When your Sunday begins with fresh cut flowers, you know you’re doing something right. Spending a Sunday morning at Columbia Road became one of my favorite pastimes before I even moved to London.
Every Sunday morning, flower traders set up stalls packed with blooms from around the world.
The market itself has been going on since 1869, and most of the traders are proudly generations deep.
The first time I visited the market, I was surprised by how condensed it feels. Even though it can become crowded, the street feels alive- buzzy energy from the traders and visitors.
You may be tempted to buy plants or flowers from the first few stalls you see, but hold out. Do a walk up and down the stalls before committing to anything. That way, you’ll see everything there is and won’t be troubled by buyer’s remorse.
And while flowers are the main attraction, victorian shops and cafes dot the street, offering everything from homewares to antiques to tea and cakes. Be sure to pop in Vintage Heaven on Ezra Street for quirky and fun vintage finds.
My go-to for coffee? Gwilym Davies’ Coffee Cart. The Lilly Vanilli bakery, just off Columbia Road, has delicious seasonal cakes and pastries. Jones Dairy Cafe is known for their salmon and cream cheese bagels. And, Fabrique Bakery in East London, about a 5-7 minute walk from the market has divine cinnamon and cardamom rolls.
If you’re planning on visiting the market, go early. Columbia Road opens at 8 am, and if you want the best experience wandering the stalls, it’s best to be one of the first ones there.