Pitch Perfect

Issue 6 - 2017
By Jenny Coad · Images Jorge Monedero, Alamy, Shutterstock

For a true taste of life abroad, head to a bustling street market and discover local treasures. Jenny Coad finds six of the best

Issue 6 - 2017
By Jenny Coad · Images Jorge Monedero, Alamy, Shutterstock

For a true taste of life abroad, head to a bustling street market and discover local treasures. Jenny Coad finds six of the best

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Vintage Dreams

Long Beach, USA

You can buy early-bird tickets for this enormous market in the Vets Stadium (the location for numerous Hollywood motion pictures, and where the Motorcycle Freeway World Cup finals have been hosted). More than 800 vendors sell everything from golden-nugget slot machines to French enamel teapots, Singer sewing machines, vintage clothing, high-school lockers and old signage. Crack-of-dawn admission costs $12 (around £10) and gets you in at 5.30am, when the best deals are to be had. Everything for sale has to be over 20 years old.

Seek out Through the Porthole, a travelling home décor business (follow them on Instagram @throughtheporthole). They specialise in gorgeously rustic salvaged items for the home, such as old-fashioned scales, battered suitcases, soda bottles and mid-century chairs.

 

What to buy

Vintage telephones, old Louis Vuitton luggage, African mud cloths, Navajo jewellery...

When

The third Sunday of each month. General admission from 6.30am is $6 (around £5)

Don't miss

Keep your eyes peeled for local A-listers Cindy Crawford, Diane Keaton and John Malkovich (around £5)

When

Local Harvest Farmers' Market, which sometimes features live music

 

 

Delicacies and Fashion

Ventimiglia, Italy

People pop over from France to visit Ventimiglia in Liguria, which has a popular market on the seafront each Friday. It’s only 7km from the French/Italian border and 40km from Nice. The 500 stalls offering local delicacies as well as a jumble of clothes and accessories make it worth the trip. You can pick up designer labels, shoes and bags, as well as items for the home and garden. For the really good stuff, it’s a case of pot luck.

Have a blast of caffeine at Bar Cavour or Baires Cafe before scouring the stalls for a bargain. There is also a food market in the centre of Ventimiglia (Mon-Sat) that sells olive oil, cured meats, globe artichokes, olives, buffalo ricotta and local honey, as well as seasonal treats like truffles.

If you’re making a day of it, why not have supper in Osteria Consani on Via del Teatro. It’s modest, traditional and cheap.

 

What to buy

Leather goods, clothes, sundried tomatoes

When

The street market is on Fridays until 4pm. The food market is open Mon-Sat until 1pm in the food halls at the centre of Ventimiglia

Don't miss

Supper at Osteria Consani, Via del Teatro

When

Gaziello on Via San Secondo 14, to buy oil grown in the hinterland valleys
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Spice of Life

Mumbai, India

Crawford Market in south Mumbai is a reminder of the British Raj. The elegant building dates from the late 19th century and was named after Arthur Crawford, the first municipal commissioner of the city when it was known as Bombay. The building features friezes depicting Indian rural life designed by Rudyard Kipling’s father, John Lockwood Kipling, who was born in British India.

This is a popular wholesale market selling terracotta-coloured spices as well as tropical fruit, all sorts of vegetables and items that might not ordinarily appear on your shopping list. Locals buy everything from parrots and puppies to moreish Indian sweets. Head to Cottage Industry and The Bombay Store for gifts, and to Tijori, Amrapali, Tanishq and Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri for jewellery. DIA Fashion mall is the place for clothing.

