Saturday, 23 January 2016

Flower power at Columbia Road Flower Market

Last Sunday was one of those piercingly cold January days when the mere thought of stepping outside had me adopting Eskimo-chic and layering up using the entire contents of my wardrobe. Most sensible people would naturally retreat indoors, fuel up on tea, curl up on the couch wrapped in a blanket and laze away the rest of the day. However being in desperate need of some fresh air, having recently finished binge-watching all ten episodes of the excellent ‘Making a Murderer’ on Netflix (if you haven’t seen it yet you’ve got to watch it, as my flatmate and I could talk about little else all week) and with the lovely prospect of a catch-up with my good friend and fellow-blogger Marie I ventured out into the world.

I met Marie when I first moved to London and answered a random flat share advert on Gumtree. As a French fashionista she has shown some real patience with my distinct lack of style - though I think my multi-coloured scrunchies nearly drove her to the edge. Yet in spite of these differences and perhaps because at heart we are both really geek-girls, we have remained firm friends.
Determined to cheer up a gloomy January day when we were both broke and when pay day seemed a lifetime away, we decided there was nothing for it but to head for the explosion of colour that is Columbia Road Flower Market.

Nestled in a small Victorian street amongst a ramshackle collection of art, vintage and antique shops in London’s East End, Columbia Road Flower Market is arguably one of the prettiest of the city’s many markets. Every Sunday this tiny street is filled to the brim with stalls selling every type of flower your heart could desire, as well as bulbs, seeds, herbs and other potted plants. The result is that Columbia Road has become a favourite Sunday haunt of many a Londoner. We went there around midday when there is a great atmosphere but you will be battling the crowds. If you want to snag yourself a bargain then head to the market about 2.30pm instead, just as the stalls are starting to close up.

Stock changes every week so each experience is a little different. I stood daydreaming for ages, listening to the low hum of a band play in the distance and the cheerful Cockney chatter of the flower sellers and soaking up the smell of lavender, before finally deciding that the flowers were just far too pretty and too good value not to buy at least one little bunch. Having always had a soft spot for roses which are surely any girl’s best friend, when I spotted some gorgeous lilac roses for just £4, I couldn’t resist. I even tried bartering over the price, cheekily suggesting that the stall holder give me two bunches for the price of one. Alas I was doomed to failure, but this is London at its friendliest where a bit of banter is an essential part of the experience.

So next time you have a free Sunday make sure to head to Columbia Road Flower Market for what will undoubtedly be a blooming brilliant start to your day.


  1. nicely written... and love the pics... Would suggest you make a trip to Vauxhall one early morning though to experience the New Covent Garden Flower Market there.... absolutely amazing standing in that huge warehouse full of flowers...

    1. Thanks for the tip. Will definitely check it out!

  2. That was a good price for these beautiful flowers. Enjoy.

    1. I agree and they lasted for a while and were so pretty that they made me smile every time I saw them. Money well spent!


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