I remember reading an article when I was younger which described how all the florists in London flocked to Columbia Road Flower Market every Sunday morning to buy their wares for the week. Despite the fact that neither of us are florists or actually have any need for flowers, mum and I decided to pop along. When we arrived at 8am, the stalls were just being set up. If this is still the place where the florists buy their flowers, then we must have been too early to see them because the market was nearly empty of customers and serenely quiet (save the odd call: “a bunch of peonies for a fiver!”). A few stall-owners hopefully told us we had arrived at the right time before the masses descended.
The majority of the stalls sold cut flowers (lilies, sunflowers, roses, peonies, thistles) although there were also many that sold potted plants, which I always prefer, objecting to spending money on cut flowers that will last a week if I’m lucky. I must say, however, that the cut flowers were super good value and beautiful quality. The shops at the side of the market started to open at about 8:30. Most specialised in rustic/vintage homeware which is perfect for the look I’m trying to develop in my own kitchen. I bought a faux vintage Cadbury’s advert which is now taking pride of place above my hob, next to my Corona tray. I’ve got my eye on a birdcage for next time in which I’ll put some colourful flowers.
To round the trip off, we stopped for a skinny latte in the Courtyard Café at the back of a few of the shops.
Columbia Road Market
Nearest tubes: Old Street (Northern Line) and Bethnal Green (Central Line).
Sunday 8am until 3pm