Who doesn’t like a spot of shopping when on holiday? And what better way to feel the pulse of a city and get under the skin of a destination than to mingle in the markets with the locals. A visit to a Parisian antiques fair or a wander through a colourful handicrafts market in India can provide the unique sensory experience that makes your trip extra special. The world is our oyster and there are plenty of gems to be found around the globe. So check out some of our favourite market finds:
No one can argue that we are short of fabulous markets in London. There is the tasty Borough Market in Southwark with its cheeses, locally farmed veg and the best lamb burgers in town. Insider’s tip: It’s great for discreet celebrity spotting. Then there’s New Covent Garden’s historic flower market, named after its original location in central London. And we certainly can’t leave out Camden and Portobello for scouting those stellar vintage duds and quality antiques or Spitalfields for the city’s up and coming designs.
Mexico City, Mexico
Head southwest to visit Mexico City’s Mercado de la Merced. La Merced will tantalise your taste buds for four whole blocks as it introduces you to food from all over the country. The market is dazzlingly colourful thanks to dozens of wacky pinatas dangling above the stalls. It offers an exciting journey jostling past mountains of chillis, nopales (cactus paddles), blocks of queso blanco (white cheese), rainbow-coloured blankets, sweet-smelling guavas and fragrant Mexican vanilla.
For discerning shoppers and those in need of some proper indulgence, head to Tuscany’s designer outlets – our luxury version of the archetypal market. A short drive from Florence and scattered across the Tuscan countryside, three outlets house the creme-de-la-creme of Italian and international couture. At bargain prices (as much as 75% off – and even more during the sales) you can find fabulous pieces from YSL, Valentino, Sergio Rossi, Alexander McQueen, Fendi, Marni, Stella McCartney, and La Perla. Gucci is also on site and offers the largest collection. Down the road is the dedicated Prada storehouse offering a wide assortment of clothing, shoes, accessories, and, most importantly, handbags… a small selection of Miu Miu, Helmuth Lang and Church shoes are also available – if you’re lucky!
Not a bad mix. And a little something for everyone. Better start saving those pennies though because we promise you won’t be able to resist.
John-Christian Moquette is a Partner at IAVRA.