I am a self proclaimed market maniac. I love markets. I like the sounds, the smells, the sights, the bright colors. EVERYTHING MARKET. Sometimes I will take the long route home just to walk through my local market. So when Jess and Victoria of The African Mini-Market at Spitalfield’s told me that I should come out I was sooo excited. “P” put NuNu in the pram and we headed out for some good ole family fun.
Spitalfield’s Market is known for showcasing handmade, one-of-a-kind items and having The African Mini Market take over every bank holiday fits into the theme with ease. The market is perfectly located. Liverpool station is just a moment away which makes it easily accessible by public transport. The surrounding area is packed with quirky shops, florists, cafes, so after you finish shopping you can have a sit down with a cup of tea or pick up some flowers to go along with your wall hanging purchased at the market.
I must say, I don’t know why this is called a “Mini Market” because it literally had everything you could possibly want and leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. Can you say LOADS of hand crafted, Africa inspired greatness?! Before we even rounded the corner to the market square we smelled food. Yummy food! Chicken, rice, cupcakes, cookies…sweet and savory. In addition, there were sounds of live drum play that could be heard throughout. As soon as I walked in I saw bunches of smiling faces, everyone having a good time. People from every background, enjoying what this market has to offer. Food, fun, handcrafted merchandise, togetherness…this is my kind of place!
One of the first stalls I went to was The River Hut Company (www.theriverhutcompany.com), selling sustainable, eco-friendly handbags. This company prides their brand on being not only functional but fashionable and this is so true. As a woman that owns handbags ( I won’t say how many as “P” isn’t aware of the purse filled storage unit in America), I had to add a River Hut Company bag to my collection. The product spoke for itself. Beautifully hand painted with silhouettes of women with natural hair and the customer service was well above par.
Want one of your own? Head over to www.theriverhutcompany.com for a browse about and make your purchase at https://marketplace.asos.com/boutique/the-river-hut-company or at their Etsy store http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TheRiverHutCompany.
You know NuNu and I have to stick together. So what is a purchase for mommy without a purchase for her mini sidekick! NuNu has a little doll, creatively named Friend, that she carries around with her EVERYWHERE. So much so that I call them “my two big girls”. I thought it was time to add to her collection when I found these absolutely stunning African dollies by Dolls by Verona C. They are multi-cultural dolls (male and female versions available) that are dressed in vibrant fabrics. I was drawn to these dolls for NuNu because they aren’t just cute they are also extremely sturdy. They are soft (made of felt) yet stuffed perfectly to withstand the torment of little hands and gnawing gums! Sandra, the maker of the dolls was very helpful in aiding us in picking out the perfect one for NuNu. Now I have “three big girls”.
You can custom order your doll by visiting http://www.dollsbyverona.co.uk or http://www.etsy.com/shop/DollsbyVeronaC. You can choose the color, fabric, style, hair color (black, brown, blonde, burgandy) and the gender of your doll. Dolls come in small, medium and large.
Next time I will allot more time to properly visit every merchant but I was literally just bursting with excitement so much so that I was all over the place! Here are just a few standouts:
African inspired handmade slings used for baby wearing from birth to 35lbs. They also produce soft baby shoes, teething rings and bibs, all in beautiful bright colors of Ankara print fabric. 100% cotton and ethically produced. www.amadee.co.uk for purchase information.
Offers a range of covered, padded notebooks for everyone. Ranges include Africa, Contemporary, Abstract, and Signature prints. Great for students, graduates, professionals or those that just love nice things! Very reasonably priced and makes for a wonderful gift! www.lovelynotebooks.co.uk
I fell in love with these bags when I saw them. Super sturdy and extremely stylish. Perfect for the woman on the go! I now know what I want for my upcoming birthday!
Wonderful handmade jewelry with a unique and classy flair.
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen
Had some delicious eats from ZGK. Just what I needed after the walking around. Young founder Zoe Adjonyoh delivers Ghanaian food with a unique culinary experience through frequent pop ups and events. To find out where ZGK will be in the future go to www.zoesghanakitchen.co.uk and like them at https://www.facebook.com/ZoesGhanaKitchen.
Cookies! So we are just walking around…MINDING OUR OWN BUSINESS and a nice young lady comes up to us with a basket of goodies and a good deal so we HAD to buy 2 packs, you know, since she twisted our arm and all! OMG they were sooooo good. So delicious that “P” almost went into a fit trying to hunt her down to buy some more. Needless to say we went home with 4 packs of cookies and only had one left by bed time. DE-LI-CIOUS. www.yojos.co.uk
The Africa at Spitalfields Market was a great time for the entire family. I saw kids running around with huge smiles and they were even encouraged to take part in playing the drums which even gave little ones like NuNu something to enjoy:
More colorful images from Africa at Spitalfields:
When I got home, the first thing on my to-do list was to find out when the next Bank Holiday would be so I could go back for another fix. Then I looked at the flyer….GASP! “Promoting and Celebrating all things African one last time for 2013 at Spitalfields Market”. What will I do! I NEED The African Mini Market at Spitalfields in my life! Highly recommended!
Like them on Facebook to find out about their next event at https://www.facebook.com/AfricaAtSpitalfields.
Happiness requires something to do, something to love and something to hope for” ~Swahili Proverb
*All items that were purchased were done so at full price offered by the vendor without special considerations. There was no compensation for any of the reviews. All reviews are based on my experience and/or observation.