 

What to buy

Spices, gifts. FabIndia (clothes, jewellery), Ogaan (luxury ethnic fashion) and AM Cotton World (children's clothes) all come recommended

When

The market opens daily between 10.30am and 8pm

Don't miss

Second-hand books from the famous pavement bookshops near Flora Fountain

When

The biggest fish market in Mumbai – known locally as “Bhaucha dhakka” – at Ferry Wharf

 

 

Greek Feast

Athens, Greece

Varvakios Agora, the central market on Athinas Street, is the city’s store cupboard. The traditional covered market has operated here since 1886 and excavations have unearthed Roman ruins, suggesting it was a trading spot even earlier. You can buy every ingredient for supper as well as Greek sweets and spices. It’s very much a working market arranged like a perfectly ordered larder: meat, fish, vegetables. Flip-flops are inadvisable – the floor can be wet. Many of the stall holders have been in the business for generations. The Miran and Arapian stalls are recommended for preserved meats, and Zafolias for feta cheese.

You can also eat in the market in a low-key “ouzerie”. Try local dishes, such as patsas (soup made from pigs’ trotters or lambs’ feet) prepared with ingredients straight from the market in Diporto on Sokratous Street. The name means two entrances and the basement tavern does indeed have two doors.

The surrounding streets are culinarily themed. Evripidou Street specialises in spices, and here Elixir (No 41) and Bachar (No 31) are both well worth a visit.

 


What to buy

Olives, spices, feta cheese, cured meats


When

The Central Market is open Mon-Sat, 7am to 6pm


Don't miss

Hunt down the celebrated “poet sandal-maker to the stars” Stavros Melissinos on Aghias Theklas Street


When

Monastiraki flea market, next to Monastiraki metro station, on Sunday mornings

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Leather Ware

Inca, Mallorca

Inca, midway between Palma and Pollença, is the leather capital of Mallorca. Its Thursday market in the town centre offers the perfect excuse to stock up on handbags, belts, wallets, jackets and shoes. Inca is within the El Raiguer region, home to the oldest shoe-making guilds on the island, and has a long history of leather craft. The town still produces expert-built footwear for export across the globe. Men’s footwear company Monge has its smart shoes built in Inca and Camper has its HQ here, so you can pick up shoes for a song in their outlet store.

The market spills over several streets and you’ll be tempted by textiles, brightly glazed ceramics, fruit, vegetables, flowers, soap and more. Inca is also famous for traditional cellar restaurants, so carve out some time to dine here too.

 

What to buy

All things leather. Quely biscuits, made in the Inca factory

When

The Inca market operates on Thursday mornings. Bargain hunters should arrive early

Don't miss

Stop off in the nearby village of Binissalem to buy Mallorcan wine from nearby vineyards

When

Lloret de Vistalegre market, which sells mouthwatering fresh figs

 

 

Full Bloom

Cape Town, SA

Flower sellers have sold their blooms on Cape Town’s Trafalgar Place and Adderley Street since the 19th century. From the early 1900s, they’ve been appearing on cheery postcards and in magazines and newspapers. 

The flowers were originally grown in Constantia, once farmland, now a smart suburb of Cape Town. Now, most come from further afield. Look out for varieties from the UNESCO-protected Cape Floral Region. Some of our best-loved blooms – gladiolis, freesias, nerines, agapanthus, geraniums and pelargoniums – hail from here.

Many of the stalls are handed down through the generations, and sellers are happy to share their stories. Delia, who was born on a banana boat, began working on her stall when she was 15 and has been here for 38 years. Her grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents sold flowers before her. She says the market is best visited in the morning when it’s at its liveliest.

Bree Street, a 10-minute walk from Adderley, is a cool place to eat. Try Bacon on Bree – Cape Town’s inspired “baconporium”.

 

What to buy

A bunch of proteas, South Africa’s long-lasting native flowers. Delia once sold 800 of these striking blooms to one customer

When

Adderley Street Flower Market is open from Monday-Saturday, 24 hours a day

Don't miss

Check out Cape Town’s vibrant Long Street – the city's central strip, famed for its numerous clubs, pubs, bars, design stores and everything in between

When

Old Biscuit Mill, a hip village in the Cape Town suburb of Woodstock, where you can buy African prints and delicious food
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