Hands tucked into coat pockets, I walked quickly down Vallance Road toward Columbia Road Flower Market.
I passed by tower block after tower block of flats, the grassy expanse of Weavers Fields, the area where the Kray Twins (English gangsters of the 50s-60s) grew up, a few corner shops closed on a Sunday morning.
The end of Columbia Road that hosts the weekly Sunday flower market (that has done since 1869) is much different from the bleak outskirts.
It’s colourful, full of life with buskers singing tunes from the 60s and 70s and a ton of hipsteresque cafes where you can stop in for apple thyme muffins and spiced chai.
Locals come with their dogs. People everywhere are carrying tulips and daffodils and small orange trees. Doors are painted bright pink and green. There are fox door knockers. You can walk up to open windows and order a coffee without leaving the street.
It’s a treat to visit not only for the lively atmosphere, the sellers shouting “three bunches a fiver – cheap deals for cheap people today,” and the street fashion of the Sunday lunchtime crowds, but there’s not a Topshop or Boots in site.
The area of the street where the market is set up is lined with a ton of fantastic independent shops. I went mainly because I wanted to pick up some coco wood spoons that my mom wanted to replace some old ones she bought there on a previous trip.
There’s also vintage shops, jewellery shops, gardening shops, homeware shops, galleries and cafes and pubs to make a day of it (or a few hours at least!).
It was a quick visit for me, but I wanted to share the few photos in this post. I wish it was closer; I’d go there every Sunday and come home with armfuls of fresh flower bundles.