After a pretty crazy week of three photo shoots with some really talented people in the wedding industry (posts coming up as soon as the photos get to me, but here's a sneak peek at one of them with bridal blogger supremo London Bride), what more could I have done to work through the night for, oh yes, a market stall! While at university, I'd spent a fair amount of time in Camden and surrounding areas. Ten years ago it was rather grotty and grimey but we loved it because it was cheap and cheerful. The random crazy characters also added a particular charm that bizarrely suited the nature of Camden. Back then. Now there's a shiny new Starbucks on the canal, along with every other chain along the high street. The Wetherspoons' has been given a face-lift. The sketchy people have moved along and the shops are only just starting to get away from hippy towards trendy. This commercial "gentrification" one would've thought would extend to the Camden Lock and Stables markets. I am glad it hasn't. While the stables still smell of dodgy Chinese and MSG, and has stalls selling everything from sarongs (that you'll never need in London), to tarty party clothes, the Lock has some signs of change. For one, there's the incredibly theatrical and totally delectable Chin Chin Laboratorists where they whip up fresh ice cream to order. It's very much Heston-meets-Willy-Wonka. Then there is The Frenchie - oozy gooey cheesy raclette goodness. Also, they've introduced the Camden Lock Night Market on Thursday nights over the summer, featuring live music, food stalls, late opening hours for Chin Chin Labs (Yay!) and bits and bobs. Just last week, we decided to have a go at a stall for Anges de Sucre at the night market. Music, raclette, macarons, ice cream - surely this would make a fab evo out for most. We got some cladding primed and painted, and CTO (aka general handyman) got to building the stand. Got together some props much needed for decor, of which half didn't turn up on time due to the Olympics madness. Had a fancy sign made and got baking! Thought of pretty much everything, except ironing the table cloth - duh!
So how did it all go? Shambolic, in a word. We were late by an hour due to van issues and the Olympics traffic fun. Logistically it was quite the nightmare as if you've been to Camden, you'd know maneuvering oneself is a challenge enough in the crowds, let along a massive van full of delicate macarons. The management were hard to get through to at this point and so we circled around Camden, Kentish Town, Chalf Farm yadi yada. Finally when we reached our breaking point we decided to try out a back route which took another thirty minutes and came to a dead end. So let's just force the van through the crowds. Which we did. Set up took a little while and was a bit embarrassing as we were quite obviously late. But once we were up, I must say it was rather lovely, although the extra props (and ironed table cloth!) were very much missing. The weather was co-operating, the live music was cheery, and so were the people. However, it was rather quiet. Perhaps the weather was too good to loiter about Camden in? Perhaps not many people know about the night market. Perhaps a lot of work needs to go into the market before people start viewing it as an evening destination. Perhaps all of the above. All in all, we sold, we had fun and we got back home shattered and battered.
With everything else going on with Anges de Sucre it's unlikely that we'll be having a stall at Camden Lock again but I'd definitely go back - even if just for the Frenchie and the Chin Chin Labs! Reshmi x