I’d long wanted to take a little trip to Columbia Road flower market, to be laden down with the freshest, most juicy blooms imaginable on a slightly biting Sunday morning, just as I’d adored on oh-so-many Instagram/Pinterest posts. Columbia Road has been home to many markets since the 1800s, gaining its international reputation since the 1980s, becoming the bustling hub of Sunday mornings with buckets full of beautiful flowers + lined with quirky boutiques, art galleries + vintage shops – sprinkled with suitably rustic/scandi style cafes.
So, when the boys asked what I’d like to do for my 30th last week + bearing in mind I’m ferrying round a 6 month bump, so crazy cocktail swigging + table dancing were at least another 3-4 months away, I jumped on the opportunity wagon + requested the adventure to my concrete, floral utopia. Last Sunday, we loaded the car with duvets + a thermos of hot choc for the journey as we headed off into the smoke of East London.
As we turned the corner from our perfectly located parking space, one happy man in tow thanks to this lucky find, our eyes were met by Christmas trees aplenty priced at “30 pand on a stand!”; beyond the stacks of non-drop Nordic Spruce, were stalls upon stalls of seasonal floral wares.
The traders were so helpful, knowledgeable + always willing to help – so if you’re unsure on any of your floral choices, just ask! Before I knew it I had an armful of brown paper wrapped stems + went in search of a regular-market-goer must-have, the “Columbia Rd Flower Market Carrier” – handy tip, these can be found in Organics for £5 + are perfect for those longer stems, even my box of 5 amaryllis (£10) + bunch of extra long pussy willow (£10)!
Not only is Columbia Road brimming with the best fresh flowers, garlands + plants, it also has a great selection of tiny boutiques selling a range of home wares, fashion, vintage clothing, artisan perfumes etc. Some of my faves were Nelly Duff with a fab collection of modern, striking art prints; Choosing Keeping, a mecca for stationary lovers + Angela Flanders perfumer. Whilst meandering in + out of each lovely shop, I came across an “opening” offering pots of calamari + breaded prawns with a selection of dips – my faves!
What a super day – to top it off, a week later the fantastic festive berries, amaryllis & Christmas garland are looking blooming marvelous!
Columbia Road flower market is open every Sunday to the general public from 8am-2pm – I’d recommend either getting there early, like we did, to get the pick of the bunch (sorry, just one little pun!) + be able to negate the stalls easily as it’s less busy, or, at 1pm, the traders start to knock down the prices – so head for a bargain; It gets super busy from 10-12pm, so be prepared to walk single file!
Author: Jess Warner, The Only Girl in the House.