Every weekend I tell Jeff that I’d like to go to Columbia Road on Sunday to buy flowers for the vase on our mantelpiece, and every weekend (at least every weekend for the past 6 months!) I’ve either ended up with other plans or snoozing till noon. But last Sunday it all worked out: we woke up early, had breakfast, got ready and were on our way to the market by 11am.
To say Columbia Road Flower Market is busy would be an incredible understatement. When walking down the middle of the road, with the stalls on either side, you can quickly become packed in like sardines amongst the crowd. I’m not the biggest fan of crowded places, so Jeff and I headed down the sides (on the pavement, behind the market stalls) heading towards the far side of the market and popped into a few of the shops along the way. This provided the added bonus of purchasing our flowers on the way out, and decreasing the chances of accidentally squishing them in the crowd!
If you haven’t been or haven’t had the chance to look, there are so many adorable little shops along Columbia Road. With cute kitchenware, paper craft, practical pots and vases for new plants and flowers, antiques, vintage fashion, gardening tools and more, these shops are lovely and well worth a look if you’re interested in decorating your flat. Or if you just fancy noseying about and window shopping the interesting (and beautiful – look at that terrarium!) items on display for sale.
If you’ve ever been to a market with me you’ll know I always get distracted by the stamps and printing press letter blocks! I especially love the ones with the old fashioned, intricately detailed letters or scenes, such as a ship on the ocean.
OK, so these doors don’t really have anything to do with the market, but I saw them along Columbia Road behind the stalls and just loved how the light was shining… So I felt compelled to take a picture.
Oh – there are also a few pubs and cafés with delicious-looking cakes along the road! Which are perfect for resting your feet and filling your belly once you’ve done your shopping, or alternatively if you need some fuel before your shop. Both scenarios work, and both are equally as desirable if you ask me!
Finally, to the flowers! Let’s be honest with ourselves: these aren’t the cheapest flowers that you’ll find in London, but there is an excellent array with many choices that you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Walking through the market feels a bit like walking through a sea of beautiful, bright colours and if the wind is blowing just right the smell of flowers can be momentarily overpowering in the most fantastically fragrant way.
This week we went for yellow and purple flowers, and I’m sorry to say I can’t remember the names of either! We needed to cut about 6 inches off the stems so they fit in our vase, but they look really beautiful and add a lovely touch of colour to our flat. As you can see I was delighted with these, and walked with them for a while before Jeff decided he wanted to help me carry them. (if you follow me on Twitter you’ll have seen this tweet where I think he looks incredibly handsome holding the bunches.)
Have you been to Columbia Road Flower Market? What did you think of it – and what kind of flowers did you buy?