Places to find antiques in Nostalgic London
1) Brick Lane Market
Head to Brick Lane on a Sunday and the street will be lined with stalls selling secondhand treasures. In true flea market style, you can pick up anything from genuine antique furniture to vintage signs, old china tea sets and well-thumbed books. Take your time wandering through the market to hunt around for gems.
2) The Old Cinema
From a distance, this old movie theatre could still be screening the latest blockbusters, but take a closer look and its current purpose becomes clear. What was once an early-20th-century picturehouse is now a thriving antiques and vintage store, with striking delights spilling out on to Chiswick High Road. Peruse the smaller cabinets for trinkets, Victorian letter racks and unique glassware, before checking out larger items, which on any given day could range from a Georgian writing desk to a mid-century armchair, an art deco ice bucket or an industrial storage cabinet.
3) Alfies Antique Market
Inside a four-floor art deco-style building, you’ll find Alfies, London’s biggest indoor antiques and vintage market. The arcade, which features around 100 dealers selling retro furniture, clothing, homeware and assorted bric-a-brac, has been buzzing with antique hunters since it opened in 1976. If you’re keen to keep spending, Alfies is also surrounded by a number of antiques stores, which are in some cases run by dealers who started out under the market’s roof.
4) Portobello Road Market
From secondhand books to bananas, and Caribbean street food to bargain nightdresses, you can buy basically anything from Portobello Road Market, which is open every day except Sunday. If it’s antiques you’re after though you’re going to want to visit on a Friday or, even better, a Saturday, which is when the market is at its biggest and best. The south end of Portobello Road is where you’ll find the antiques traders as well as the arcades, which sell a diverse array of antique silver, glass, jewellery and small items of furniture. Arrive before 11.30 am if you’re not into crowds.
A 19th-century former lavatory showroom is where you’ll find Grays, an art and antiques centre that was set up in the 1970s. Across two floors, dealers sell fine jewellery, watches, collectables and ornamental antiques. It’s a great place to go if you’re after advice or are looking to source something specific.
6) Wood Street Indoor Market
Pass under the circus-esque sign and there are 30 traders in snug units to explore at Wood Street Indoor Market. The covered arcade, which sweeps around in a horseshoe-shape, was formerly The Crown Cinema before it closed in 1955. Pop by on the first Sunday of every month to buy retro sweets, antique toys and annuals, vinyl and pre-loved ceramics.
Buy the books
Discover London off the beaten path with The 500 Hidden Secrets of London and explore the city's historic treasures with Nostalgic London.
Already a member? Log in.
New here? Sign up.