Columbia Road Flower Market

No London blog could possibly be complete without a little post on the Columbia Road Flower Market. I've wanted to visit this place for a very long time, but no one wants to battle with the tube early on a Sunday morning with a hangover, am I right? So this weekend I made a promise to myself that I would go and see what all the fuss was about and drag my girl friends along with me.

It may have been absolutely baltic outside today, but the market was rammed with families, friends, dog lovers, tourists and people on their own just out for a stroll. Steeped in history, the market is open from 8am - 3pm (ish), but if you want to actually be able to look at the flowers or make your way down without being trampled to death, I suggest you either get there for when it opens, or an hour or so before it closes (you'll get all the best deals then anyways).

As you can see and probably know, today was wet, windy and miserable, but the glowing colours and scents from the market were enough to perk up our soggy spirits and we were soon exploring the stalls and the beautiful little shops that line them, as well as trying out the street food and enjoying warming hot chocolates with whipped cream.

Pot of tempura prawns - £2.50

Pot of tempura prawns - £2.50

Hot chocolate with whipped cream - £2

Hot chocolate with whipped cream - £2

I've seen photos of this colourful market before and it's just as beautiful as I thought it would be. It might not be as big or long as it looking in the pictures, but Columbia Road has a real historical feel to it, you could kid yourself into thinking you were just popping in to visit the 1950's. The houses and shops don't look like they've changed at all in 65 years, the market traders shout their wares with the typical East London drawl (just like you see in the movies), street musicians playing all kinds of music, paired with a wonderful sense of community - there's so much to keep you busy.

We managed to keep ourselves warm enough for a couple of hours before the wind and rain battered us away into Shoreditch for a warm lunch and more hot chocolate, but just imagining this place on a hot summers day fills me with excitement. We may have had to make a bit of a run for it at the end but we still managed to pick up some beautiful plants and flowers for extremely reasonable prices, to adorn our homes in the run up to spring.

We shall see you again soon, Columbia Road!