With only a week and half left of my time in London, I realized that Camden Market had still not been crossed off my list. I’d say I’ve probably spent more time at various London markets in the past 5 weeks than the average Londoner in their lifetime, but obviously I couldn’t leave without checking out Camden as well. Since I had the day off work, Chloe and I decided to take the tube (no not metro, in London we take the tube) up to Camden to spend a nice afternoon walking around the market and grabbing some lunch. There’s a different vibe in Camden market than what you would find at Borough Market for example. There’s this kind of young, edgy feel where you find hand-painted stalls, street art on the walls and probably some cooler-than-you dude with a beard off to buy some over-sized denim shirts at one of Camden’s many thrift stores. At this market there aren’t the big baskets of organic produce you find at Borough Market where you could totally picture Deliciously Ella picking out some beautifully ripe figs, but there are tons of ready made food stalls that all (or at least most) have vegetarian and vegan options (dude with beard doesn’t eat meat either, he likes his green juice and tofu). In any case, the market has lovely food stalls, tons of thrift shops (that will make you feel hella basic in comparison to those hip AF Brits browsing the vintage jackets) and lots of weird little stores selling cheap earrings and plastic jewellery that made me feel like I was back in the tourist-traps of Thailand. With a cute little path along the river next to the market, one can easily make a day of Camden.
There are lots of healthy vegetarian and vegan options at the food stalls in Camden. There are vegetarian Indian food stalls (always an easy go to as a vegan, just remember to ask if there’s no dairy). Falafel wraps are another easy one, although they can sometimes be pretty greasy.
For lunch, I went to the Mexican stall and got a veggie burrito (no cheese or sour cream means I get extra guac, WIN) and Chloe got a falafel wrap which was surprisingly a lot less greasy than they often are. I also went to the coconut water stall and had some friendly guy crack open a fresh coconut for me to sip on with my burrito (was such a good call cuz my food was super spicy). Obviously the coconut didn’t taste as fresh as the ones I would pick up regularly in Singapore, but when in cold rainy London, any little taste of the tropics will do.
Once you get out of the main stall section of the market, there’s a slightly more spacious area with larger stalls, restaurants and lots of outdoor seating. There you can find a fresh juice bar where I’m pretty sure “young attractive male” is the key job requirement.
Now after the main course comes the best part. Not only the best part of the meal, I’m talking best part of the day, and when it includes what I had at Camden, probably best part of my week if not month/year/life etc. DESSERT. I had seen a raw, vegan and gluten-free dessert stand in the main food stall area, but Chloe had other plans for where we were going to get our afternoon treat. Next to the Hatch juicery there’s a little opening which leads to a small indoor part with… yup you guessed it, more food stalls. And in and among these food stalls is a hidden gem called Cookies and Scream; a fully vegan and gluten-free dessert bar. One would already fall in love with it’s dark, edgy vibe, fairy lights lighting the desserts on display and the random anecdotes scribbled on the chalk boards that are hanging everywhere. The job requirements for this place are slightly different with “blue or pink hair”, “maximum piercings” and “excessive dark eye shadow” clearly being most important. Diggin it.
Now cute as the place is, key is the food. I asked the girl behind the bar what desserts to get (having worked as a waitress for many years has taught me that the employee always knows best), and she recommended the peanut butter/jelly cookie and the brownie. She even warmed them up for us (BONUS) and served our brownie with a generous scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream. Okay so this is one of those things where cannot even construct sentence to describe. Too much wow, fragments such as UNREAL and AJSKVEJ!!! (capitals are necessary) come to mind. Saying it was SO DAMN GOOD is like the biggest understatement ever but I don’t really know how else I can put it. The ice cream was an even better version of those 99p swirly vanilla ice creams you can get anywhere in London (no I didn’t know something could possibly be better than that). The brownie was so fluffy and wonderfully chocolatey but not rich to the point of making you feel sick after devouring it in seconds, and the cookie was so freaking gooey. This place gets a million stars in the books, I would book a flight back to London tomorrow just to have dessert there. Oh and to top it off, portions are hefty and prices are super reasonable (2 pounds for the cookie and 3.50 for the brownie + ice cream). WIN WIN WIN WIN.