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.
Aleks DokJanuary 28, 2015 at 1:59 pm
Gorgeous photos – the colours are just stunning! Just what you need for the grey winter days. Despite living in London for 20 years, I’d never heard of the flower market. Definitely going to pop down next time I’m back 🙂
littleobservationistJanuary 28, 2015 at 3:41 pm
Oh, you definitely should stop by! It’s a beautiful little place. It kicks off pretty early Sunday morning and goes on till about 2-3pm. Any good London tips from the last 20 years??
Diana MieczanJanuary 28, 2015 at 3:50 pm
Oh my goodness, this is my dream place!!! Ah, look at all those stunning flowers…..And the scrumptious apple – thyme cakes are making me hungry! What a gem! Have a beautiful day, love.
littleobservationistJanuary 29, 2015 at 1:10 pm
Yes, they were definitely tasty! I need to find a recipe… It is definitely a beautiful place. Hope you’re having a fantastic week! xo
KatieJanuary 28, 2015 at 6:33 pm
Such beautiful photos, Steph! It would be an absolute dream to live close to a flower market like this! I’d have fresh flowers in my home every week!!!
littleobservationistJanuary 29, 2015 at 1:09 pm
Yes, I would too if I lived closer! It takes me about an hour to get there from where I live now as it’s on the other side of the city, but I love to head over there every once in a while, especially in Winter for a little slice of colour when there’s fewer tourists.
AndreaJanuary 29, 2015 at 12:18 am
Such a lovely place! I want to buy a lot of beautiful things there for my home when I live in London next year! 🙂
littleobservationistJanuary 29, 2015 at 1:08 pm
Oh how exciting! Are you going to live in the East? It’s defintely a great place to pick up cute kitchen / home stuff when you arrive!
tinkerbelle86February 3, 2015 at 3:21 pm
I adore Columbia road market. the colours make me happy
littleobservationistFebruary 3, 2015 at 8:50 pm
Exploring London: Bethnal Green & Columbia Road Flower Market - Little ObservationistJune 29, 2016 at 8:56 am
[…] written about the flower market on other occasions, so I mainly just wanted to share some photos with you – of which, of course, there are too […]