Camden Lock Market should be on every local’s radar now the inescapable Christmas present-buying frenzy is hurtling towards its final weeks.
We’re huge fans of the laid-back festive shopping it offers, a world away from the bunfight of Oxford Street or Westfield. In fact we’ve highlighted 10 of our favourite quirky shops and stalls for gift ideas previously (and will be featuring lots more online soon, plus in our December print edition – out next Friday).
2013 has been a great year for the Lock, which has attracted some world-class pop-ups, the cutting edge designers are back and there’s a real foodie scene to be enjoyed too.
All this is being wrapped up under the banner People’s Republic of Christmas, as the Lock Market plays to its strengths by offering a stress-free alternative to the corporate domination of the ‘anytown’ UK High Street.
The whole jamboree launched this week, with the main attraction being the Christmas Night Markets running 12-14 December. These late-night events run until 10pm, giving everyone a chance to pick up truly original and thoughtful gifts direct from the independent designer-maker’s shops and stalls. Look out for seasonal spiced cocktails, a Camden Town Brewery pop-up bar, the very best of Camden Lock’s global streetfood vendors and an intriguing-sounding digital gift guide via the hashtag #ShopTheLock to help with any difficult-to-buy present dilemmas.
What else? How about a 3-day pop-up radio station? The People’s Republic will be strapping a transmitter to the roof of the Market and taking over the local airwaves – more info on this to follow, but DJs will include the likes of Notting Hill Carnival ledge Norman Jay.
Meanwhile the Disappearing Dining Club are running Too Much is Never Enough, a series of private dinners held in three sung, candlelit dining rooms from the 7th and during the Night Market dates. Book your Xmas bash there now for mugs of mulled winter cider, pots of salt beef, mustard and gherkins, Brick Lane smoked salmon, black bean and smoked sweetcorn ceviche and a winter warming venison, juniper and allspice stew.
If that’s a bit too formal for you, having Honest Burger, French & Grace, Chin Chin Labs and all the other tasty bites in residence around the Lock’s cobbled yards is surely the brandy butter on top of the ultimate Christmas shopping cake.