I often find myself on long Sunday walks that start near my home and take me down through Mare street, London Fields, Broadway Market, Columbia Road, Shoreditch and Brick Lane. It's a ritual of slow walking and pottering in and out of shops. In time, I've put together a map of second-hand furniture shopping (I'll share this at the bottom of the post).
Most good second-hand furniture places in East London are small and a good distance from each other, but there's a good bunch of markets and shops concentrated near Brick Lane. Ready? Follow me...
1. Tea Rooms Mrkt, by the entrance of the Backyard Market
The Old Truman Brewery, 146 Brick Ln, London E1 6QL.
This little market is on the left as you near the entrance of the Backyard Market. It's small but it's a great place to start looking. They have three or four vintage furniture and homewares areas with reclaimed furniture, upcycled furniture, trinkets (shaped letters, vintage suitcases, signs, etc.), mid-century furniture and even taxidermy. There's also vintage crockery and cutlery, vinyls and vintage clothes. If you get tired of all the browsing, you can sit for a cuppa and cake.
2. 168 Brick Lane
Or at leat I think it is.
This is on the left as you walk North on Brick lane, before the bridge and the amazing little food market underneath it. Don't be put off by the entrance! It's practically a garage with an older gentleman sat at the front. It's a black cave of rows upon rows of second-hand furniture. It takes a focused eye to find a gem, but there are good and cheap wooden pieces like Victorian armoires, chairs, bedside tables and consoles... all ready to use or even better, for restoring / upcycling.
I should warn you that I will pair each shop with a place to grab a bite. Next up is the row of food stalls ahead of you, as you walk under the bridge.
3. Sunday Trinket Market
101 Sclater St, London E1 6HR
Before you reach Bethnal Green Road, turn left on Sclater Street. A few steps ahead, this is a large patch of land is where mural artists paint the arches of the bridge and people from all places come to find hidden treasures amongst a lot of junk.
There's some vintage clothes, garden bits, second hand electrical appliances, etc. But there's also some stalls with vintage pieces from wartime, pocket watches, tins, decorations, homewares, mirrors and odd bits of furniture.
A massive plus is all the mural-sightseeing you can do as you continue you walk onwards towards Shoreditch.
We pause for a break at the amazing Dishoom Shooreditch.
We put our names down and wait for a veranda table whilst we sit at the bar and down some refreshing Hunterwali's Julep (rum, fresh ginger, spearmint and pineapple). We complement this with vegetable samosas and prawn koliwada. Highly recommended nibbles!
We are soon shown to our table where we unexpectedly run into some acquaintances. After some chitchat, we sit back and enjoy the surroundings.
We devour our black dhaal and paneer curry too fast for a picture, and make our way onwards to Columbia Road. It's 3PM now so the market is ending and is sure to be much quieter than the crazy opening hours. It'll still be there though - great for getting some Sunday atmosphere!
4. Vintage Heaven
82 Columbia Rd, London E2 7QB
We arrive at the bottom (Southern-most) part of Columbia Rod, by the Birdcage Pub (fantastic pub, by the way), and immediately to our right we can see Vintage Heaven.
This little store goes all the way to the back and sells vintage china, furniture and gardening bits and bobs. Prices are marked up as you would expect for a curated collection on a premium spot on this road, but it's a great place to pick up a gift for a friend or something different or kitsch without having to search high and low.
We move on through the market. It's still considerably packed!
5. 18 Ezra Street, E1 6HRNext to Warren Evans.
Escape the crazy crowds of Columbia Road by turning left on Ezra Street. Get here on a Sunday and you will find the street bustling with amazing buskers, people spilling out onto the cobbled street drinking mulled drinks and eating Empanadas.
Immediately to your left there's a courtyard with some shops with vintage mirrors, pottery and cool homewares - at a very high price tag. B Southgate is a mid century antique shop with a fantastic collection. Again, hefty prices but top quality stuff.
Back out on Ezra Street, next to Stoned and Plastered (the plaster sculptures place) there's another small black hole of furniture, homewares and trinkets. Check this out...
|We found this amazing Italian-style Globe Bar!|
And that brings us to the end of our walk around Brick Lane and Columbia Road.
There are plenty more places where you can find vintage furniture. On our way to Columbia Road we even found a workshop of a gentleman who restores teak mid century furniture on one back street!
I'm a huge fan of thrift, restored and salvage shopping and I will keep writing about my finds. In the meantime you can check out my map of London vintage / second hand shopping.