Because holding a fresh custard doughnut in one hand and some artisan gin in the other is the best way to spend a Saturday or Sunday

Mittened hands dug into pockets; vibrant displays of preserves; the smell of sizzling pork in the air… food markets have got to be one of the best winter-time activities going. 


And London is home to some of Europe's finest. Artisan-gin makers, seasonal-veg growers and Iberico-ham importers: we've got them all. 


Here are our favourites in the capital. 


Maltby Street Market 

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Step back from the more obvious London market choices and into this haven of delectable craft food, drink, and the odd bit of beauty. A 15-minute walk from London Bridge underground station down a few twisty roads will bring you to this narrow procession of sellers. 


St John's infamous baked goods (soft, fluffy doughnuts filled with vanilla bean-flecked custard) are a must, or there's rich, dark coffee from vans, posh gin (buy bottles to take home or a cocktail to sip as you peruse) and waffles slathered in butterscotch and ice cream. 


Warning: go early. It gets busy and the space is tiny. Not one for the claustrophobic. 


Open 11am-10pm every Saturday. 40 Maltby Street, London SE1 3PA,


Druid Street Market 

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Just round the corner from Maltby is the little but perfectly formed Druid Street Market. Try blackberry and bay leaf preserve at London Borough of Jam, sample gorgeous macadamia nut oil, or indulge in more cheese than you can shake a stick at. 


Open 9am-4pm every Saturday. 126 Druid Street, London SE1 2HH,


Broadway Market 

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Head down to the Hackney hipster hangout and be rewarded by a sea of scrumptious stalls. Newton & Pott preserves and artisan hot chocolate makers Jaz and Juls are highlights, but there's also vintage clothing, jewellery and plenty of bric-a-brac. 


Open 9am-5pm every Saturday. Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ,


Brixton Market

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The air is thick with gorgeous cooking aromas at this market. Jerk chicken and barbecued meats are always a good idea, as is a whizz round the exotic fruits and veg on offer. A total trip around the world, from Africa to the Caribbean, it's a firework of colour. Especially good on sunny days. 


Open 8am-11:30pm every day except Monday. Electric Avenue, London SW9 8JX,


Borough Market

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The biggie. A colossal canopy-covered collection of cured meats, fresh breads, cooked baps filled with melting pulled pork, paella in pots and Monmouth coffee – you certainly cannot call it boring. Just a quick trot from London Bridge tube station, it's also pretty easy to get to. 


The only issue? The crowds. Heaps and heaps and heaps of people are jostling around any time past lunch – so get down pre-11am if you want a more peaceful experience. 


Open 8am-5pm every Saturday. 8 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TL,


Venn Street Market

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Farmers and independent producers congregate at Clapham Common every Saturday for this lovely fresh food market. From seasonal veg to the most sublime fish, there's everything you need to cook up a storm.


If you're after immediate satisfaction, there's also tempting hog roast baps, West Indian roti wraps and a load of posh pancakes to eat right then and there. Dreamy. 


Open 10am-4pm every Saturday. Venn Street, London SW4 0AT,


Chatsworth Road Market

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Via: Kriss Lee/Raw Cheese Power/

A wonderful selection of handmade cakes, feta-stuffed Greek kebabs, New Orleans-style street food and specialist toasties (hello) make this community market a must for a lazy Sunday. 


Open 11am-4pm every Sunday. Chatsworth Rd, London E5 0LT,


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