One of the many things I’ve learned about London this summer is that despite the weather, they love out door markets.
One that stole my heart is the Columbia Road Shops and Flower Market . It comes together every Sunday from 8am to 3pm in the East End on Columbia Road off of Hackney Road. If you see people carrying a cone shaped object from the brown paper bag family, you’re heading the right way. If you hear the sound of soothing folk music, smell the intoxicating aroma of flowers, see the beautiful cats and the well behaved dogs waiting to be gawked at, you’re basically there! And when you hear, “a tenner for 2 bunches” you’ll know you’ve hit the thick of it.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of people in the makeshift hallway created by walls of flower. There will be people directly infront and behind you but don’t be scared to stop “and smell the roses”. They will find a way around you, just take it all in.
Take the time to find the exact flower and/or plant you want. Sorry to be a ghoul, but we all know these flowers you’re paying for die so you might as well enjoy the one you actually want before it’s all over. If you can’t find the flower you want, ask for it. Chances are someone, somewhere in the market has it.
After a first failed Sunday visit, I walked away with a few gems. I guess you could say I got very lucky in the flower department this summer.
If you’re not the flower type, there are tons of shops and cafes to keep you entertained. It’s really about the atmosphere, after all. My favorite shop was a small jewellery shop with a back room filled with old collectors books. Another was a shop called filled to the brim with hand made and personalized jewellery, clothes and home ornaments called J & B The Shop,. Unfortunately postcards and an old book was all I could fit in my suitcase.
Call me a sucker, but I just love that stuff.