There are two more Christmas Lates before the big day, should you care to knock about Camden Market after-hours for a spot of seasonal shopping (and perhaps sink a crafty beer or some superior streetfood). At least the tourists will have left by that time of day, too.
If you haven’t been down at all in 2017 – and we reckon that could be some of you – things have changed substantially (and we’re not even talking about top new restaurants like the Cheese Bar, either).
Decent additions include a cavernous Dr. Marten’s flagship (who customise DMs for free), new openings from Cath Kidston, Moomin (yep!) and Havaianas, as well as a clutch of Borough-Market style food stores like Flour Station (for unbeatable sourdough) and Enrique Tomas (for posh Iberican hams and wine).
Don’t forget the stalls and outlets that have been in situ for years, either: you can do worse than rummage around the awesome General Eyewear (in the same spot for two decades), Modfather, Planet Bazaar, The Vintage Collection, Collectif and Secondhand Books.
We have a particular soft spot for locally-based time-keeping pioneers Camden Watch Co, who’ve been busy with a couple of new creations in time for Xmas (for the two-wheeled obsessive in your life check out their chic new Cycling Watch, for example).As well as all manner of festive live music – from local steel bands to ukeleles and community gospel choirs – to accompany the late-night shopping, another highlight is the UK’s first Festive Vegan Deli, hosted by blogger Fat Gay Vegan at the Old Art Gallery opposite the Amy Winehouse statue. The boutique plant-based food emporium will be open between midday and 8pm, and aims to showcase some of the finest vegan meat and cheese artisans in the UK. Embrace seitan: we dare you.
It’s all for a good cause, too. Throughout the month the market is donating a prime location daily to a rotating selection of local and national charities (100% of the proceeds theirs to keep), including the Mayor of Camden’s chosen charity for this year, C4WS, which helps homeless people rebuild their lives.
Oh, and finally, need a cosy corner for a post-purchase liquid refreshment? Try the brand new Kerb Counter, tucked away where the old Lantana café used to be, which dishes up craft beers, wine, coffee and cocktails. There are also “trader takeovers” from its adjoining 34-strong food maze every Wed to Sat evening.
Visit Choose Love, the pop-up shop to help refugees, here.