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.
One of my top three favorite things in the world is going for a long, delicious meals with great company. And when this happens randomly it becomes favorite number 2.
It was a summer Friday and I didn’t have much going on, neither did one of my favorite friends in the world, MC. So we decided on a trip to the Stratford mall called Westfield, the one built next to the Olympic Park, where there just happens to be a Jamie’s Italian.
After a lot of walking, trying on, putting back and a lot of window shopping, I suggested we treat ourselves to a treat. We weren’t hungry per se and it was around 5pm but I couldn’t pass up supporting Jamie Oliver when I was so close. I had been before and always devoured the black angel spagetti with squid ink pasta to be exact. This time were looking for a semi-healthy meal so we ordered a carafe of Merlot while deciding on six appetizers and a dessert.
Unless I’m having a specific dish that’s been recommended to me or I love, sharing has become my new favorite way of eat. You can try all of the different flavors then mix and match the ones you like best together to get an even better plate; oh, I think it’s just truly the most fun a person can have at a mall.
We got the chestnut mushrooms with smoked mozzarelle, thyme and crispy bread, the caprese salad, crispy stuffed risotto balls, the steaming sprouting broccoli, the posh chips with truffle oil and parmesan cheese, and the fennel and apple salad. A little something for every taste bud.
It was one of those meals you want to last forever and I feel like it could have, had it not been for the dinner plans we completely ignored we had.
You may not know this about me yet but I love Jamie Oliver. I would be that creepy girl that would would pick a love song to kareoke, dedicate it to him and sing it with as much passion as possible. It’s just the best way I know how to say thank you.