to get one of their friends to set you right. This is a great shame because it means that, rather than interacting with people, you sometimes have to blank them or even pretend to speak a different language. If you do need directions to somewhere it may be preferable to ask a woman or an older man or a storekeeper - they are more likely to give you accurate directions out of common courtesy without then wanting to accompany you or expecting money in return. If you do end up being accompanied by a 'faux guide' against your will, you may want to explain that you are happy to talk to them along the way but do not wish to have a guide and will not be paying them any money if they accompany you. At least that way, when you reach your destination, you can feel comfortable sticking to your guns and refusing to pay - though be prepared to be pestered repeatedly and to have to hold your resolve. Of course there may be no harm giving a few coins to a boy who has taken some time to get you to the right place, but they should not expect to charge more than this and should be prepared to give you correct and honest information for free. So when one lad demanded 20 dirhams (more than a taxi fare across town) just for telling us which door on the street we were looking for we robustly refused - pour decourager les autres.
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