By Maria Derevianko
My idea of a perfect Sunday would have to include a trip down to one of my most favourite places in London, the Columbia Road Flower Market.
Not only is it a market, and you all know from my previous post just how much I love a good market, but they sell something which I have a slight obsession with.. fresh flowers. If that wasn’t enough enjoyment for me in one morning/afternoon, I then went and had an amazing organic lunch at one of the nearby cafes. Perfect.
On Sunday’s this East London street transforms into a vibrant and buzzing flower fun fair! They have the local flomers (yep, I just made that up… like farmers but not quite farmers. They grow flowers; they’re flomers) where mostly it’s their family business which has been passed down from generation to generation, pitching their stock as something from Harrods, for Primark prices where nearly ‘Everthin’sa fivah!’ from roses, to seeds, to seasonal flowers, to bedding plants and everything in between so if you are a flower lover like me, you should slap yourself if you don’t know about this place already and go down there next Sunday… Just joking. Just thank me for introducing you to it.
It opens at 8am and closes around 3ish, if you want to avoid the crowds and get some specific flowers in their best condition you should head down there for 8ish. The prices are still reasonable, but if you don’t mind crowds, tight spaces with some kids in the mix then get down there later and if you’re after a further bargain then you should get there around 2ish as the barrow boys don’t want to take the fresh cut flowers home so they practically give them away for dirt cheap, as if they are not cheap enough already (going by London prices that is) although you won’t get the same level of choice as you would if you had gone in the morning.
Another little tip: Don’t go crazy and buy the first thing you see. Go up to the end and back. It’s a really short street and you’ll be able to see what the range of flowers are, the deals, the quality and then buy whatever ticks most of those boxes.
I personally like to go there and see which flowers stand out to me the most, unless there is a seasonal flower which I love (like my beloved tulips) then I go there to get them and something else which just jumps out to me, on this occasion I bought 20 pale pink roses for £6 and 10 Delilahs for £6!
The street is known for its independent shops which vary from vintage boutiques, to arts and crafts shops and other little nifty shops which are worth a visit if you like that kind of thing.
After you buy one too many flowers where you have just enough hands to carry it all you can go and plonk your bottom at one of the many cafés and restaurants which are nearby, some being worth the visit on their own. If you fancy a hearty meat loving Sunday roast then head up to the Royal Oak, or for a cup coffee or another beverage there are plenty of cosy little cafés down Ezra Street and other places worth checking out which serve organic food. Alternatively you can check out the many independent vintage boutique shops or small galleries to admire some art and have a cultural afternoon.
If you like a buzzing atmosphere, flowers, quirky people and great food then you should definitely put Columbia Road Flower Market in your diary for Sunday!
Have you every been to the Columbia Road Flower Market? Which places would you recommend to have a stop off at and eat? We would love to hear from you in the comments below on on our Twitter.