The Wonders of Travel from an Aspiring Journalist
Like many Londoners, I find Camden Lock Market to be a place of mass diversity, whether it is the diversity of people, cultures, languages or food. I visit Camden a few times a year, and it is especially enchanting in winter, when the stalls are selling cosy scarves and scented candles and the aroma of mulled wine wafts around.
One of my all-time favourite tea shops (note, tea, not coffee) was found in Camden – the Yumchaa Tea Shop. It is a curious little shop hidden on the balcony of Camden Lock and overlooking the outside stalls. Inside, one can find a vast array of teas to buy or to drink, along with exquisite homemade treats.
Note that this is not my picture, but one I found on the internet that I think portrays the homely atmosphere really well. Once inside, me and friend Lucie (both dedicated tea-drinkers) felt overwhelmed by the sheer variety of teas – from the more well-known Jasmine and Traditional Breakfast to the exotic Pure Rooibus or the Pu Erh.
A distinctive trait of this tea shop is that all the tea is loose leaf, which seems so much fresher and organic than a teabag dunked in hot water. It is also quite fun using the tea strainer to get the tea as concentrated as you’d like it, (whilst of course making you feel ever so professional).
The prices are incredibly reasonable for what you experience with the overall atmosphere of the shop. It feels homely and warm, and is a recommendable spot for winter.
Another time in Camden, I decided to try the curious idea of ‘bubble tea’ from Chaboba Bubble Tea.
Admittedly, the multicoloured cups filled with what looked like a cross between frogspawn and small lumps of plastic was a little daunting, but at the same time the huge variety of flavours and colours that is they offer is pretty eye-catching. This type of beverage is a great choice for the (slightly) warmer weather in the summer and the drinks are fun and refreshing, especially ‘crush’ bubble tea which is similar to a smoothie.
However, I went for the fruit bubble tea; red guava flavour. It was a beautiful pinky colour and was so fresh and fruity. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera that day so here is a picture from the website.
As you can see, despite the rather odd-looking black balls at the bottom, these drinks taste remarkly good – sweet but not artificial, and refreshing enough to quench your thirst.
Finally, I would recommend all those going to Camden to visit the underground Stables Market. It is a truly enchanting place; filled with vintage clothing, brick-a-brack, beautiful furniture, collectables and basically all shiny things. When with Lucie, we discovered a small but beautiful vintage shop – selling everything from framed paintings to record players. As a lover of music and an instrumentalist, I found this shop particularly enticing, and the British-themed treasures were beautifully made. Unfortunately, all the things I wanted; the guitars, the record players, the CD shelves… were too large to carry around London with me!
Camden Lock Market is the place to practice your bartering skills, purchase some one-off items and try some delicious food, whilst soaking up some of London’s most diverse culture.