I was recently introduced to a friend of a friend who went backpacking around South East Asia last year. When I spoke to her, I felt a familiar feeling of shame creeping into me, the same one that always appeared whenever I spoke to travellers like her.
She, after a few weeks in my side of the world, has visited more places than I have the twenty six years I was living in the region.
Usually, a few minutes into the conversation, the name Cambodia would come up and I would have to reluctantly admit that I haven’t stepped on that country’s soil even once.
“I have been to Myanmar though,” I normally added in a bid to present myself as a more appreciative South East Asian.
I attribute this shameful phenomenon to what I call proximity ungratefulness. When a place is so close to where you live, you will naturally find it less exciting and will not go out of your way to visit.
I am thus careful of not letting the same thing happen to me here in London. I try to appreciate things around me, even stuff that is within walking distance from my flat.
One of my most recent finds was the Primrose Hill Market.
Primrose Hill is world-famous, and I have been there countless times. It has a beautiful unobstructed view of London and is equally charming during the day and night.
But today I’m not here to talk about the Hill. I’m here for something that happens at the foot of the hill every Saturday, unbeknownst to many: the Primrose Hill Market.
I discovered the Market by accident during one of those Saturday mornings I decided to be healthy and go for a walk. The discovery was a grave mistake to my healthy intention but an absolute delight to my sugar addiction since I ended up buying a piece of pastries and gobbled it down immediately, passing it off as a well-deserved
I left the market in a hurry the first time I was there since I did not trust myself not to buy more of those tarts.
But I vowed to come back when I have more self-control. So when a friend of mine visited London, I took the opportunity to ‘show her around’ and visit the market again. This time round, even though my self-control was still in want, I could share whatever impulse sweet purchase with my friend. And I tried to take more pictures of the market to distract myself.
To me, Primrose Hill Market feels like the less touristy sister of the renowned Borough Market. After all, many of the stalls originate from there, from the artisan breads to the truffle stall.
Don’t get me wrong, they also sell healthy stuff like fresh fruits and vegetables.
While they are amazing in their own right, let’s be honest here, life with cheesecakes and red velvet cookie sandwiches are so much more meaningful.
Every stall seems to offer something more delicious than the next. But after several rounds of staring googly-eyed at many of them, my favourite buy from this market is hands down the Pic’s peanut butter.
Their peanut butter is nothing short of amazing. Made of purely peanuts, they have four different varieties: salted and unsalted versions of both the crunchy and smooth peanut butter. They are priced at somewhat a premium; 5 pounds per jar (or 3 for 12 quids) are pretty steep, but they are absolutely worth it. I count that as a worthwhile investment to my kitchen.
All in all, Primrose Hill Market is always a delight to visit. My only tip is that you should come with an empty stomach and a lot of cash (they don’t take cards) because they have burger and sandwich stalls that I have been dying to try but haven’t got the chance to yet, because I always stupidly forget and eat breakfast before coming.
Primrose Hill Market is located at Elsworthy Rd, London NW3 3DS, and opens every Saturday from 10 AM to 3 PM.