A morning at Sunbury Antiques Market

Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park is fantastic people watching – the dealers are a curious parade of Agatha Christie characters reeking of booze, bearded hipsters, wind chapped country types, Eastenders and chain smoking Frenchmen wearing waxed jackets and cravats. All full of the chats and primed to play the game.

I paid a visit to the world famous market this morning on the hunt for a WestVillage HQ desk.

People come from all over Europe to buy and sell to professional dealers and novices. I wasn’t one of the hardcore turning up at 6.30am but there were clearly plenty of them judging from the plethora of sold stickers on display by 9am. The market seems particularly good on Mid Century pieces and salvage as well as beautiful home and fashion accessories, so right up my Strasse.

Being no expert in these matters, I tried to pick up tips by observing other people’s transactions. I soon gave up on that after watching a man haggling over what looked like an unremarkable, irregular shaped concrete slab about 50cm in diameter. He handed over £100. He seemed really happy as he dragged said slab into the back of his shiny 4X4. The dealer called him ‘a star’ – is that dealer talk for ‘a mug’?

If you’re planning a visit:

Bring cash. There is a cash point on site but it’s slow, charges £2.50 and there is a long queue.
Either go really early i.e 6.30am or late10.30am when the traders are ready to go home and want to get rid of their stock quickly.
Haggle hard. A friend got a sideboard down from £150 to £30.
Wear flat shoes and layers
Bring a drink / snacks. There is a kiosk selling cheese toasties…this is not Spitalfields, so you won’t be finding any halloumi wraps.
A wheelie trolley is the accessory of choice for bric a brac hunters


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