Cabbages and Frocks Market
Cupcakes, handbags, a range of accessories, and vintage (and new) dresses... What girl could resist! Cabbages and Frocks is an attractive small-scale fashion market that takes place every Saturday just off fashionable Marylebone High Street.
Marylebone, Central London
Every Saturday the sleepy grounds - all cobbles and vast shady trees - at the side of Marylebone Parish Church are taken over by the Cabbages and Frocks Market. It's the kind of thing you might hope to stumble across in, say, Paris, but a rare find in London: a few quirky, individual stalls in a charming location.
Cabbages and Frocks is a small scale market in a charming location.
If, like me, you find the huge markets like Portobello and Camden fabulous for people watching, but exhausting for actually shopping
, Cabbages and Frocks is a treat. You can have a quick look round in 20 minutes or so, then head off for a coffee or lunch on Marylebone High Street while you ponder possible purchases.
Searching through rails of new and vintage frocks.
The stalls are arranged around a circular path, so you can wander through with no worries about missing anything. Unsurprisingly, given that this is basically a fashion market, you won't find any cabbages (although there are two stalls with gourmet lunch options, and a lovely cake stall - more on which below). But there are certainly frocks, and some very pretty ones too. It is a pleasant surprise to find most things are quite reasonably priced.
Bags of all shapes and sizes feature too, including some very cute reversible leather and suede ones with a tasselled leather draw string. Several jewellery stalls, a display of oil paintings and abstracts, and rows of elegant pot plants compete for attention. There's even a masseur - evidently a good one as he doesn't seem to be short of customers! A whole stall of delicate fabric flowers in a rainbow of colours particularly catches my eye. They are really beautiful and perfect for hair and hat accessories, corsages and bridal decorations.
Scrumptious cakes from the lovely Monkey Poodle cake stand.
But my favourite stall? I can't deny that it's the Monkey Poodle Cake Co
. My whole family loves their scrumptious chocolate brownies and gorgeous cupcakes in flavours such as coconut and lime, lemon and butter cream, and vanilla with strawberry cheesecake frosting. Everything is made with fair trade and free range ingredients and is wheat and gluten free. The Monkey Poodle girls, Anou and Poli, will box up these treats for you to take home, but if - like us - you're too greedy to wait, you can sit on a nearby bench and scoff the lot!
Little hands happily grasp a strawberry cheesecake cupcake.
On my most recent visit I counted 15 stalls. This is down on several years ago when the market was almost too
vibrant. Shoppers could hardly move for all the stalls crammed onto the site, and spilling out onto the pavement beyond the gates. Things have calmed down since then, and I do especially miss the stall that sold the most delicious artisan sausages... But this is still a nice spot for a browse, either before or after you sample the delights of Marylebone High Street.
Essentials: Cabbages and Frocks Market
The grounds of St Marylebone Parish Church, on the corner of Marylebone High Street and Marylebone Road.
Paddington Street (next to Paddington Street Gardens
) or Baker Street Station
There are occasional special events held in parallel with the market, such as Dog Days ("Dress as smartly as your dog!") and children's craft workshops. The Cabbages and Frocks Market website at www.cabbagesandfrocks.co.uk gives full details.
The market is held every Saturday from 11am-5pm, throughout the year.