London is known for its antiquities market. In fact, London has the largest antiques market in the whole world and this is just something that I had to visit. I’m not a fine antiques collector, but I do appreciate fine works of art so the city was at the top of my list of places to visit during my weekend away.
The world’s largest antiques marketplace is Portobello Road in London. I heard that there were dozen’s of antique shops there selling all sorts of things that date all the way back to the Roman times. Fortunately, my guidebook said that Portobello Road wasn’t that hard to find. Unfortunately, I wasn’t too confident in my way-finding skills and felt it would be better to take a taxi – the tube or bus would have been cheaper, but I wanted to be sure I could get there early and preferred to spend my time browsing the shops instead of trying to find my way around the labyrinth that is London.
It didn’t take me very long to get from my hotel to Portobello Road. Taking a taxi wasn’t such a bad idea after all since I did get the chance to take a look at different parts of the city on my way there. One part of the trip that particularly stuck in my mind was this awful commercial for a car company (I actually sold my car to them in the states and used the money to fund this trip!).
Portobello Road is an old street with dozens of antique shops lining both sides. There were also sidewalk stalls that showed quite a mixture of antiques. I visited all the shops that I could that day. Appleby Antiques had quite a collection of pots and pans that dated all the way back to the 18th century (or so I was told). Cristina Truscott had a fine collection of Chinese antiques, fans and plenty of decorative objects.
Walpole Antiques had interesting items from the British Army and Navy including some pretty amazing furniture. Sadly, taking home a heavy antique chair would have presented some problems so I had to satisfy myself in just being amazed at the fine craftsmanship of the different periods.
Portobello Road was antique heaven for me. The collections were so huge that a day wasn’t enough for me to browse through all the shops. There were many times when I spent at least 10 minutes just inspecting a single item that caught my interest – I could have spent weeks there.
I knew that there were quite a lot of places in London that I could visit, but sightseeing wasn’t really my main objective. Portobello Road was enough to fill my heart’s desire for antiques so I spent the whole weekend in just this one area.