Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On Portobello Road

After five years of traveling with my darling husband, it's become clear that while I married adventure, I did not marry shopping! So when we travel, even to such meccas as Rome, Florence, Milan and Paris, I know that the trip will be much more enjoyable if I don't even try to drag him along on shopping escapades. It's just not fun for anyone, and that's what girls' trips are for! (It's okay, he no longer tries to take me camping, either!) London was no exception, but knowing my absolute obsession with antique markets, he was a sport and braved the Saturday crowds on Portobello Road with me.

Colorful facades and lots of pedestrians at Portobello Market

And crowds there were. People may have outnumbered the antiques, treasures and bits of brocante.

The Saturday scrum on Portobello Road

I found it a tougher market to navigate and edit than the Puces de Vanves in Paris or even the massive Les Puces de Sainte-Ouen. Probably a combination of the crowds and that I didn't have a specific mental list of what I was looking for at this market -- in Paris I have café au lait bowls and Hermès scarves as spotting points-- so wasn't sure where to rest my eyes!

Attempting to drive a bargain.

I came away with two much needed sets of silver-plated demitasse spoons and this blue and white Jasperware vase to use as a container for my pencils and paint brushes.


Not as impressive as this Jasperware wine-cooler circa 1783 that I saw in the British Museum, but it looks very sweet on my desk and brings back memories of our trip.

 The applied relied was designed by Lady Diana Beauclerk (1724-1808)

There's always something to regret. This time a lovely vintage oil painting and an entire stall of petite crystal chandeliers-- I know if I would have thought about it long enough, I could have figured out spots for them in our home! And I wish I would have paid closer attention to the vintage costume jewelry.

 A few fun baubles left behind.

 I've never seen a pink MINI Cooper before...

Regrets aside, it was a lovely way to spend the morning--I think Will even had a little fun exploring the neighborhood--colorful and charming, even the cars, like this darling pink MINI. 

 I wonder who lives at number 56?

A few fun facts about the history of the market: The area was once a farm, named after Puerto Bello in memory of Captain Vernon who captured the Caribbean town in 1793.

Many Paddingtons visiting the Portobello Market  

In the books by Michael Bond, Paddington Bear enjoys visiting Portobello Road each day to see his friend Mr. Gruber who owns an antique shop and with whom Paddington "has his elevensens."

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