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Introducing: Acklam Village Market Street Food in Portobello

Live music brings Acklam Village to life, Portobello W10

Acklam Village is a market you may never have heard of. Like so many others, I’ve been in love with Portobello & Golborne Road, Nottinghill, Westbourne Grove and all things W10 for many years. I moved to London from the Midlands just to be near here, where m penchant for collecting, garments, jewellery and modern antiques could be accommodated. Its always a treat to have time to mooch about and browse bits and bobs and object d’art with friends and loved ones with a stop off for good coffee and a chat in mind. 

Portobello & Golborne Road Markets are at their best on Saturday and Sunday and offer a fantastic atmosphere because of the people of the neighborhood, the traders, the tourists and visitors alike. They mingle in their unique way, that only having the legacy of the Nottinghill Carnival in your streets can evoke. Trends come and go, but the buzz in the Portobello air remains the same. 
In 2012 Portobello Farmers Market was launched. It sold the usual fresh and organic produce from cheese to gluten free pies, but by 2013 this market evolved into what is now the Acklam Village
Market and is now something to get excited about. 

The Acklam Village Bar
I remember the first time my friends and I happened upon this place. It’s pre-loved, upcycled set up reminded me of a throw back to pre-gentrified times. With a backdrop of street art dotted about its variety of textured walls, lead by a boardwalk courtyard of streetfood vendors, it is a kerbside eaters pop-up haven. The brightly coloured little tents under the shadow of bunting dancing in the sky only serves to add to the street party vibe. 

Food from around the world
I strut my streetfoodie stuff down to the irresistible sounds and smells of each cooks creations. Food magic with fresh, unusual ingredients, often accompanied by bottles of ‘secret’ homemade sauces entice me in. There is an overwhelming choice from pretty much every continent on the planet, from Morrocco to Mexico, Burma to East Africa, Cuba to Thailand, Poland to Portugal, not forgetting U.S influences from Burgers to Bagels. When the sun is out, you feel like you could be anywhere in the world right there and then. Watching the sea of international faces exploring each others culture through food is even more gratifying. Walk through the gates and it feels like you are entering a science fiction travel/transporter machine to the hustle and bustle of a Veneuzuelan
favela perhaps.

Acklam Village Food Stalls

Streetfood is going through a massive renaissance and Acklam Village Market has truly embraced this concept. The cooks, are genuinely small enterprises showing off their authentic, culinary heritage, egged on by the feedback from the customers as they perform their sorcery with sauces. Whether I’ve got a burrito in my hand or scooping chocolate from a pancake, a primal happiness hits me as I’m about to eat. 

Enjoying the food stalls at Acklam Village, Portobello W10

The music in my ears, the universal language of love plays in the distance. There is no mistaking acoustic music from CD recordings. Just like the food is reliably sourced, so too the musicians, with pure organically, sonically produced songs in front of our eyes on the Acklam stage. 

Music and Art at Acklam Village, Portobello, W10
This is a large reclaimed space of striking character. The bar has mulled wine on the go, no matter the weather. Talking of weather the indoor/outdoor element of the venue appeals to me as I can get my Portobello fix during the cold winter months too. One wall is a floor to ceiling window of light, the plastic glass easily removed during that lesser spotted British heat wave. Moulded chairs, beer barrel tables, seating from converted market stalls, all a nod to shabby chic. A refreshing lived-in-squat-chic – the sprawling area with uplighting from natural sky light centers me. Then as the band play on, my belly is full, I listen harder and look up at the Westway ceiling. How random. Sipping a cider, pondering on the deepness of the lyrics, surreal. 
Back in the room I see families, babies and dogs, lovers and local eccentrics meandering around for somewhere to sit, getting into their own kind of Acklam experience. Strangers identifiable only by sunglasses, funky headwear, cowboy boots and quirky style, where individuality reigns supreme, they stand proud as photographers snap away. This place is the embodiment of Boho, you can’t fake it, the social history makes it what it is. Many have tried to emulate it. 
“The new Nottinghill they cry!”
“Faux -Nottinghill we cry back!”

Enjoying the party vibe at Acklam Village Market, London W10
It is not at all surprising that organisers are revisiting the area, particularly inspired by Acklam’s commercial potential. But Acklam Village Market is by the people for the people, it’s unkempt, unfinished and it recognises that about it self, the gem in a retro village.
This is not just a weekly streetfood curbside event, this is Acklam Village Market, a festival of live music and streetfood and I’m loving it. 
A Guest Blog for ILM by JaxEtta

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