Thursday, April 20, 2017

Quirky Portobello Road - #AtoZChallenge

If you have spent some time living in England, the first thing to catch your attention would be the colourful houses in a row. In contrast with the formally planned houses in dull colours all over London and England, the houses here enunciate effervescence. It is one of the best places if you like wandering around shops without a shopping list, looking out for unusual, unique objects. Various stalls here sell from vintage clothes, jewellery to quirky signs and old maps, antiques to unusual home decor items.


It was one of our favourite places to visit whenever we felt low or missed the buzz of Indian cities and during every visit, we would come across something bizarre or unique or objects we had never imagined. During one such visit, there was loud music coming out of the speakers of a music stall. Although the language was unknown to us, the music was very pleasant and cheerful. After listening to it while browsing through various scarves, dresses and antique objects at different stalls, we couldn't stop ourselves from walking over to the music stall. It was a place full of treasure with music from all parts of the world, some of them from places we hadn't even heard of. The best part of the Portobello Road is you just have to initiate the conversation with any of the shopkeepers or stall vendors and they are more than eager to speak with you at length, sharing many interesting stories, experiences they have had over years. As we started chatting with the stall vendor, he showed us the CD he was playing - 'Buena Vista Social Club', a Cuban band. He also shared with us the story of the band, about how it was named after a Havana club from 1940s and how this album was created in 90s with some of the veterans who had performed at the original club. It was irresistible music with a very interesting story. Ever since then, every time I hear this CD, it carries me back to the energetic Portobello Road, unknowingly I brought back a piece of this place with me, to be able to visit it as many times as I wish. Most interestingly, a couple of years later I found the same album at my brother's place, it had been gifted to him by his friends from France. Truly this album was without any boundaries, though I had never seen any promotion or advertisement for the same.

If you don't mind being in a crowded place, then I will highly recommend visiting this road on Saturday for their market. The place is abuzz with shoppers and travellers, some shopping while some gorging on the delicious food of different cuisines from across the world.

You can find more information about the Portobello Road, market timing and the stalls here

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  1. This post immediately made me think of the song Portobello Road from Bedknobs and Broomsticks. I've never been but it sounds like a great place to visit.

    Cait @ Click's Clan

  2. I have always missed visiting the quirky Portobello Road on all my visits to London.
    Your lovely post makes me feel worse than I do , about missing it!:(