It’s a seemingly endless market which appears to sprawl and stretch with the gentle yet unstoppable nature of a dense fog, inhabiting whichever spaces it needs.
Other days of the week shift the focus of the market towards fresh produce or new goods, but it’s the eclectically British mix of vintage clothing, antique furniture, old records and brac-a-brac that always gave Saturday the unpredictable appeal of a jumble sale for me, even though food always played second fiddle – with stalls dotted around the main strip of Portobello road, there more as pit stops than destinations.
It’s amazing the difference a couple of pounds makes. The likes of The Rib Man, Big Apple Hot Dogs, Yum Bun, Smokestack and many more have proven that people are willing to pay a little extra for something that is truly delicious - even if we are eating it standing up. Where once we might have been offered frozen burgers, pukka pies and overpriced flabby chips, now we can get our hands on slow roast Cuban pork rolls, opulently moist salt beef and hand pressed dim sum.
With it I drank a really tasty Czech pilsner I forget the name of. Something beginning with L? It had that caramel and spicy hop thing down anyway and worked great with the burrito.
For me Aklam has added another layer of interest to what was already a world class market, making a trip to Portobello something I won’t wait another two years to make.
*Aklam Market actually opened in 2012 but I haven’t visited for a few years. Finger on the pulse as ever.